Splitting Your Mind For Siu Lim Tau
Split Your Mind
In the first Form, Siu Lim Tau, which translates as ‘Little Idea’, called this because when we train the form we are thinking of only one thing, that of creating energy, especially in the first section where we focus on energy from the elbow, but the question is, how do we create this energy and is there more to it?
Obviously in order to be able to commit ourselves to focusing 100% on thinking only of the elbow, we would need to have first studied the pattern in detail, otherwise how can you commit all of your thought to this development if you are constantly trying to remember the next move in the sequence?
To someone who has yet to learn this Form in its entirety, we can get away with this by just learning the moves of the first section.
In order to have a chance of developing energy successfully (after learning the simple pattern of course) we need to rely on our imagination by trying to split your mind into four equal parts.
1/ – First you must tell yourself that the Tan Sau (and Fook Sau) MUST move forwards, no matter what.
2/ – Secondly you must convince equally yourself that there is a massive resistance against this forward intention.
3/ – Next we start to move onto the tricky bit, by telling yourself that the first and second rules MUST both be applied but while doing this, you CANNOT use muscle.
4/ – Now if these first three stages have been carried out correctly, and convincingly, we should then start to be aware of something else presenting itself.
This is the Forth area, the mystery box if you like, here you will begin to feel that there is something else available to you, something which also feels like a strength, but is not just that of muscle, this is you beginning to feel energy.
This new feeling will feel more skeletal rather than muscular, as you try to lose any tension in the forearm making it feel to the touch more like that of cooking a rare steak rather than a well done one.
It is vital for the beginner to know that this will not be some kind of an instant super power, with a force emanating from your arm the likes of which you have never known.
Elbow energy is something that will need to be discovered before it can be built upon, therefore, when we talk of resistance against the forward intention, make sure this is only light to begin with, after all you wouldn’t go to the gym and expect to lift the heavy weights on the first day would you!
Ip Ching once said to me:
“Tension in the hand develops energy from the elbow”
What this means is that, by simply twisting the wrist and straightening the fingers on a Tan (a little), will assist in helping you to imagine resistance, however this is often misunderstood with too much tension being applied, resulting in no energy being discovered.
Within our bodies we have white blood cells to help kill off diseases, but this is very difficult for them to do their job when we bombard ourselves with stress, strain, nerves, tension and so on.
You may think…
“Well what about when we sleep, do they get a chance to work then?”
Unfortunately not, this is why we have bad sleep due to tossing and turning, bad dreams and restlessness etc.
Giving ourselves a reason to direct 100% of our focus on something, anything in fact, but in this case the elbow, allows our body to do its job, to protect us from the inside out and to make us feel better.
As Ip Chun said:
“You don’t stop doing Wing Chun because you got old you got old because you stopped doing Wing Chun”
So start every day with a little Siu Lim Tau, it will do you the world of good and help give you the confidence to face the world each day and all its challenges.