I am sure most Wing Chun practitioners know that the name Chum Kiu means Seeking Bridge. Of course, I am aware that some non-Ip styles write the name as Sinking Bridge. For the purpose of this post I am referring to the Chum Kiu of the Ip Man style.
How many of you think you are actually doing Chum Kiu when you practice the form? Hands up.
Would you believe me if I tell you that I have yet to see a Ip style practitioner whatever the lineage, master or student, who actually plays the form in adherence to the core principle of seeking the bridge?
As if that is not bad enough I even see teachings of using a movement called Chek Sau to break the elbow of the opponent’s outstretched arm. When a master demonstrates it the technique seems logical.
But seriously, have you ever seen a master use it against a non-compliant, more skillful opponent? I haven’t and I’ll bet it would never work. Why?
If you apply commonsense to dissect the technique I am sure you will see many things that do not make sense as far as using Chek Sau this way. And if you add on that little thing about seeking the bridge including the use of turning to neutralize it would make even less sense.
So why is there confusion here?
Given that Chek Sau is a straight forward movement in the larger scheme of seeking the bridge of the opponent you would think there should never be any confusion. But there is and most of us will never see it until we start to really use it and then the problem will surface.
The lack of or missing flavor that defines the Chum Kiu form is the reason why so many know the form but you don’t see many really use the techniques right out of the form even when practicing sticking hands which is supposed to be a learning lab. I mean, if you can’t even use it in sticking hands do you think you can really use it against practitioners from other styles?
There is nothing wrong with the form. Its the way its played, the interpretation placed on the movements that give rise to the confusion. Fix the problems and you will see Chum Kiu in a new light. You may even understand why Chum Kiu is such an important form in the learning of Wing Chun. I have not listed the other problem areas I see but if you are like me, a bit confused, then you should do the research to find the path that makes more sense.