Once the body has been developed in this way everything we do becomes Wing Chun.

I know from my own experience that it is difficult to see how just doing FORMS can make somebody a more effective fighter.

This was my default position for a very long time, in fact, it is why as a young man I stopped training in Hsing Yi Chuan and Baguazahng, both Kung Fu styles that share a central focus on FORMS.

This began to change once I began training in Wing Chun Kung Fu back in the early 1990s.

The first stage of Wing Chun training, the first 12 – 24 months,  is approximately 80% practical techniques and physical self-defence applications,15% theory, and only 5% FORM work.

This allows students to feel that they are learning ‘Real Stuff’ for use in ‘Real Fights’ without any need to understand what is going on under the hood.

After around 2 years of this type of training, everybody that applies themselves to the work has a skill set that can get them out of just about any kind of trouble, this is an observable fact.

More importantly, everybody that does this training believes that they have a skill set that can get them out of trouble, if we believe, we will accept, and by accepting we will choose to use what we have practiced if we find ourselves in a bad situation, and yes it will and does work.

Many students give it away at this point having achieved their primary goal and do not stay to study what makes Wing Chun work and how to improve it.

This is what Chum Kiu and Biu Gee do, they help us understand the why of it all, there is nothing new, once we understand Chum Kiu and Biu Gee we can look back and see that we had been using these tools since day #1.

From here on in the trajectory is lifelong continued improvement.

Chum Kiu introduces us to Wing Chun’s thinking on how to accept and redirect incoming force, in short, our defence, while Biu Gee introduces us to Wing Chun’s thinking on how to issue force, in short, our attack.

From the first day when we performed our first Tarn Da {Tarn Sau and punch}, we were influenced and informed by both Chum Kiu {Tarn Sau} and Biu Gee {Vertical Punch}.

To describe Wing Chun in as simple a way as possible, when someone throws a strike at us, we move it out of the way and hit them at the same time.

An oversimplification to be sure, but it also covers every situation we may face, be it a kick, a punch, or even a weapon, move it out of the way and counter-attack at the same time.

Developing the shape and the alignment of a structure that can intercept incoming force without buckling under pressure is the prime objective of Chum Kiu.

Developing the shape and alignment of a structure that can transfer accelerating body mass to a chosen target without the need for excess effort or strength is the prime objective of Biu Gee.

There are many secondary objectives that we can explore and discover in both Chum Kiu and Biu Gee, but our first goal should be to achieve competence with the prime objective.

It can be a challenge for all of us to deliberately choose simplified solutions to solve what we think are complicated problems, but when we consider that one of the central pillars of Wing Chun’s Fist Logic is simplicity, this approach is more than just far-sighted, it becomes necessary.

There is an often unnoticed benefit to FORMS training.

It allows us to divorce the training from ‘real-time’ fighting.

If we look at our primate relatives, the Chimpanzee or the Gorilla, we can observe them fighting in very human-looking ways.

Who taught these guys how to fight?

No one, it is innate, as it is with us.

Training is not about learning how to fight, it is about learning how to be better at fighting.

How to develop a body that is better suited to fighting.

The Shaolin Monks knew this and styled at least two of their training sets,  Hóu Quán (猴拳, monkey fist),  and Baiyuan Tongbei Quan 白猿通背拳,  White Ape Connected Arms boxing, after the way Monkeys fight.

Chum Kiu and Biu Gee allow us to continually improve the condition and coordination of our body to take our basic fighting skills to another, much higher level.

Once the body has been developed in this way everything we do becomes Wing Chun.

Learn the form, but seek the formless.

Learn it all, then forget it all.

Learn The Way, then find your own way.

The Silent Monk

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