This is my second post on the Siu Nim Tau form. Remember that from my last post I mentioned that at Havant VT, we follow the Wong Shun Leung Cliff Au Yeung VT method , this means that we split the form into four sections. So this section is the “slow” part in most other ways of thinking.
I would also like to reiterate that the ideas and thoughts contained in this blog are intended for my students at HVT but of course if anyone else can glean something useful from them then that would be great. These posts are made from all the notes I have taken during my time studying VT, specifically the last six years since my involvement with Sifu Cliff Au Yeung.
So lets take a look at Section 2 of the Mother Form.
SIU NIM TAU – SECTION 2
The First Taan Sau
The first Taan Sau we encounter, comes out slowly at a slight angle and as it reaches the peak of its forward movement it has levelled out fully. The is also a slight outward spiralling action. When complete the forearm will be horizontal with the ground and 90 degrees to the body. The way we see it is that if you do not implement this in your forms then you are simply learning to block. The little finger should lie just near the centre with the elbow directly behind the wrist. Keep in mind that all the time the arms are being used, they should be led by the elbow.
When practising the first Taan Sau the elbow should be kept close to the body as if a force is pressing sideways into the body from the elbow. By sticking close to the body you are learning not to oppose the incoming force. The idea is that you are bringing the elbow to its optimal position so that you can now gain force from the waist. As this imaginary frontal contact has been made you begin to sit the waist to counteract the incoming force. This is the midway of the arm working with the midway of the body. Taan Sau is a multiple use action which can be used for many purposes.
For more insight into the three uses of Taan Sau check this awesome video by Sifu Cliff Au Yeung, courtesy of UFA Ving Tsun Martial Arts, home of the Wong Shun Leung Ving Tsun Kuen Hok Association of Canada (WSLVT Canada)
Wu Sau – The Guarding Hand
Wu Sau gives you a good structured space to work and allows you to fight in your ideal fighting range. When in close you should use the Guard Hand a lot to give you a safe zone to work from. When you are working close on the inside it can be very easy for opponent to trap your elbows. If the opponent is much larger than you, then you can use your whole forearm against their body. Think of Wu Sau like a warriors shield defending the enemy attack, leaving your other hand to free to counter attack. A wide area on each side can be covered by just by raising the Wu Sau higher. A smaller person can also use the high Guard Hand to engage the enemy, this will leave them in a better position to attack in range with good structure. This use of the Wu Sau can also become a strike of its own, so after you have deflected the attack, the elbow of the Wu Sau can continue to attack to your opponents chest area.
In the Siu Nim Tau form and immediately after the Huen Sau, we drop our elbow out to the position which is directly below the shoulder. The palm of the Wu Sau is held at the level of your solar plexus with the fingers pointing upwards, thumb tucked in. As with the Taan Sau, we can now imagine a strong force hitting into the wrist or arm as the Wu Sau forms. To dissipate this force you must use the sitting action to allow the force to be transferred into the ground. Of course if the force is too strong you may be forced to step back. Beginners can omit the sit at first.
The Wu Sau elbow then slightly draws back as the hand retreats.
Here Sifu Cliff Au Yeung explains more about the use of Wu Sau:
On finishing the Wu Sau, your elbow is left just outside your border so the elbow should now begin to draw back to the same position as the Taan sau. The forearm starts with a slight downward angle from the wrist to the elbow. Now we visualise a force driving from the inside of the arm or elbow and we need to get back our optimal position. As the elbow hugs inwards the wrist goes from a slightly higher position to the same height as in the first Taan sau with the forearm level to the ground. Also note that the fingers of the Fook Sau are pointing diagonally downwards with a gentle inside spiralling force.
The reason we pull the wrist and fingers back in Fook Sau is to train the muscles that support the elbow, so that after a long time practising we can make the muscle tense without pulling back the wrist. So in Chi Sau you should not have the wrist or fingers pulled back any more, because you now want some forward force. In application we don’t actually use Fook Sau because a better choice of action is Jaam Sau or Jaat Sau. In Poon sau you should use your Fook Sau to check your partners incoming Taan sau allowing you to absorb its force and spring backwards.
Juk Jeung/Jing Jeung
Keep the palm close to the body and the fingers pointing slightly backwards and sit as the palm pushes across. Beginners should now draw the elbow back to centre before sending the Jing Jeung out at a upwards angle to face height, driving up into the chin. This will drive the force downwards. Do not lock the elbow but release the force like a spring or bow. Seniors should do this action in one movement.
The Juk Jeung or Side Palm needs to be close to the body as it is used in conjunction with Gum Sau when using the shoulder to protect the centreline. The close position of Juk Jeung is important as it brings you closer to the enemy allowing more leverage. Juk Jeung is also used in Jut San Po Pei from the wooden dummy to cover the centre and check the enemies elbow. Note that a taller person may not use this action unless facing a taller opponent.
We finish with another Huen sau and return to start position. Repeat.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!
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