Using Arm Swinging

There is a logic and strategy behind arm swinging as the foundation for learning how to strike.

Swinging the arm is natural for most people. All it takes is a shift in paradigm and anyone can use arm swinging as the foundation for developing circular strikes.

2021 Day 1

Day 1 of 2021 was a quiet day.

Quiet day is good. Best thing to do in the morning is practice Tai Chi.

Just kept going with the form practice until I decided to stop. As my teacher said the objective is to practice.

Once done with the mentally intense practice of Tai Chi I thought of doing something more physical.

I haven’t touched the pole for a few months. So let’s get some practice in if only for short time.

Pole practice especially with the focus on just doing a few simple, repetitive techniques is good for practice speed, power and stamina.


We don’t work on one factor at a time. We work on all of them at the same time. Power is only useful if you are fast enough to use it.

And the ability to use power depends on whether you can get to the position you need to be when you need to be there.

That’s why in SKD we will at a later stage learn the long pole that Master Leong taught. It is a very short sequence but that’s good because we don’t have to burden our mind with trying to remember too many movements.

Like a Snake

When we couple what we learn from arm swinging with the 4-circling wrist exercise we can develop hands that are stick, wrap and coil like a snake.

Last week we had a challenge to develop this flavor but alas only Paul took up the challenge and even then he didn’t follow closely on the requirements laid out.

As a result, he wasted nearly an entire week until he finally decided to follow the requirements. It was at this point that he could see his hand movement making progress at the end of that one day where he decided to follow the requirement.

It is not necessarily the case that the teacher did not teach the secrets but that the student failed to give himself a chance to really learn. Sometimes all it takes is a leap of faith that requires a commitment for a short period of time. If you fail to invest 7 hours then you will lose 10 years in the end.

Biu Jee?

Our arm swinging can be used flexibly. For example, when we tightened the motion of the arm and use the strikes consecutively it becomes a thrusting finger attack or Biu Jee as it is known in Wing Chun.

Master Leong called this White Snake Spits Poison. We normally pair this with footwork while attacking in an elusive manner. Since we are doing a sitting down lesson obviously stepping is out of the question.

My non-Ip Man Wing Chun teacher said that Biu Jee is a form that teaches a certain principle of attack. This video gives a cursory example of what an attack using this principle can be like.

Application of Arm Swinging

The application of our 2nd arm swinging exercise is not always obvious.

However, it fits into our model of using long bridge. Below is an example of how this works :-

If we want to make the strike more powerful we can always add in the biomechanics of swallow, spit, float, sink.

When we train sitting down we are isolating certain key components to study. The sum of each key component can help to amplify our power.

Chair Training

Before the SKD Zoom class started today one student said that he was sick. However, he would attend but not participate fully.

Instead of doing our normal standup practice I had them do the entire class sitting in a chair. In this way the sick student can participate fully.

In this regards there are some things that can be learned easier when sitting down rather than standing up.

What would be a limitation on the ability to move becomes an advantage to learning how to economize movement in the light of the constraint imposed by the chair frame.

I focused on teaching the things that can be practiced while sitting down. To start off while I showed how one of the basic arm swinging exercise can be practiced not as a regular arm loosening and power development exercise but as a means to train the application of a technique.

We examine how this one swinging arm exercise can be trained a few ways. Then we added in other components to deepen the skill.

Basically, everything that is taught today is the foundation for how to make our Charp Chui come alive.

This is achieved by using the exercises to develop our ability to flow like water, darting in quickly like a snake’s tongue and changing swiftly like the wind.

Baseball Whip

In SKD we use a series of arm swinging exercises to learn how to use the body to move to execute techniques and issue power.

By learning to relax the arms to connect them properly to the back and the lower body our arms can deliver power in the manner of a baseball ball tied to the end of a whip.