Learn basic form and correct breathing with training in Wing Tsun kung fu. The basic form, Siu Nim Tau has a breathing method which calms you. The slow movements create a calm demeanor and builds balance in the body by slowing things down, both mentally and physically. This is a big advantage in our fast paced, computerized society. The Siu Nim Tau teaches the basic movements from which come the self-defense ideas and methods. Once the movements are learned, the breathing can commence!
You can enhance your experience with the form by combining it with correct breathing: First think of your upper body as a big vessel such as a jar. Then imagine it being filled with water as you breath in through the nose. Let your abdomen swell up first as though it were being filled with water. This goes contrary to our cultural resistance to a ‘fat belly’ but this gives your abdominal wall some stretching and strengthening. It also causes your diaphragm which is under the lungs, to drop down making more room for air in the lungs. This is part of a well-known diaphragm strengthening exercise. Then let the chest fill up with ‘water’ (air) so that your entire torso seems filled up. After you draw air in, let it out slowly through the mouth. Repeat this breath cycle at least three times each time your hand moves in and out with the tan sau, fook sau and wu sau movements characteristic of the Siu Nim Tau form. The breathing will serve to focus the mind, enhance your over-all health, contribute to breath-control during exercise and condition your respiration activity.
– Keith Sonnenberg, Sifu