Learning from Master Wong’s Knife Defence

Master Wong is very entertaining. Some of his videos on emptyhand techniques are not bad. Then he put out videos on the Wing Chun weapons and I was kinda like meh…..

Yesterday, I saw his video on defending against a knife attack. He is still entertaining.

His explanations sound so convincing too. It even looked effective and could work against someone who does not know how to use a knife and just thrust without any idea of follow up.

However, I am more worried about the attacker who knows how to use a knife or an attacker who repeatedly thrusts and slashes with speed.

I have seen different techniques against the basic thrusting / stabbing attack in Master Wong’s video. One of the more recent ones is from Master Yang Jwing Ming.

Whether dealing with emptyhand technique or weapon attack the problem is always the unknown factor i.e. I don’t know what the attacker will do or not do.

In this example, if the attacker just thrusts with the knife and leave his arm there you can get away with anything. Similary if he thrusts and slowly withdraws his knife for another attack.

The problem starts when the attacker thrusts fast, withdraw as fast (including stepping back). Then its not easy to do the technique Master Wong showed.

Add to it the possibility of the attacker slashing as a follow up to the thrust whether when he is in forward position or does so when he withdraws his blade and you have a different dimension to the problem.

Shall I then add the possibility of the attacker using his other arm to fend off your attempts to defend against his knife?

How about if the attacker switches hand?

When you consider these few points you will see the loopholes in the responses that Master Wong demonstrated.

He may have more effective techniques that he did not show to the public (most masters do) but for the ones he showed the following pictures below are the things that come to mind when I looked at what he showed. I am not even an expert in defending against a knife attack but the problem areas below are what I spotted with a beginner’s eyes.

Example A
Example B

Example A and B – Master Wong showed this as the first movement in deflecting the knife thrust. The problem I see with this response is that the neck is wide open to a slashing counter. However, as seen in Example E Master Wong has anticipated this. This is good as long as the opponent is not able to flow with your deflection and take advantage of it to insert his slashing attack in between the timing required for you to move your hands up as shown in Example E.

Example C

Example C – before Master Wong secured the hold in Example F he ended in this hold first. This is not a secure hold and by twisting the blade to face up, the opponent can slash upwards as he step back. But once you get to the one palm down, one palm up position in Example F then the hold is secure. The problem is before you get to this secure position.

Example D

Example D – Master Wong does foresee the possibility of a follow up slashing counter as shown here.

Example E

Example E – a question I like to ask is if I can foresee the attacker trying to slash me as shown in Example D then would the attacker be smart enough to anticipate my response and have a counter ready to both my hands coming up to protect my throat. If the opponent has experience using a knife then bring both hands up to protect myself is an invitation for the attacker to slash my stomach. Because I am reacting to his attempt to slash my throat first it means that the attacker is ahead of me on the attacking beat and the moment my hands come up and he quickly lowers himself to slash my stomach I will not be fast enough to counter the follow up attack.

Example F

Example F – good response from Master Wong. If there is a weakness in this counter it is that the attacker can still get out of the control. If he can do this he can easily switch knife hand and re-attack Master Wong. This time Master Wong will be way behind the attacking curve since both his arms are attached to the attacker’s right arm but Master Wong does not have any hand to check the attacker’s left hand with the knife now.

I do this analysis as part of my own study in how to defend against knife attacks rather than a post to take down Master Wong. By understanding what not to do I gain a better understanding of what to do.

Dealing with a knife attack or any types of attack is not so much a case of I am right, you are wrong. Instead, it is a case of given this response what can I do to avoid getting stabbed or slashed, and at the same time be able to counter effectively.

Effectively in this sense means how to prevent the attacker from continuing his attack and take away his weapon. In this regard I need to eliminate his ability to move and change.

This is why in Kali our study of how to handle knife attacks is based on knowing both sides of the equation – the defender and the attacker. We learn how to defend including how to take away the knife, and then initiate our own knife attack. When the glove is on the other hand (or blade in our hand) how can we use the knife and prevent the attacker from being able to defend himself.

