Backward Forms


Try going backwards?



The other day I had the great pleasure of watching a Siu Lim Tau being performed by one of my online students from overseas, oh and by the way this was done via video, not live.


Across the world there seem to be many variations to peoples practicing of the Siu Lim Tau Form (for whatever reasons) and although we tend not to think of our own as being different, when we do see ‘ours’ performed there does tend to be a kind of comfort blanket about the thing, a familiar, warming feeling to it, almost like having a particular flavor if you like.


At have students from all around the world and it is great to see them progressing and developing in Ip Chun’s Wing Chun, it

gives me such a proud feeling that I am able to help spread the teachings of my Sifu.


I am not trying to boast, I am simply sharing my joy in seeing our family grow, and it really does feel like that when watching this Form trained in this, ‘our’ correct manner, the little nuances and characteristics that make it undeniably, ours.


This has in NO WAY been changed to suit our needs, far from it, in fact this is one of my most important rules, that the pattern must not be changed, having a recognized pattern is to me in the way that you recognize a childs’ link to their parents, perhaps by the shape of the mouth or nose, or even just the glint in their eye, keeping the Form exactly the same, shows a connection within OUR family.


If you are at a point I your training where you are happy and confident with your Form work, it is always nice to find a difference or variation to your Form, I am (of course!) referring to the approach to the Form, again, not the pattern.


One simple way to spice up your Form training is to try playing your Form mirrored, by working the right side of your body first.


This is a great remedy for anyone who may have found themselves not feeling balanced, not as confident or strong on their right side as they may be on their left, especially when it comes to energy.


Well the reason for this is pretty obvious…


You may start your Siu Lim Tau training with the best intent, checking that you have enough time and the allowed peace and quiet to focus on the building of energy, but sometimes, especially if you have been able to really ‘Get into it’, then you may find that after finishing the left side, time has run away from you a little, leaving less time for the right side, so, by training the right side first, you will allow yourself the same luxury and freshness that is usually enjoyed by the left side.


The same can be said for the sections of a Form, all Forms.


If we look at the learning of Siu Lim Tau to start with, and let’s say you spend one month on the first section (just to make up a simple timeframe), then we move onto the second section for a second month.

With this in mind then, after the second section has had one month of practice time, the first section will have had two months, likewise then, when the third section has one month of training behind it, the second section will have two months and the first section will have three months…

Get it?


Providing that is that you remember to use my;

‘As well as, not instead of’ mentality.


So, to change any unfair advantage when it comes to balanced training, why not start your training session by only training the third section, then the second and then the third, then the first, second and third, this is best used for the longer Forms such as the Dummy or Knives.


In Siu Lim Tau you should break this down even further by starting with the close segment, then the Bong segment, then the Garns, then the Outside Pak, and so on, all the way back to the right punch, left punch and the checking of centerline.


This can be drilled, in reverse further still by using the overlapping section idea in a segmented breakdown, by this I mean…

Start with the Low Garns to the close…

Then the Bong/Tan followed by the Low Garns to the close,

Then the Garns, followed by the Bong/Tan followed by the Low Garns to the close,

Then the Outside Paks, followed by the Garns, followed by the Bong/Tan followed by the Low Garns to the close,

And so, it continues…


This way we start to use the same drilling method but with the difference being that the latter part of the Form has a chance to be on the receiving end of the gaining of mileage.


Developing such a detailed understanding of the makeup of your Forms is a terrific tool too have in your arsenal, as a practitioner and especially one day as your progression toward being an Instructor.


So for those of you who are continuing to progress, I would like to take a moment to thank you all sincerely, for training so hard and so well and may you all continue to grow and I look forward to the day when we are all able to meet in person.


Who knows what is in store for us?

Thank you



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