It’s a tree


It’s a tree.


“It’s a tree”

When teaching applications from the Wooden Dummy form this is a phrase I ask students to remember, simply because it may get you out of all sorts of confusion and keep you safe from misrepresentation.

For example, it’s worth noting that for the most part, whenever we see ourselves stepping ‘toward’ the Dummy (Our opponent), this is most likely to be our opponent (The Dummy) coming toward us.

So why doesn’t this happen?

It’s a tree.



In section three we see Mun Sau followed with a stepped away side kick to the hip joint.

Why do we move and not the Dummy?

It’s a tree.



In section six after using the Tan and Palm, we draw the foot in so we can kick with the other leg this, should be us stepping through our opponent, not bring our feet together, but we do not.


It’s a tree.



The whole form is riddled with such compromises, but this is not always the case as the form is laid out in a way simply to make it convenient in its flowing.

Try to think of this as the alphabet, there is little reason for such order apart from a coincidental flow.

Some of these letters may go well together and some may not.


As some of you more experienced practitioners will know, this is exactly the reason why the applications in sections seven and eight are flawed.

In the order the techniques run, they simply would not work in application, but this running order was left this way by Grandmaster Ip Man, as it proved to be a more fluid pattern, providing that the student knew the truth about these applications.



Remember, I did say that this phrase, (It’s a tree), may get you out of all sorts of confusion and keep you safe from misrepresentation.


Therefore use it in context, if you are confused by an application when playing the Dummy form, try to take a different approach to this sequence by reminding yourself…

It’s a tree.




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