3 Ways To Boost Your Siu Nim Tao
This is article I wish to share with you some ways to train your Siu Nim Tao (SNT). SNT or “Little Idea” is the first and perhaps the most important form in Wing Chun. Its name implies that a small idea, a small practice or a beginning can grow into something big and the longer you practice SNT the more it will reveal its secrets to the practitioner.
To help you to further explore this “little idea” I will discuss in this article three concepts or methods to practice your SNT. Okay, which methods are we talking about?
Smooth is fast and fast is smooth
It is a term used in the military to teach new recruits to unload, load and aim a rifle as efficient as possible. Basically it means you are faster if your movements are focused and in a deliberate manner and pace. There is no visible start and stop in the movements they flow into each other.
“Be like water my friend”
In this method you practice SNT smoothly as if the form is one (1) movement. No start, no stop, all movements are relaxed and flow into each other. For instance the left center line punch in the first section, when the hand pulls back and almost reaches the left side, the right hand will start its movement. Keep one steady pace, no “contraction” at the end of your movements. As mentioned above, this practice will help you to move “faster” and more deliberate. Over time this skill will spill over into your other forms and Chi Sao. As you get better at it you can slowly increase your pace.
Breath and movement
In this SNT practice we link the SNT movements and our breath. General guidelines to synchronize the movements and your breath:
- Hand moves away from your body – breathe out. Towards your body – breathe in.
- Hand rises – breathe out. Hand sinks – breathe in.
- Circular movement (360 degree) eg. Huen Sao – full breath (in/out)
- Lin Wan Kuen in 3rd section: first punch linked – breath out. Subsequent five punches in one (1) breath.
- Throughout the form we breathe in followed by out breath, however, there are two exceptions:
- In 2nd section: double gang – breathe out / Tok Sao – breathe out / etc.
- In 3rd section: Tan sao – breathe out/Gang sao – breathe in / Gan Sao – breathe in etc.
Breathe smoothly at 2/3 of your capacity.
Feel and Test
The purpose of this SNT method is to mentally connect to your body, your movements and test our posture. To achieve this we need to practice our SNT at a slower pace than normal. How slow? Well, just enough to feel all parts of your body as you move. Stop for 2-3 seconds after each move to connect to and feel your posture.
As you move or when you hold a posture, ask yourself:
- Do I hold any tension in my body or when I execute a technique? When feeling tension take note of your face and eyes. Relax your eyes, have a panoramic view, don’t stare but let the images “come into your eyes”.
- When I hold my posture do I feel my energy sinking through my feet into the ground? Is my body aligned correctly?
- Do have/did I use correct technique and body frame. For instance elbows down, square hips and shoulders etc.
- Is my mind drifting away?
For this training it would be great if you have a training partner who can give you feedback, because sometimes we think our hips are square, our elbows are down but they are not. Your partner can also test your body structure. For instance, he can lightly push your chest, your bong sao or tan sao as you hold your structure?. Can you maintain and absorb the incoming pressure without pushing back and using local muscles?
Hope you like this post: 3 Ways To Boost Your Siu Nim Tao.
Happy training and feel free to comment or ask questions.
Chu Sau Lei Wing Chun Singapore.