Lesson Number Two

A week passed by very quickly. Lesson 2 came and passed for new student.

First a review of Lesson 1. Correction number one – eliminate unnecessary movements in the hands before raising hands in Beginning Posture. Root cause – slight hunched back leading to palms facing unnaturally.

Correction number 2 – hand lead the body in sub-movement 1 of Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, differentiating joint movements and strength usage clearly. Also, how to shift the vertical axis from one side to the other without compromising balance. Mindfulness in left hand grasp and control.

Correction number 3 – fingers in left parry hand at commencement of sub-movement 2 of Grasp Sparrow’s Tail. Control body angling. Importance of positioning to remain offensive even when parrying. Right arm closing movement re-emphasize again the holding hinge concept, aligning the right wrist to body to facilitate neutralizing, closing the posture. How to properly raise the right wrist to form cross with left wrist, passing the imaginary opponent’s right fist to land into space, as you open up a space to enter for your right hand. Again, not to lose balance by unneccessary moving of vertical axis causing sway and tilt. Showed student how to move without causing axis sway and tilt after he tried but could not move if I impose a restraint on his left shoulder to check his vertical axis. Correct placement of right palm on target area and left hand on guard after completion. The how and why of this application, addressing loop holes in posture, how to set up for a follow up movement from the start, possible strikes in this position. Check correct holding of sphere in right arm, sphere holding between left hand and right hand.

Correction number 4 – sphere rotation in Ward-off, control superfluos body turning, how to rotate properly to apply movement as a technique. Left hand curve, wrap, bind and control, contribute to unbalance attack and power issuance. Beware of elbow to body disconnect, define appropriate elbow-body connection.

Correction number 5 – defining the physical path for Rollback in the mind – visualize it, map it, move and feel. How to maintain structure and pressure while relaxing before neutralizing, avoiding collapsing of right arm structure or opening up space for opponent to enter. Proper structure of right arm in Rollback, proper timing to change from Rollback to Press. Mother-son relationship in right arm-left arm movement correlation. Whip palm attack in Rollback, if required. How to use elbow position to control opponent’s left arm when attacking without creating a gap for opponent to counter.

Correction number 6 – changing right arm structure at end of Rollback to beginning of Press. Left arm control – definition, process and applications. How to issue power using momentum from application of stance shifting for instant result, no waiting for years of training to master or having to learn secret qigong method or complicated fajing processes, merely using intuitive method most people already know as they are likely to have performed before at home. Using a spiral movement to neutralize, bind and control before issuing power throgh the same right arm. Single arm power generation for better control and defence; illustration of how facing wrongly in Press and using two hands leave student exposed to a counter.

So much for the second lesson this week.

The Attached Mind

I just glance at the topic of a Youtube video “Israeli Study of Natural Immunity vs Vaccine” and my immediate thought was natural immunity earns big Pharma nothing but vaccine brings billions and opportunities to earn more in other ways.

This also reminds me of those Tai Chi masters who would sell you that secret Qigong packaged training, that secret meditation practice, the secret small frame fajing form, that secret this, that secret that.

Why can’t they sell you one form that teaches you how to use the techniques, how to push hands, how to fajing, how to meditate and so on?

Cause you earn more by breaking the knowledge up and selling them. That’s why.

Its more exciting for the consumer, I mean student, to know that there is a secret spinal whip, chakra fire or is it water qigong (or maybe call it tummo to sound more exotic, nah that’s Tibetan), tree hugging, tree rooting, bricks hanging from the balls methods that they can salivate after. The more money they pay the more they buy into the secret and defend it even they found out that they have been conned. That’s the psychology of the victim.

Telling a student that he’s got it is a downer. Whatdaya mean I got it? Already? Where? Like a horse he needs a carrot dangled in front of him to chase after cause the fun is in the chase rather than the getting there.

