5/04/2008

Siu Nim Tao vs 32 Jian Shu

This is a version of the 'Siu Nim Tau' (little idea) first form in wing chun. If it looks odd, I can vouch that it feels odd doing it. Also, while it might look incredibly simple - quite the contrary. There are many subtle technical nuances which would take years to master. Judging from the range of Siu Nim Tau videos on YouTube, there appears to be a lot of variation between the forms, and at this stage, I've got no idea as to which are superior or 'right'. At least in this one, the moves are clearly visible:




Lamentably, I am very lame at practicing wing chun outside of class. At present, I am more interested in developing my wushu sword form that took me a couple of hours to copy from some old training manual back in Korea, but which I never got around to start working on, until a month or so ago (I am using an umbrella in lieu of a sword!)


I had always suspected it was a Jian Shu (narrow sword) form. Today, by chance, I found the exact form, and it is indeed the '32 Jian Shu' - '32' because it has some 32 moves in it. Thank goodness I found the following video depicting someone who seems convincingly good at the form. There I was, plodding along at the speed of a snail, having got about a quarter of the way through it. Now I realize it needs to be rather more dynamic. I don't know how faithful I am going to get to the person below, but I've always been keen on Jian Shu - I once nearly went to China to study Jian Shu after failing to find a Jian Shu teacher in Korea. I like the dynamics, and it gives me a sense of doing something, unlike dare I say wing chun.





I've only just come to recently realize through my sometimes overwhelming number of errors committed at work, that I have to consciously go through a process of mentally switching myself on if I am to apply myself and accomplish something to the best of my ability. A lot of the time, I seem to be on auto-cruise mode. I reckon this is in part to the fact that if I am to avoid becoming stressed out at work - something that would afflict most mortals because my current job is about as highly charged as the trading floor of the stockmarket - I need to separate myself from the task in order to create an unemotional buffer. Thus, I am prone to not having enough focus and can therefore make errors, although remain relatively unaffected by pressure. I can see a parallel in wing chun, in that there is a paradox between remaining in fight mode, but also to maintain a relaxed and soft body. For me, to be relaxed means totally disengaging with what I am doing. It is hard to focus and to perform well in such a state. Moreover, to be switched off also accompanies a sense of indifference and disinterest in what I am doing. I think I am much better prepared in a real life performance and combat sense to be highly charged and ready to give it my all. This has been tested when under genuine life-threatening circumstances, and I would not wish to enter a dangerous situation with anything but a steel resolve and a steel body. If my feet remain anchored in wing chun, my mind is pretty tethered, too.

3 comments:

Khakra said...

i had dared not comment on your wu shu throwdown a few blogs ago, but I see your point in practicing of wing chun outside a class being tough. The angles of the form are tough to grab (vs the japanese arts), and the high design of forms based pn weapons makes chinese styles difficult. It's more like you need a 3D visual artist to draw out designs. i'm stating the obvious, of course. i tried a few wing chun classes out, wasn't too thrilled because of lots of metaphors and theories, but it is a complex art. same goes for all types of chinese martial art types.

bcc kenpo said...

excellent perspective!
ok, enjoy,
Broward college kenpo karate club

...zzZ said...

Thank you bcc kenpo!