Siu Lim Tau

By: Grandmaster Ip Ching

When we learn Ving Tsun, we must know the objectives of three forms first. After knowing those objectives, we have the right direction to do practice most effectively.
Since Siu Nim Tau is the first set, many people think that it is only a beginning course. It is partially true. I consider Siu Nim Tau the basic of Ving Tsun. All the movements of Chum Kiu, Bil Gee, Muk Yan Jong (Wooden Dummy), even Bat Dzam Dou come from Siu Nim Tau. So Siu Nim Tau is not the beginning course, but the important FOUNDATION.
How about Chum Kiu? To the best of my knowledge, Chum Kiu helps us to understand the techniques of Ving Tsun, while Bil Gee tells us how to use the force. All these three Fist sets have their own objectives. Usually, we have to practised for a long time before we can fully understand Chum Kiu and Chi Sau. So Bil Gee will not be taught before a large amount of practice of Chi Sau. As a result, many people think that Bil Gee won't be taught. It is not true.
When giving a lecture at Manchester on 1992, I gave the following analogy. When we learn English, we learn 26 letters first. If we cannot handle the pronunciation of each letter, then our English will never be good. The magnitude of the fist set Siu Nim Tau in Ving Tsun is the same as that of the letters in English. If we don't master Siu Nim Tau well, we can never do well in Chum Kiu, Bil Gee and Muk Yan Jong (Wooden Dummy).
After learning 26 letters, we know how to form a word by grouping some of them. After learning Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Bil Gee, we know many methods of attack and defense. If we could practise Chi Sau by those methods, it would be the same as if we could make a proper sentence in English. If we could apply those methods in free fighting smoothly, then we could write a passage.
(From the tape-record of Master Yip Ching's lecture on Siu Nim Tau )

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