One of the greatest advantages of Wing Chun is its ability to be ambidextrous, having the same skill in both arms and legs, to not need an obvious guard or preferred stance, in fact nothing to give away the fact that you may have any knowledge of self-defense.
It is often the case however that a student will choose a favourite side in Chi Sau, sparring or when practicing Pak Sau drills etc. but it is important that we train both sides equally.
So how do we do that?
If we are playing Chi Sau and your Tan is too low then I would suggest that you need more Siu Lim Tau.
If your turns are weak or you Bong Sau lacking, then I would suggest you need more Chum Kiu training.
But how much are we really benefiting from our formwork and how much do we know our forms?
One of the most common issues I am asked to deal with is when a student seems to have good energy on their left arm, but are not able to fully connect the same way on their right arm.
A simple reason for this can be because of how they play their Siu Lim Tau.
They will start the form will full intention and full focus on the development of building energy, in fact the more experienced you are, the more you are likely to have this problem yourself.
The reason I say this is because, being an experienced practitioner, you would start the form correctly, by slowly moving forward with the
Left Tan Sau, and the more you ‘Get into it’ the more you slow down and the more energy you build.
When it comes time for you to start moving your Right Tan Sau forward, you may be a little tired, become distracted or aware of your now limited time and therefore rush this side, not giving it the attention the left had enjoyed.
So what’s the solution?
Occasionally train your form right side first.
This way your right side will gain the luxury of the fullest attention and the luxury of time, letting yourself be fully submersed into the building of energy, forgetting about time completely.
And if you find there’s little or no time remaining for the left side?
Don’t do it!
Training this way will help you to better understand the form, to gain fresh enjoyment from it and it will also help your students should you be teaching this and face to face.
But do not stop at Siu Lim Tau, do this for Chum Kiu also, starting by turning to the right side first with you Pie Jarns (Level elbow) or Lan Sau’s (Bar arm), and finishing with the turning kick from your right leg instead of your left.
This method of training is also important to apply when playing the Wooden Dummy by training each section starting with a right guard instead of the left, except sections 2 and 5, which in this case will begin from a left guard instead of the right.
As I say, this is a great way of training and will revitalize your love of formwork and bring a hold new approach to your skill improvement.
To make sure you do not risk corrupting your overall technique or allow questionable moves to creep in and poison your Wing Chun, it is probably best that this is only played one in five, that way you will 100% always remember and know which is the correct form and which is the fun adjustment.