Many programs offer possible solutions to stress and correcting health issues but not all solutions are suitable for all people. Many self-defense programs offer no solutions at all. WingTsun™ offers the Siu Nim Tau set which is a series of movements done while standing. Siu Nim Tau is a relatively gentle series of movements, the first section of which is done very slowly. It involves a light meditative focus and a breathing component that can be escalated or left as a gentle, natural breathing. The advantage of this form of stress reduction is that it can be done in most any location. It has a small ‘footprint’ which does not require a large amount of space. It does not require sitting or lying on a floor and is a suitable form of training for an aspiring beginner martial artist. The movements have definite self-defense applications which are taught in subsequent classes.
Some would-be meditators report that they get sleepy while meditating and tend to doze off. Standing meditation tends to avoid this. In addition, Siu Nim Tau is active enough that sleepiness caused by too much relaxation is not likely.
Siu Nim Tau combines stance training which is a higher stance than some low stance martial arts, breath training, mediation, and joint exercises. The set has twenty-three wrist circles which also work the elbows and the shoulders. The positions stretch the upper body muscles. The slow movements encourage mental focus on one’s own body instead of a computer screen. It is a high quality internal martial arts training.
Many surveys of health professionals site stress as the biggest reason behind conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. In addition, sedentary lifestyles also are said to be behind these prevalent conditions. It seems to be a self-perpetuating situation. The busier we get, the less time we have for exercise. The Siu Nim Tau can be done in 4-5 minutes or 15 minutes or much longer depending on how you time it. Like all Wing Tsun movements, it is flexible and offers flexibility and countering the effects of stress as a benefit.
-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg