Straights and Scoops

Not always black and white


We need to be aware, that what we train in class is not always what happens in the street, think of class work being how we train this as extremes.


Exaggerate and highlight everything in class training and then allow those techniques to relax and flow when (or if) used in the street.


It’s like the old saying:


Train hard to fight easy


Not everything is black and white or Yin and Yang.


Nothing is carved in stone when it comes to Wing Chun, although there are guidelines to which we adhere;


Do not overcommit

Protect centreline

Do not rely on muscle strength

Never do anything you cannot recover from

And of course the core principles of Wing Chun:

Conservation of energy, and minimum movement


Sarm Bok Mar drills are a good example of this, the super wide stance and exaggerated stepping is purely there to better understand the grounding we are training, should we need to ‘Lock horns’ as well as the ability to move the body as a whole.


Just like when avoiding a take down.


In Biu Mar stance we have 70% of the weight on the back leg, realistically, this would probably be more like 60% on the back leg.


The reason for this is one of practicality as 60/40 distribution of weight, leaves you only a 10% shift away from the ‘non telegraphed’ (70/30) Biu Mar kick, or only a 10% shift away from being 50/50 SBM or basic stance (should you need either).


I often feel a little nervous about sharing this kind of information, as mentioning these points too early in someone’s Wing Chun training, could easily create laziness in a students future development.


This idea may also be used for a turning stance?


The bigger the turn (using the stance) the bigger the avoidance, obviously.

But on occasion, it may actually be ok to just twist at the waist if, the required turn is only very slight, however, if you need to get the hell out of there, you will probably need the feet too in order to save your knees getting damaged through twisting.


Now I started this blog by calling it:

‘Straight and Scoops’


And saying that:

Not everything is black and white or Yin and Yang.


So here’s something Straight and Scoopy, to get your teeth into:

You will nearly always attack Down centre

And you will nearly always defend, by getting Onto centre


Any Martial Art will always been learned in 3 stages:

1/         Learn the shapes

2/         Learn to defend using these shapes

3/         Learn to defend with these shapes, and then counter attack

Anyone can hit, so YOU need to not get hit, but first you need to know what to use, in order to not get hit.


Siu Lim Tau as a Form follows these principles too:


First section

The structure, focus, direction, stance and so on (as well as the obvious, Elbow Energy of course).

What we also train in the First section of Siu Lim Tau is the Straight line that we will later be attacking down.


Second section

The correct use of energy but all applied as defensive moves.


Third section

Power applied as ‘Block and counter attacks’.


And if your thoughts now go to the defence of a hook punch by turning with a Biu, well you will still need to turn with your defence but be straight with your attack.


This is also the same when using a straight Tan Sau, because it’s not really going to be straight is it?

The finished position may look Straight but its journey was definitely one of a Scoop.




Because two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time


The Tan would Scoop to centre, deflecting the Straight punch away.

Oh, and if your attacker had not punched down centre then it looks like they probably had a few drinks too many to fight anyway!


Considering this while training may help to answer questions along the way.


Thank you.


Start typing and press Enter to search