Welcome back to the HVT Blog and the final post regarding the Siu Nim Tau form.
Before I continue I would just like to raise a point on the English, Cantonese translations being used throughout this blog. I understand that my English may not translate well into Cantonese and I am also aware that my own Cantonese speaking/writing skills are in their infancy. So if I have made any errors this is my fault. Unfortunately there is no “right” way to Anglicise the language of Wing Chun and sometimes it’s a matter of spelling it out as best you can. Of course there are ways of writing English words from Cantonese words but even those systems are not perfect and there are many different versions.
Alas I will try harder.
Anyway, on with the blog and the last section of Siu Nim Tau!
This section starts with an action we call Gon sau. I know that in other versions of Siu Nim Tau a Paak Sau is performed here. But Gon Sau is a different beast altogether. Gon Sau is a fast sweeping action which in ideal situations targets the elbow from the outside but can also work on the opponents forearm. It is essential that you attack center with the other side or this may lead to chasing the hands. Gon Sau can be used close range when you feel something around the head/shoulder area and you need to sweep it away. It is generally used when the attack has come first, so you protect and then counter attack. You see the full action in the Wooden Dummy and Biu Jee forms.
It might be worth noting here that in at the end of Section 2 we performed the Juk Jeung and in this section we use Gon sau, therefore unlike other interpretations there is no Paak Sau in our Siu Nim Tau. To me this makes sense to me as Paak Sau is clearly works as a “bridging” technique and also used as a “flinch” reaction, which is an integral understanding of the Cham Kiu form.
Before this action we set it up by drawing the hand back to the fist position but now with the palm lying flat. Drive the palm out from the elbow to just below shoulder height. Next we deliver the Wang Jeung palm strike from the outside on the same target as your center line punch and to enable correct body force you must sit the waist to disrupt opponents posture.
Taan Sau 3
Now we see the third instance of Taan Sau with the emphasis now on gaining a connection, using the opponents force using single weight, then release this force forwards. Essentially we are learning to absorb and dispel force. The Taan Sau action in the form starts with he elbow below the chest level, then the elbow follows along the body with the hand traveling upwards on the center till its above chest height. Then expand inner elbow, bringing the arm back to the Taan Sau position as you sit.
This is the second time we see the action of Jaam Sau and this time it is the exact action we use in the Daan Chi Sau exercise. If you are reading this then I am sure you understand the importance of the Single Sticky Hands drill and as it is such an important drill I will dedicate a whole post to it another time.
But to whet your appetite here my Sibak Gung Cliff Au Yeung with Sisook Asiatic from the 2016 Workshop at Havant Wing Chun.
Each time I get to train with Sibak Gung Cliff I make a new discovery and last year one of those discoveries was a different way of performing Gaan Sau compared to my current way. Your fingers point and shoot straight downwards, snapping the wrist on completion. This in practice makes the action of Gaan Sau much more softer and less aggressive. Gaan Sau is not a strike but a deflection.
Tse Jeung was another action that I changed slightly with the hand striking using the edge of the palm along the diagonal line drawn from the shoulder to centreline. The target is aimed to the side of the stomach or the ribs. This is so much more structured than using the whole palm to strike this low. If you do use the whole palm you will find that the force is directed back upwards to the shoulder, but if you use the side or blade of the palm the force is directed to the elbow and therefore the waist. Try it against a heavy bag.
Ah Bong Sau…… During my training in Ving Tsun of over fifteen years the Bong Sau has gone through many changes and interpretations and I am glad that I now understand it much better. Again Bong Sau deserves a whole blog post of it’s own, but suffice to say, the Sifu Cliff way of using the Bong Sau is so simple and effective that the HVT Bong Sau is a force to be reckoned with!
There is only one condition when you should be using Bong sau and this is a matter of range. You should not use Bong Sau at a far distance. At a far distance there are many tools available for use – You can move further out of range or use Paak sau, Jaam sau or even punching or simply change hands to create a bridge. Used correctly and at the correct range Bong sau should prevent your partner from hitting you. It is also imperative that you launch your own counter attack if it is safe to do so.
I will dedicate a full blog post to Bong Sau soon but here is a very short video of the structure of the Bong Sau used the WSLCAYVT way.
Taan sau 4
This the Taan sau that is used in Chi Sau and is for absorbing forces and finding a better line of attack. It will be covered more in a Chi Sau post.
The structural emphasis here is on the palm as it lifts forwards, sitting the waist at the same time. If you don’t sit the waist you will bounce back. Try it with a partner applying force to your palm.
Shuk Sau is a forward peeling action and again you must sit as your forearms reach the point of exchange to gain force from the waist. The height is just a little lower than the chest. I’m sure you have seen many an interpretation of this action but for us it’s a simple idea of changing hands.
We finish the form with four straight punches. For beginners these punches can be driven with the fists starting at the inside of the elbow. But for more experienced practitioners you should start with the fists in front of the elbow, making for a shorter and therefore faster action. Also at an advanced level the returning arm should lead the opponents arm downwards.
Thanks again to all my recent subscribers, please share and see you next time where we will be discussing ….. The Most Boring Question in Wing Chun.