A Twenty-Minute Siu Lim Tau
I have heard students many times ask Master Ip Chun:
“At what speed should I play my Siu Lim Tau?”
To which the answer is usually:
“The slower the better”
But being slow is not what builds elbow energy; actually to be successful it’s the other way around.
When you train your form correctly and start to feel energy in the elbow, the sensation is one that you will want to maintain and it is this that makes the form slow, any sudden movement will cause a break in concentration and the feeling is gone.
Sometimes however a student may find it hard to get this feeling in the first place if distracted by time restraints, therefore it’s not a bad idea to have some understanding or sense of pace before you start.
This can be done by practicing your form facing toward a clock with a second hand but do not focus on the time itself only the second hand.
After opening your hand ready for Tan Sau allow at least sixty seconds for the final position to be completed, slowly change to Mun Sau, THEN, allow at least sixty seconds for the return.
DO NOT be tempted to make changes quickly in order to keep the sixty second time frame always beginning from the same number on the clock.
Wherever the second hand is when you have completed your change, this is where it will set off from and return too before considering the next change (I hope that makes sense?).
With one Tan Sau and three Fook Sau’s, going out and four Mun/Wu Sau’s coming back, all to around sixty seconds for each revolution (or more), this will be at least sixteen minutes, including slow changes and the rest of the form this is an easy and comfortable twenty-minute Siu Lim Tau.
Remember, I am not just trying to get you to play a slow form, but instead to get comfortable with such a lack of pace throughout these actions and therefore not be anxious of time when you find what you are looking for in the form, energy, because when you do get it, you should stay with it as long as you can, THIS is what we are training toward after all.
Tick Tock everyone!