That’s why in big classes they need a common identify, to reinforce the brainwashing cause you know cultish behaviour leads to loyalty even if contrary hard evidence is presented. This is a kind of attachment, a reason why Tai Chi is difficult to learn. You have to let go of your attachment to resistance if you want to be able to flow like water. To be attached means the opponent’s pressure will cause your mind to be stuck and your body to freeze.

That’s why Tai Chi is easy to learn, difficult to master as you have to deprogram your habitual, instinctive reaction to mental and physical stimuli.

Restarting Teaching

This week I restarted teaching Tai Chi. I am taking this one student at a time. I have lost track of time but I am guessing that its at least a year since the last lesson.

This time I changed my teaching approach in that I aim to get a student moving first before finetuning his movements. To do this I held back some details. Its not something I would do in the past but it certainly made it easier to teach a bit faster.

It was all I could do to stop myself from saying more. I kept to straight forward corrections like remember to stretch out the fingers, point the thumb up, thumb touch the center and index point forward to apex, grab-hold-bring to waist level, secure as if pressing a big ball while squeezing a small ball, etc.

Despite the cut down in the number of details it was still not easy for the new student to remember every step in the process. Sometimes its the little things that are easy to forget. The mind just keep forgetting. But never mind, we will just keep at it until all the details fall into place.

Sometimes it is better to just enjoy the learning and keep at the practice rather than to rush it. As long as the student practices regularly while keeping the steps and details in mind he should get it.

The Cult of Ip Man

Every now and then someone takes a colorized black and white photo of Ip Man, posts it to a FB forum and then proceeds to heap praise and gushes over him.

Other folks would follow with more praises. There’s no attempt to explain to explain why Ip Man is being praised.

I find this rather bizarre. If you write something about Ip Man’s contributions to the art of Wing Chun and praises his effort I can understand it.

But praising Ip Man for the sake of it?

The first thing I thought of is why is the writer praising Ip Man. Is Ip Man his grandmaster or great, great…. grandmaster? Or is he praising Ip Man because he likes Ip Man the actual person or Ip Man the semi-fictional movie character played by Donnie Yen.

Depending on which teacher I had learned from Ip Man is either my grandmaster or great grandmaster. However, my relationship to him is kinda like I know him but I know him not. Yes, I know who Ip Man is but I don’t really know him, and what I know of him is through 2nd hand or maybe even 3rd, 4th, Xth hand news.

Pre-Donnie Yen Ip Man movies some of these teachers would just refer to Ip Man as Sifu. Some might refer to him as Bloody Old Man; depending on the context.

The person referring to Ip Man in this way is either complaining about Ip Man or is using “bloody old man” as a term of endearment (if you are a Cantonese Chinese this would make sense to you otherwise you will probably be bewildered).

As example, one of my Wing Chun teachers was once on a trip with one of the top 5 disciples of Ip Man. During the trip this teacher complained that this “bloody old man” never taught much. In this context the term is used to express frustration.

In the next example, when there was a rumor that Ip Man might have a third son out there someone said that Ip Chun allegedly commented that since the bloody old man was randy, he would not be surprised if it was true. In this context, the term was one of amusement.

To me, such stories and rumors of Ip Man whether true or not, humanizes him. To me Ip Man is not a deity, a god whose tablet or photo you hang on the wall, bow and worship him.

From the stories of how Ip Man taught it sounded to me that he was a teacher who taught the traditional way in that he didn’t teach as much, preferring to let each student to practice and find his own answer.

Ip Man also did not discourage questions nor did he give absolute answers. He encouraged students to test out the art to find out for themselves if his (Ip Man) teachings were valid.

Ip Man was not above changing the art or teaching each student differently depending on what the student needed. This is unlike the diehard attitude of some of today’s students who insist on being traditional, unchanged teachings whatever the hell this really means.

Though Ip Man may sound like an undefeated superman of a master he was probably not. I read he was challenged by a Choy Li Fut school but nothing came of it. I read two sides of this story as to why the challenge never happened. I have no idea who is correct. I do know that this CLF school defeated a number of Ip Man’s students in a full contact tournament. I had lately read that Wong Shun Leung (one of those who lost in this tournament) was frustrated that the tournament format as not suitable for the use of Wing Chun techniques.

