Siu Lim Tau, How Do You Play Yours?


We all play our Siu Lim Tau the same, or at least it looks that way to the naked eye and at first glance, but this is not necessarily so.


In the 1980’s we tended to play one way, that way, and the only way, but when Master Ip Chun invited me to go to Hong Kong and everything changed.

Not overnight, not by a long way.


When I first started training it was on the relaxation and as time progressed, the rebuilding of elbow energy, pretty standard so far eh?

It was some time later that I was then told to use the energy only on the way out and to keep relaxed on the way back in, I thought nothing of this instruction but simply took it onboard as gospel.


Six months later however after a brief return home to the UK, there I was again, in Hong Kong, again under Sifu’s guidance, as he watched me play Siu lim Tau, but this time telling me to remember, that I should use the energy only on the way back in and keep relaxed on the way out!



I started to think all sorts of things, mainly of how stupid I had been to not listen to him properly the first time as now I had to relearn!


As the months passed it changed again, and again, until it finally hit me that I wasn’t being confused or tricked but simply being taught the form in the way that I needed it for MY development at THAT particular time.


So the point is this, play your form the way you need to play it in order to get the results you need in the area you are lacking in (If that makes sense?).


The pattern will always remain the same, but while running through the 1st section, change your mindset from time to time, giving attention to:

Development of elbow energy (obviously)


The movement of the arm with maximum relaxation


The path the elbow takes,

The path the hand takes,

The retreating guard hand awareness,

The position of the thumb,

Your posture,

Your breathing,

Your back arms elbow position,

Your hips and stance,

And so on..


This way we can make the most of our Siu Lim Tau, not only with its most basic attitude and most obvious results, but also as a blueprint and a tool for helping in the correction of so many areas of your Wing Chun.


So how will you play yours today?

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