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Siu Nim Tao

Siu Nim Tao (the way of the little idea or little idea form) is the first traditional form in Wing Chun Kung Fu. The historical investigations that cover Siu Nim Tao form creation and the other forms are many and you can find evidence in the net of how the style came about for those who are interested in the history of this beautiful style and martial art.

What is more important is the understanding of the philosophy and concept that constructs the art. As you get deeper in the study of Wing Chun you realise that it is without a doubt a martial art that was developed by very experienced martial artists who I believe were spiritual (Their quest for self-knowledge through martial arts is evident to the philosophy that accompanies the combat art).

They understood the anatomy of the body, the generation of power and energy, what works and doesn’t in terms of combat arts, and last but not least the philosophy that goes hand in hand with any real martial art which provides balance in the practitioner’s life.

Form characteristics

All the movements used in the system are contained in Siu Nim Tao hence its importance. It is the foundation of any practitioner. Think of it as the foundation of a house the deeper and levelled it is the stronger the house. There is no leg movement in the form the feet only move to set up the stance (Goat stance); but a hip movement is introduced at the end of the form to introduce the next form “Chum Kiu”.

It also introduces the martial artist to Qi Gong.

Siu Nim Tao practice

  • Defines the centreline and teaches students where their hands individually should be with respect to it.
  • To stop delusional thoughts.
  • Teaches students how to execute Wing Chun strikes correctly.
  • Reinforces the correct elbow position.
  • Instils correct breathing patterns.
  • Educate the student about the generation of short range power strikes and blocks.
  • Helps the discovery of the source of the individual’s energy.
  • Develops independent body power.
  • Great emphasis is put on relaxation while performing Siu Nim Tao. This facilitates efficiency of movement and speed. This means that you use your subconscious mind to move without the aid of your muscle tension or in other word without brute force.

First level syllabus (Beginners)

The student should achieve the following after completing the 1st level:

  • 1st form and applications.
  • Centre line punch  (“Yai chi kuen”). 
  • Double punch (“Sheung kuen”).                    
  • Turning or diagonal punch (“Ju sun ma”).
  • Bong sau, lap sau, tan sau, pak sau, jum sau.
  • Single hand chi sao (“Chi dan sao”).
  • Bong lap sao drills.
  • Independent power.
  • Understanding of the basic foundation of Wing Chun blocks and strikes.
  • Basic footwork at the end of this stage will be introduced.
  • At this point the students will be tested formally or informally to move on to the next stage.
  • A basic understanding of relaxation should start to be perceived at this stage.

2. Second form – Chum Kiu

Chum Kiu (Seeking the bridge) moves the Wing Chun practitioner from the stationary Siu Nim Tao position, and introduces them to movement and generation of power while moving.