I was also told a story that Yuen Kay San (if you don’t know who he is, google – one of my WC great grandmasters from China said that Ip Man also learned from Yuen, hence Ip’s version of Wing Chun resemble Yuen’s version in many ways) was not happy with Ip Man’s flirty behaviour with his (Yuen) wife and sent Sum Nung to teach him a lesson in Hong Kong. Sum Nung apparently came but the fight didn’t happen. Why? No idea.

Then came the Donnie Yen movies. Suddenly, the name of Ip Man became a cash cow. Anyone who wanted a piece of the pie had to kowtow and play politics to be on the right side.

Overnight, Ip Man the person became synonymous with Ip Man the movie character. Ip Man, the Sifu of Wing Chun suddenly became referred to even by some of his disciples as Ip Man, Zhong-Si.

Previously, Wing Chun was found in Hong Kong, USA, Australia, New Zealand, some parts of Europe. But today, Ip Man’s version of Wing Chun is the MacDonalds of the Wing Chun world. Practitioners are found everywhere including India, Africa, Middle East and many parts of Europe.

More bizarre, Ip Man’s Wing Chun has exported back into China where it is sidelining the other more traditional versions of Wing Chun. I foresee that Ip Man’s Wing Chun DNA will even infect the traditional versions, changing their practice, and not necessarily for the better.

It is unfortunate, but this is what happens in a world where people are overwhelmed and bombarded with the same information over and over again, until fiction can become fact. The ease of information access also means research can be done by googling it instead of actually going to the ground to do it. The constant brainwashing results in failure to think, hence the cultish behaviour of wanting to deify, to worship, to praise blindly.

If you love the art of Wing Chun open your eyes wide and not throw the baby out with the bath water. No, sorry learn to see the baby first. Otherwise, once the older knowledge is lost it will be lost and then Wing Chun will be nothing but a shell of an art once great, its characteristics distorted in the face of ignorance.

A Practice A Day

There is an old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

However, I think a Tai Chi practice a day is better. This is because Tai Chi is not just an exercise for the body but for the mind too.

We say that if there is no intent then there is no Tai Chi. If you just stand there and breath then there is nothing different between what a normal person does and what you, a Tai Chi practitioner, does.

When we stand we are not standing we are activating our mind. In our mind we formulate a connection between heaven and earth. This is not some mystical shit for the New Age groupies.

Instead, it is a method to open up the body without moving visibly. The key phrase is “WITHOUT MOVING VISIBLY”. There is movement but its subtle, like a gentle ripple on the pond surface. You can’t really see it but you can feel it.

If you do it you will feel your spine lengthening as if it is reaching upwards towards the sky, hence connecting to heaven. You will also feel as if your feet is merging with the ground, developing roots that dissolve into an endless bottom, as if you are standing on quicksand.

With this connection set up then you can move into the preparatory posture with two feet apart. But you do not move without a reason. You have to use your intent to command your body to move in a specific manner so that you have an integrating between inside and outside, internal and external.

In this way when you stand in preparatory posture the way you stand is different from the way a normal person stands. You will also be standing in a manner that is not the same as the average Tai Chi practitioner.

This is only the beginning. You next have to use intent to configure the inside of your body. You don’t try to relax, you don’t try to control your breathing. This is where we approach the practice differently.

You don’t try to relax because we practice a specific method to bring about a state of minimizing the use of strength. This in turn will allow you to relax. This type of relaxation creates a state of pliant tension such that the body is like an inflated ball sans the attempts we see sometimes to be like a ball by splaying the elbows sideways.

This relaxation method is based on using the mind to tell the body to do something and this something brings about the relaxation. You don’t have to try to relax. Just doing the principle will bring about the relaxation.

