- At the beginning, I guide you through the movements of the first part of the Siu Nim Tau form.
- I then show you the movements of the form as they are used.
- The training will help build your leg strength, calm and confidence in your own ability to learn different kinds of actions related to self-defense.
- You are required to practice the movements between classes, usually on two or three occasions, 10 repetitions each. Only then can I tell if you are ready move on to the next movements.
In order to learn physical structure and, so as not to be too influenced by the attributes of another beginner when learning new material, a new student should get in a good amount of solo practice time.
As with many other martial arts, training by oneself in learning new material is encouraged in the Wing Tsun system. Body structure is very important, as is concentration and taking the time to get one’s mind into a relaxed enough state to experience progress. In order to do this, you must find a quiet place alone with all electronics turned off or placed in a way so as not be heard or seen. A good technique is to get away from home or other too familiar surroundings so that you cannot easily run back to an easy chair! Specify a certain time period for this practice. It could be 20 minutes or 40 minutes or longer.
Solo training does not have to be a sprint or a physical marathon. Part of the training will be mental. You may not be productive for the first 20 minutes while you clear your head from our hectic life.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that intermediate or advanced students do not ignore solo training. It is easy to lose sight of the original techniques and structure that one learned a few years ago and yet remains as important to your current progress. Also if you find yourself ‘stuck’ or stalled, it is important to renew your solo training in earnest. It behooves you to read this article to the end.
It is suggested that students develop their OWN drills and think through them in sequence. Once the sequence has been remembered, walk through the movements slowly like a T’ai Chi student.
Students at these grades must be able to do this kind of self-developed drill over and over, perhaps 6 or 8 times, or more. This will help you get rid of complete dependence on other people to learn about yourself. Your instructor can guide you and explain theories and practice with you but your instructor cannot get inside of you. Solo practice is about you learning about you and what makes you tick. Can you even stand to be alone in a room with just you and your techniques? If you try this solo practice, you will find out.
Intermediate and advanced students should move slowly through self-developed drills. The movements should be slow and relaxed. Anytime you practice by yourself, your practice should be thoughtful but your mind must not be busy. It must be present. It may take a half an hour to get into that mental state. However if you rationally consider that you have spent a certain number of years to get to this point and you do not allow yourself this much, you are then probably wasting your time. Mindless moving through techniques is wasting your time and intelligence. Movement must have a present state of mind – in the moment. This kind of mental state will be needed as you get into more challenging techniques.
Your instructor can guide you to the water but only you can drink of it.
- Sifu Keith Sonnenberg
If you are in your twenties and practice fighting arts that involve a heavy dose of athletics with high kicks, spins, many direct hits to the face, ( https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/mma-fighters-suffer-traumatic-brain-injury-in-almost-a-third-of-professional-bouts-study ) rolling around on the floor for most of typical classes, and other activities like this, you will get just so much mileage out of these activities after which, it will take its toll on your body. At some point, it will be important to throttle back or give it up to preserve your body. If not, it could impair your joints, you’re thinking, or your spine, in pursuing other activities.
Traditional martial arts benefit more on the inside than the outside.
Besides just combat and self-defense training, a true martial art can hardly be called an “art” unless there are aspects that involve perfecting your body’s movements. The art of Wing Tsun starts in simple actions based on the first Wing Tsun set of movements. They are called the little idea form. The name refers to the basic ideas presented. The movement have ideas behind them – profound ideas that help you perfect your skills. A representative movement is in the form for everything that comes later.
One set of techniques are hard to illustrate in a photo. They are the breathing method that relieves stress and anxiety. This type of breathing is common to other disciplines. However, in Wing Tsun, the breathing is done during the slow movements of the first third of the form. In one set of movements you have several things going on at one time. This is to prepare you for the training ahead.
You can feel the difference after you have completed the form. It sets you up for a class. It is important to dispel any stress and anxiety you may feel at the beginning of a class so that you can learn a certain number of abstract ideas and perform well. This is a practice you will want to incorporate into your daily regimen and you might even use the breathing ideas in your daily tasks.
Give us a call or send us an e-mail if you would like to schedule a trial class. To your health and wellness.
-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg
The Siu Nim Tau is the first set of movements of Wing Tsun kungfu. The literal translation is the “Little Idea Form.” The first section of the form is done slowly. We are told by our instructors that doing it daily is important and the slower the better. The form has multiple benefits including a deep breathing subset which has a de-stressing benefit.
After you perform the Siu Nim Tau, is that the end of it? Are there not lessons we can gain from this form, this practice?
Wing Tsun is an old martial art, the creator(s) of which which reduced the number of movements of the old Shaolin systems to create a new system. Relatively fewer representative techniques remain within Wing Tsun forms to preserve them and allow you, a practitioner, to access the roots and intentions of the founders. Unlike other arts of that era, however, Wing Tsun became an urban self-defense system with applications highly relevant for today.
The first form, called the Little Idea Form, teaches one hand at a time, standing in one place. The second section of the form teaches two hands at a time doing the same technique. The third section of the form uses more complex movements using one hand at a time. The whole set of movements, all three sections are performed standing in one place.
The second form adds in mobile footwork and two hands doing two different tasks. It contains elements of multiple attacker skills training. It also contains three different kicking methods.
One overlooked benefit of Wing Tsun training is the physical dexterity you can develop with regular training. In the process of learning kicks, punches and footwork, the drills that Wing Tsun is famous for work the joints in flexibility and strength. Wrist circles and stance circles are numerous in the training. They are designed to work around an attacker’s limbs in an economical way. In other words, the distance is short around an attacker’s limbs. We do not take the longer path.
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.
We start you, the new student, at the beginning of the Wing Tsun journey learning self-discipline, exercising the body from the inside out, and self-confidence. The beginning movement set is the first form called Siu Nim Tau. It is important that a new student learn the essence of this form first. Siu Nim Tau is translated as “Little Idea Form.” The contains the essential basics that form the rest of the system.
The things you learn later, all have a representative movement within Siu Nim Tau.
Wing Tsun AZ
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