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The Beginner Form is the Most Important

The Siu Nim Tau form, Wing Tsun’s most basic set of movements, may be the perfect antidote to anxiety we hear about in modern people. The name of this form, Siu Nim Tau, means literally Little Idea Form. It is meant to convey the purpose of this set of movements. It is intended to be done slowly in a quiet environment with self-reflection and focus. It gives a student of Wing Tsun time to slow down everything, thinking, breathing, even one’s heart-beat with more natural breathing in the abdomen instead of high in the chest. If a focus is placed on abdominal breathing, it tends to reduce attention on shoulder tension.

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How Important are the Basics in Martial Arts Training?

When I was just getting started in martial arts at the age of 16 in Tang Soo Do (a Korean style of ‘karate’), I used to hear my instructor talk about the importance of basics in learning the art he taught. Since then I have read and listened to other instructors talk about ‘basics.’ Apparently, I was good enough that I reached First Degree black belt in three years in Tang Soo Do. I never heard my instructor say whether he thought I had trained enough basic techniques.

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