We also don’t try to breathe in and out to bring about the relaxation. Doing this can cause the mind to be attached when we want to detach the mind, to allow it to quiet down, so that we can listen and feel how our body is responding to the series of commands that our mind will issue it to perform the subsequent movements.

The carrying out of the procedures to create the Ancient Bell Body will open up your body from within such that you can feel as if you are hollow inside like an actual bell.

The Bell Body will magnify the ballooning of your body like an inflated ball without having to make posture physically. This is a more natural approach. This is also why we say this is a true internal approach because you can’t see it.

We can also conceal the feeling of this internal opening of the body. When necessary we can demonstrate by letting another party feel how this opening of the body allows us to channel an external pressure into the ground without having to move the body a lot.

After the creation of the Ancient Bell Body then you can proceed to start going through the other movements of the form. You have to be careful not to lose the Ancient Bell Body. It has to be kept intact throughout the performance of the entire form.

The Ancient Bell Body is the foundation for freeing up your old habits so that you can tap and use the power that is already inherent in you.

Yes, you read correctly. We don’t have to acquire internal power, we merely have to remove the obstacles that is stopping us from being able to use what we already have all along.

Unless Newton’s Laws of Motion and Classical Mechanics do not apply to you then you already have internal power. Its just a matter of unlocking it.

Power issue aside, practicing Tai Chi daily with the Ancient Bell Body is beneficial for your health. For one it makes for good posture by opening up your joints. This is something that you will understand once you feel it.

The second point is that Tai Chi practice somehow energizes the body. This is why it is good to practice it in the morning and if possible, do it also in the evening.

Spiciness & Internal

Is your Tai Chi internal?

I doubt you would find anyone who would say their Tai Chi is not internal unless they know they are just doing the exercise version.

However, what does being internal mean? This is not an easy topic to tackle.

Let’s look at it another way, something that all of us can understand. If you don’t you can always find out easily.

Take the Ghost chilli pepper. Is it spicy? Definitely.

How about Carolina Reaper chilli pepper? It is spicy too.

What about a more normal chilli? For example, the Shishito pepper from Japan. It is spicy too to those that can’t take heat.

All the above peppers are spicy but that doesn’t tell us much until you put one in your mouth.

If you take a bite from a Shishito pepper you would go ah, not too bad. Then you bite into a Carolina Reaper, and find yourself practically jumping out of your seat and reach for water (actually you should reach for milk).

Then after this when you put a Ghost pepper in your mouth it would also feel spicy but not as bad as when you bit into the Carolina Reaper.

Taste is subjective. So is the ability to take heat. So what is spicy to one person may not be to another person.

As such, we can end up with arguments of this pepper is spicy and this is not. Its just like the way we argue about this Tai Chi being internal and another Tai Chi is not.

Except in the case of pepper we have an objective way to define the heat level. This is where the Scoville scale comes in to measure the concentration of capsaicin and record it in SHU units (Scoville Heat Units).

By using the Scoville scale it would be difficult for someone to argue that the Ghost Pepper (1,041,427 SHU) is more spicy than the Carolina Reaper Pepper (1,569,300 SHU).

We would also know where the Shishito Pepper (50-200 SHU) stands in terms of heat in relation to the other two peppers.

Now wouldn’t it be nice if we can develop something like the Scoville scale to define where a particular Tai Chi system lies on a scale from most external to most internal.

The problem with this scale is that everyone wants to argue that their approach is internal without being able to assign a specific and clear definition to what this means. It would be even better if there is a scientific approach to it.

Again, when we look at how science defines the Scoville scale they didn’t just leave it up to a board of tasters to define what is spicy and how spicy is each type of pepper.

Instead, they used a scientific approach to answering this question. This resuled in the Scoville Organoleptic Test in which a tester would extract the capsaicin oil from a dried pepper.

This extract is diluted with sugar water to the point where the heat can no longer be tasted by a panel of professional taste testers. How much dilution is required to get here would determine how many Scoville units is assigned to the tested pepper.

