I do not think there is anything to gain by taking away the padding, but awareness of it certainly helps.

Training is a habit, break that habit, it dies.

This became an Australia-wide possibility in March, with the ‘Lockdown’.

I realised from day one that the situation needed approaching with urgency and diligence.

And a plan.

Every Monday evening, Thursday evening and Saturday morning I would be found in the Studio, training for the two hours that I would usually be teaching.

Finding meaningful things to do for two hours solo was a far greater challenge than I anticipated, especially as the lockdown stretched on without an end in sight, month after month.

One of my favourite tools in training is Occams Razor, so out it came and in I went.

I did not intend to undergo a total reset, but that is what happened, as a result when the ‘Lockdown’ lifted it was less a restart and more of a reboot.

I had a brand new O.S.

My take on Wing Chun was forever a gently evolving process, but I came out of the enforced isolation with something lean, mean and ‘very’ practical.

I have always seen Wing Chun as physical activity, so that is what went under the microscope first.

What I found was a lot of ‘dead wood’.


From earlier research grew the understanding that initially there was only one FORM, the Sil Lim Tao.

This overlong Form proved hard to teach, it was cut into three sections, the later sections becoming Chum Kiu and Biu Gee.

It would appear that these sections were too short, so they underwent a certain amount of padding to give them gravitas.

All the Forms were extended to 108 moves in line with Budhist Sacred number thinking.

I do not think there is anything to gain by taking away the padding, but awareness of it certainly helps.

After all the movements themselves are not the purpose.

All journeys begin with a single step, by default, this is the most important step.

How we set our body up is the beginning and end of everything.

On seeing this, all of the Forms become tests to see if we can maintain this set up during movement that escalates from simple through to complex.

It is tricky to put a name on this setup, is it posture, condition, shape, structure?

It is all of the above and more, I call it ‘Putting on our Crazy Horse”.

The world has changed since Leung Jan, Chan Wah Shun and Ip Man.

The atomic explosion of money on offer in modern sport has meant that there has been unprecedented research into how the ‘Human Body’ works and how to maximise its potential.

Quite remarkably, Wing Chun was always on the same wavelength.

It just got a bit left behind, like all Kung Fu.

So it is into the DeLorian and back to the future.

One FORM only, with modern Sports Science Influences.




3 thoughts on “STATUS UPDATE? – EVOLVING.”

  1. Now you’ve really got something important Derek! Chu Shong Tin, and my teacher Ma Kee Fai have always stressed the overriding importance of setting up the body “condition/state” as a prerequisite to all movement. All the talk about taigong and sing (raising up thru the spine), opening, expanding, etc. is to accomplish this body condition set up. I have always viewed and taught that the forms were a way to practice maintaining this condition while moving.


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