Posted by by William Cheung on February 23, 2017
WING CHUN FORMS
GM William Cheung
There are three Wing Chun forms: Sil Lum Tao, Chum Kiu and Bil Tse. Sil Lum Tao is the most important because it forms the foundation of the whole Wing Chun system. Unless you are very good at Sil Lum Tao, you are wasting your time trying to learn the other forms. My master once likened the three forms to the components of a motor vehicle, with Sil Lum Tao as the chassis or framework, Chum Kiu the engine, and Bil Tse the turbocharger. He reasoned that if the vehicle structure is weak, it cannot withstand any impact.
In Wing Chun, your basic structure is composed of your stance, your bong sau, tan sau, and fook sau. These have to be really strong to prevent the body being knocked off balance when in contact with an opponents’ arms in combat.
Sil Lum Tao, in its advanced stages, helps the practitioner develop thought force (nim lik), which gives you enormous power and strengthens your whole body structure. Acquiring thought force requires a teacher who knows how to do it properly, and perseverance and dedication on the part of the student. Unfortunately, this is an area in which many people do not do well. Most only manage to copy and not learn the nitty-gritty of how each movement should be done. Doing it wrong is just a waste of time.
Chum Kiu utilizes the mobility taught by Sil Lum Tao by adding extra power. It teaches how to coordinate body and arm movements, utilizing multi-vectors of force to deflect and attack with maximum power. Without a good grounding in Sil Lum Tao, the practitioner is unable to harmonize his movements and maximize force to the target.
Bil Tse adds extra power through physical acceleration of the body. For example, when pivoting in Wing Chun, the top and bottom sections of the body move together. Bil Tse trains the student how to move the top section of the body further, giving greater and faster reach in striking. Bil Tse is the most devastating form of all three, but to be good at it, you have to have perfect balance and good coordination and be very skilled at Chum Kiu. Students trained in Bil Tse can have really destructive power and can amass their whole body weight to the point of striking.
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