We can borrow an idea from this test by checking a number of factors. One of them would be how much movement is visible or better still, can be measured (whether by sensors or by a high speed camera) of a power generation process that is impacting a shock force on a consistent object (or person) that is giving a constant amount of resistance (or an amount of resistance that is proportional to the weight, height and muscle strength) of the person being tested.

That there are a lot of politics within Tai Chi not to mention the size of egos and money involved means that an independent means of determining what internal means will never be developed.

Shock vs Vibration

I remember reading about vibrating palm a long time ago.

The thing about terminology is that the person using it may not understand what the term really means.

Neither does the average reader like me. So I went on thinking that vibrating palm is like a super duper powerful strike.

A decade, maybe two or three, I have a better understanding of what the term vibration and by extension vibrating means as it relates to rotating machinery.

This is where I realized that those who called their palm strike by the name vibrating palm may not understand what vibration is about and as such has given a meaningless term to what they do.

There’s a study here on the impact on the wrist from playing different sports. Unfortunately, there’s nothing on the impact of striking though catching a ball would be closer to what impact would be like from striking. The author concluded that the three worst events are :-

i) Throwing a baseball
ii) Catching a football
iii) Hitting a volleyball

Of the three it looks to me that the football catch and volleyball hit would be the closest to what impact on the wrist would be like if you are punching with a fist as the motion affects the z-axis.

By comparison, the baseball throw sees the wrist moving more over three axes and is more like what a hand slap / relaxed palm strike would be like.

The author concluded that :-

a) The level of vibration affecting the wrist is low. Extrapolating this conclusion onto a vibrating strike by referencing baseball, football and volleyball I suspect that the term vibrating strike would be a misnomer!

b) Sports that are more damaging on the wrist are those that tend to cause the bones and ligaments to absorb a sudden high level of shock.

If this is true then I would think that the relaxed palm strike aka vibrating palm is actually generating shock force rather than vibration. If you study how the body moves when going through the motions of a powerful palm strike you are likely to see the entire body move in a sinuous manner, a movement pattern that allows acceleration to build up before suddenly dumping the accumulated force into a target in the form of a shock energy.

This is why the energy of a palm strike is sometimes compared to that of a wave motion. This being the case a vibrating palm should properly be termed a shock palm.

Another Tragedy

A tragic attack occurred this week. A student was murdered by another with an axe in school. Details at present are scarce.

We can never be vigilant enough in today’s climate. However, being vigilant is not enough. We have to be able to respond to the situation if we are forced to do so.

In Kali we are taught that the attack that we don’t see is the attack that gets you. As such, if you didn’t see the attack coming then no matter how skillful you are there’s nothing you can do.

But if you do see the attack coming then the question is how much time do you have to react. Can you run? Or do you have to fight? And there’s not a lot of time to think about it. This is why we train, to learn how to decide, to know how confident we are if we have to act.

We don’t train a lot of techniques because it is self defeating if you don’t have enough time to be proficient in all of them. We train enough techniques, that limited they may be, they enable us to mix and match to come up with more. The more you train the same technique the better you will be, and the more confident you are to use it.

The most common attack whether using an axe, a machete, a box cutter would be the Angle 1 slashing strike. Some people refer to this as the caveman strike because even people who never trained martial arts will instinctively use it. I see ladies use the Angle 1 slap naturally in fights. They would grab and pull the hair to pull the head down and slap away.

Knowing how the Angle 1 strike works, knowing how to use it ourselves whether when using a stick, a sword or knife is part and parcel of learning how to deal with it. We learn to not just disarm the training partner of the weapon. Instead, we learn to take it away from them so that we know have a weapon if we don’t have one already.

Having a weapon gives you an advantage. How you use this advantage whether to stop with minimal damage, or inflict punishing strikes or even life taking techniques is something you have to decide. This is what Japanese samurai mean by the blade that takes life is also the blade that gives life.

