Welcome back to the HVT Blog where we have been looking at the Siu Nim Tau form.
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Sibak Gung Cliff Au Yeung has said to me many times that in the Wong Shun Leung system it is common that the movement has no name at all, but when Master Wong went overseas to teach they needed a Western name to identify each technique. It is probably wise that you should dedicate less time to understanding the names of each action and more about the explanation of the movements and what they are used for.
It is worth noting here that it would seem that there are two groups of Wing Chun people, those who focus on the movement of the hands to give them the name of the technique and those who focus on the elbow movement for the name although they may be exactly the same technique.
Gum sau or Pressing Hand is a good example. So if you instead focus on the elbow it becomes Dung Sau.
Gum Sau/Dung Sau
So here is how we practice this action. For the first Gum sau you turn the left hand over and press the downwards keeping it close to body on the same line as the shoulder. This very simple action teaches us not to hold the force in the elbow but release it fully. So beginners may see this as a hand action but it is really all down to the expansion of the elbow. This allows us to use our shoulder to drive into our opponent of our elbow has been taken off the centreline. The emphasis on the Dung Sau allows us to release the force and project it forwards through the shoulder and not hold it in the body. This is then repeated on the right.
We then move the hands round and up, being pulled by the elbows. Hands are close together. Then sit as you drive the palm strikes diagonally down and backwards ending with the hands further apart. You should also sit to counter act the outward force. You can test this against a wall, if you don’t sit you will propel yourself forwards. This action of moving the elbows round the body to hit/grab groin can be used to create space if you cannot shrug off a bear hug.
Front Gum Sau in application is with one arm and a shift of stance as in the Chum Kiu form. Make sure that the fingers are pointing slightly upwards to emphasise the palm using the correct position given in Siu Nim Tau.
The front and side Gum sau can also be used in contact to disrupt someone who attempts to kick or raise a knee. More on this when we discuss Chi Sau.
Saat Geng Sau/Faak Sau
To set up this next movement, cross the arms making sure that the elbows are lower than the shoulder, then drop the elbow back to the waist position and at the same time bend the wrists outwards, arms parallel to the shoulders. Beginners should work this very slowly at first because you need to understand that the elbow is gaining back the centreline to find the line of attack. You must sit the waist as the elbow draws down which will gain force ready to be driven forwards.
As the arms outstretch we use the same wrist action as in a punch, so the fingers travel straight along the shoulder line until the wrist bends and the elbow joints expand. Beginners can do this in two actions but of course it should end up being one when you understand the concept.
Here is a short video of myself (not keen on being on video, but it’s a start) and my students testing the correct body force during Saat Geng Sau incorrectly at first, then with correct structure. Note that when doing Saat Geng Sau in the Siu Nim Tau form, the single weight should be on one side only, as in application someone will only be attacking one side, very seldom would both elbows be trapped. I also show the increase in power using the wrist action.
After bringing the arms back to their crossed position, we move the left hand back and underneath as the elbows drop and the elbows (hands) expand forwards, snapping at the wrist as before. Again this can be practised using a similar Body Force exercise
The Jum sau is revisited in the Chum Kiu form where it is used for intercepting from an out of contact position. The positioning of the Jum sau comes into the line that runs from your eye down into your hip. Of course we would only use one side in application but by doing actions with both sides gives us a basic but crucial idea in that you can use one hand/arm to protect against two.
We then see a short version of the Taan sau which is used as a simple deflection.
Jut Sau/Biu Sau
The Jut sau starts with the elbows out on the same line as when using Wu Sau and the hands parallel to the ground. You pull the hands back to make contact or stick. Then you sit the waist using your Body Force. The wrist does pull back a small amount but the waist is the main focus. Of course in application we would Chor Ma as well.
To see the power of this action, watch this video of my Sibak Gung Cliff using the Jut Sau against my student Dom.
Lastly we finish with two covering actions which we call Kum Sau which simply teach that if your hands are extended it is more direct to cover straight down or straight up without bringing the hands back to strike.
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