Review of Chu Shong Tin's 1999 Seminar: Siu Nim Tao and Chi Sau DVD
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Reviewer: George Hernandez
Date: February 15, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
DVD Bought on: Everything Wing Chun : http://www.everythingwingchun.com/chu-shong-tin-wing-chun-dvds-books-s/125.htm
This DVD is also available for download on Everything Wing Chun Instant Access
Title: Chu Shong Tin – 1999 Siu Nim Tao and Chi Sau
Number of Disk: 1
Length: approximately Two hours (This presentation was converted from VHS for DVD access; the menu will refer to each section of the DVD, as Disk 1 and 2). Please note, there is only one disk and that the conversion process from one media type to another, presents the same quality as the original production.
Part one - Siu Nim Tao, 0:58:53
Part two – Chi Sao, 0:59:35
Video Quality: Average
Audio Quality: Average, 3 out of 5
What It’s About:
The basics of Wing Chun’s Siu Nim Tao and Chi Sau, are discussed and presented by Master Chu Shong Tin.
Master Chun presents the fundamentals essential in learning and establishing skill in Wing Chun Kung Fu. In this seminar series as well as in all of the other instructional DVDs he has been featured in, Chu emphasizes how important the first form is in developing effective skill in the more advanced forms of the Wing Chun system. He outlines briefly in this seminar, the three basic stages of development from Siu Nim Tao to Bil Jee. The first stage in the practice, is where you establish your fundamental structure in the form, the Second Stage is how you move and direct your body mass toward the other persons center line and the Third stage is when you have integrated the principles of the Siu Nim Tao and Chum Kiu and are able to project the full destructive force of Bil Jee applications.
I’m delighted with his approach in demonstrating the Siu Nim Tao, showing its natural stability and when the “Mind Force,” is applied. The subtleness of basic techniques done within this context demonstrates why this first form is the foundation of all the others, which include the advance techniques. I find it amusing when he said, that once you learn the first form all of its basic structure is perfect in appearance, it looks right. Its shape is there, yet it’s wrong! It’s sort of like a mime that creates the illusion in your mind that he’s leaning against a fence or some kind of object that isn’t there. So where does the substance of the Siu Nim Tao come from other than its structure?
The answer to that question is the “Mind Force!” He calls the first stage, actually the copy stage. He said, “It’s placing your body in the proper stance and your hands in the right position-it looks right structurally, but if the mind force isn’t there, it’s essentially wrong.” He’s able to demonstrate this flaw in application of the Bong Sau, without the “Mind Force” and when it’s present in the technique. If the “Mind Force” isn’t there, it’s like a house of cards…it will collapse! And using muscle is not the answer either, the technique just won’t work. Master Chu shows through natural motion and the focusing of the “Mind Force,” how the technique is done correctly without any physical exertion. It’s a marvelous demonstration of the simplistic and yet the immense power of the Wing Chun System of Kung Fu.
The second part of this DVD centers on Chi Sau Practice or commonly known as “Sticky Hands.” The Objective of Chi Sau, is to prepare you r body structure for fighting. Here, Master Chu said, you learn how to come into contact with the other person’s hand and learn how to apply “Mind Force” and focusing on the target. From the double Chi Sau, you learn how to put your structure in position so that you’re not affected by the other person. Rolling through continued practice teaches how to disguise your force and a way to understand the other person’s structure.
This DVD provides lots of practical insight into the fundamentals of the Siu Nim Tao form and the principles of Chi Sao practice. Strength and youth are impermanent, but the understanding of the “Mind Force,” would certainly contribute to one’s decline physically, but still allow for the ability to express the full benefits of the Wing Chun System of Kung Fu. It would behoove any Sifu or instructor who is unaware of the internal aspects of this martial art system to explore the content of this DVD; particularly in what it has to offer to their students and in their personal practice of Wing Chun.
Content Overview, Si Nim Tao, 1999 Seminar
- Siu Nim Tao – the complete history
- Siu Nim Tao – its three stages
- It’s basic structure and applying the form.
- The principle of using no physical or muscular force.
- The purpose and process of relaxation in Siu Nim Tao.
- Learning the basic hand and arm movements of Si Nim Tao
- How the movements are related to Chum Kiu and Bil Jee.
- The proper stance and position of the hands.
- Developing the “Mind Force,” That’s why Wing Chun is a special Martial Art!
- If you totally relax, how do you get the power?
- Stance Development
- Using the “Mind Force.”
- The principle of right thinking.
- Learning how to put the “Mind Force” in every part of the body.
- Feeling and knowing where the other person is directing the force.
- Though touch you feel the difference, if you really understand the Siu Nim Tao, you really know the difference!
- Learning and understanding the power of natural movement without physical or muscular force.
- Chi Sao Sticky hands and what it does.
- Chi Sao prepares your body structure for fighting.
- Teaches you how to come into contact with the other person.
- Provides experience in learning how to apply the force.
- Provides experience in learning the best way to contact and use use technique on the other person.
- Learning how to position your arms to control the situation.
- Learning how to determine the other persons structure and weaknesses.
- The importance of Chi Sao practice in the beginning, is to focus on the quality of movement, not quantity.
- Learning what movements are useful in fighting, not all are practical.
- Becoming aware of one’s personal internal energy and how to director it in a fighting situation
- Understanding importance of the different types force from different directions.
- The Major Concept in Rolling or Double Chi Sao.
- Emphasis should be placed on the basics.
- Training in developing effective Chi Sao takes time.
- Training for one day, one month is not enough, consistent practice is primary and explanation is not enough either. Practice, Practice, is the operational phrase here.
- Rolling and proper focus is sheath-you don’t want the other person to be able to tell where you are.
- Your stance and shoulders should be down, focus on the target not the hands.
- Bigger people need bigger circles. Know how to adjust the circle is essential.
- Position and application of the “Mind force” in Double Chi Sao is the key ingredient in making the Chi Sao work.