Again, if there is a situation we would like to call the police but this is not always an option. When an attack is upon you suddenly and you instinctively reach for your phone then you are reacting to the situation. If you drop your phone or suddenly realize that the weapon is about to strike you and you change your reaction it will be too late. We don’t like it but in such situations sometimes your life is really in your own hands depending on your reaction and the attacker’s reaction to your response

Dictionary Form

Open up a dictionary. Or even use an online dictionary.

Look for a word, any word. For example, APPLE.

You get a definition of what APPLE is which is that apple is a round fruit with firm, white flesh, skin of green, red or yellow.

Then you are given context in which the word APPLE can be used. For example, peeling an APPLE, plucking from APPLE tree, making APPLE pie.

You are also given examples of how the word APPLE is used in sentences. For example, he took a bite from the apple. Or an apple fell on Newton’s head and enlightened him to the existence of gravity.

The Wing Chun SNT form is sometimes referred to as a dictionary form. So as a dictionary form we would expect to find defined techniques, the context in which the technique is used and example of how it is applied.

For example, Fak Sau is a strike with the blade of the palm (definition). The context in which it can be used is as a chopping attack to the throat. In terms of usage we can parry the opponent’s punch as we sit back and turn the body, followed by which we quickly sit forward and whisk our palm to strike the throat.

As a dictionary form we have thus learn Fak Sau in the following manner :-

a) What is Fak Sau? How does the movement go? What is the body mechanics of the arm movement when our body is kept facing squarely, allowing us to study the movement of the arm in isolation.

b) What is body turning? Why do we turn the body? What are the biomechanical actions? How much should we turn the body? How does turning the body assist in executing the Fak Sau technique?

c) Why do we sit back and then forward? What stances are used here? What are the body mechanics? How does shifting the stance add to power generation?

So when you consider the above you can see why the Siu Nim Tao (or Siu Lin Tao in some Wing Chun styles) is a dictionary form. In the modern variant factors (b) and (c) have been eliminated. Instead, factors (b) and (c) are studied in Chum Kiu and Biu Jee but not in as clear a manner as when they are delineated within Siu Nim Tao.

When factors (a) to (c) are studied within Siu Nim Tao students can then go on to Chum Kiu and Biu Jee and examine the key lessons of each form instead of trying to seek that which is supposed to be in Siu Nim Tao in the first place but revised out.

I would say revising the form to a shorter version is not necessarily a bad thing. But when this shorter version is not taught with an understanding of how to use a shorter form then a lot of things will get lost in the transition from longer to shorter form.

So the basics learned in Siu Nim Tao are then practiced in Chum Kiu. As designed there are no new techniques in Chum Kiu that have not been learned in Siu Nim Tao. What is found in Chum Kiu are but the techniques of Siu Nim Tao rearranged to teach the application of the principle of seeking bridge as a fighting strategy.

By comparison, learners of the modern versions of Chum Kiu will now be learning how to step, turn body and seek the bridge. They are only given short samples of how to apply some of the techniques of Siu Nim Tao to carry out the strategy.

When you consider the prevalent learning in this limited manner it is not surprising that modern Wing Chun practitioners can learn an entire spectrum of techniques at the Siu Nim Tao level but when they try to apply what they learn in Chi Sau they are only able to use very few techniques instead of using all the techniques as they should. If Wing Chun is a smartly designed art it would have gotten rid of techniques that are not practical or hardly used. But that is not the case though in practice this seems to be it. That students or even teachers fail to see this learning logic is ironic.

At this point we are only considering the basics that should be learned. We have not considered that Wing Chun in the older variants also teach case studies relating to the application of techniques. An example would be how to apply the techniques to counter an opponent using locks.

On another level, the students are also taught to refine they way they move, the way they apply the techniques and so on. The practice of the weapons is meant to enhance and change the way the body is structured and mobilized. In today’s learning of the weapons these “it” factors are missing. They also happen to be indicators as to whether a person has learned the weapons properly.

The Wing Chun system is designed to be learned in a certain way. When practiced following the road map you should acquire certain body characteristics that allows you to apply the techniques in line with the strategy, principles and power generation methods of the system.