Do You Know Where You’re Striking?


When we play our forms there are so many different elements we can draw from them, and none more so than in our Siu Lim Tau.


Whether it’s:

The development of elbow energy

Centerline defence or attacking control

Your thumb position



Mental focus

or whatever you may choose at that time of drilling.


Yesterday I was playing my Siu Lim Tau and decided to think about where exactly I was attacking, and it was great!


A nice and refreshing take on the form, feeling each strike land, and with the exact force I wanted to apply, in order to ‘Get the job done’.


It’s the easiest thing to just go through the motions of the form, landing the energy at the end of each technique, timing the application of power, so that as fast as you switch it on, you are able to switch it off again.


But when using the attacks in these forms, do we actually think of where we are hitting, how much power would I need to do that right and be successful in injuring our attacker, or indeed how do I need to ‘Brace on impact’ in order to not injure myself when that strike lands.


In first section for instance, I see so many people after the inside Pak Sau, strike forward with the Jic Jern (Straight palm) but have this far too low.

Sometimes created as an accidental trade off from using a mirror to practice, and subsequently lowing your position to make sure you can see what you are doing.

But when striking with the Jic Jern, the heel of the palm should be striking toward the top lip of your opponent, pushing his nose up and in (In all form training ‘for reference’, your attacker is the same height as you), therefore, if this palm strike is executed properly, at that moment you should NOT be able to see your face in the mirror, and when leveling the hand ready for the close (with the palm facing up), it would appear in the mirror as though your head is sitting on the top of your palm.


In second section, how many of us focus on the very fingertips of the double Biu’s, using this as either a powerful deflection of an attack (So fingers lightly in) or as a strike to the eyes (Fingers pointing forward and splayed slightly)?


And the Wan Jern’s (Side palms) in third section, how much thought goes on this first strike (after the outside Pak Sau) being to the jaw, or with the low side palm (after the Heun Sau), breaking a rib?


It is always nice to find a fresh perspective in the Siu Lim Tau, and to keep changing this often too.


The pattern will always remain the same but our daily interpretation must be allowed to flourish.


As Ip Man said, “Anyone can add on to a system, the secret is to try take away from it but still keeping it pure“.

So by this, do not add on to the forms, just try to better understand them.


In this way we use the forms correctly and keep developing from it daily.

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