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?

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Begin with a little idea

WingTsun™ begins with a set of movements called Siu Nim Tau. This name translates as Little Idea Form. The first third of this set of movements is done slowly. Learning how to move patiently and slowly through a set of movements over several minutes challenges many new students. It is revealing how many people rush through this set. We are trained in our modern world to get things done quickly and only quickly. WingTsun can be a study of opposites, looking at life as fast or slow. The name Little Idea is significant in its deeper meaning. On the surface it means “basic concept.” On a deeper level it means that the student is learning a little idea that is too important to brush off or run past. A farmer would not plant a seed on the surface and then let the wind blow it away or fail to water it. The seed, after all, carries the DNA of the plant. The Siu Nim Tau carries the DNA of the WingTsun system.

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