Chum Kiu (Cham Kiu)- Seeking the Bridge
Chum Kiu – 尋橋 is most often translated as “Seeking the Bridge”. If we look at the Chinese characters we can understand a more in depth meaning.
尋 is understood as meaning “seek, look for”.
橋 is understood as meaning “bridge or idea”.
The Chum Kiu Form is the second open hand form of Wing Chun that puts the lessons learned in Siu Lim Tao into motion and builds upon them. The importance of coordinating footwork and handwork together is paramount. While Siu Lim Tao’s hand motions reference the self, Chum Kiu’s hand and leg motions reference an opponent in relation to the self. From this, we are introduced to several new concepts that either are not seen or not heavily stressed in Siu Lim Tao.
While the Chum Kiu Form uses the Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma stance introduced in Siu Lim Tao, it is in Chum Kiu that we use the Juen Ma/Chum Kiu Ma, Biu Ma and Bik Ma moving stances.
Juen Ma/Chum Kiu Ma is used for increasing limb energy and to control the centerline. One of its main attributes is two-way energy, the inseparable forces of Yin and Yang in motion.
Biu Ma is a basic shuffle/step (step slide). It is well suited to compliment the in-close fighting hand techniques of the Wing Chun system. The concept of Biu is to follow the center line straight in when there is no obstruction present.
Bik Ma stance is a pressuring step and a variant of the biu ma used to create pressure and leverage power off the front leg.
There are three kicks presented in Chum Kiu Form:
Tiu Tek (Lifting Kick) may be interpreted as a defensive function of the leg as well as an attack, and uses an upward swinging motion of the leg in coordination with tilting of the pelvis (tiu yiu).
Deang Tek (Nailing Kick) is a nailing kick that mirrors the energy of the Yat Kuen driving into the opponent like a hammer while maintaining stability on one leg.
Realigning Kick emphasizes recovery by regaining the center line from a bad position on the low gate.
Although it is commonly understood that there are only three types of kicks in Chum Kiu, from thorough examination, one can find all eight kicking concepts carefully hidden.
The Wing Chun kicks like hand techniques are non committal and do not compromise the balance of the practitioner in any significant way, due to their exceptional speed but lack of height. ~Samuel Kwok
Like Siu Lim Tao, Chum Kiu Form is comprised of three sections:
The first section of Chum Kiu teaches us about many concepts that were not introduced in the Siu Lim Tao form and are prevalent through out Chum Kiu. Initially, when we move from Seung Guan Sau to Seung Tan Sau, we use the concept of kwan or rotating as we learn to move around our own arms. It is additionally seen with the turning Bong Sau and Wu Sau. The idea of Yin & Yang or two way energy is first introduced in the Yat Gee Chung Kuen/Lop Sau and is seen in the juen ma/chum kiu ma through out the form. Turn stance also teaches us the concept of Yui Ma power, using our hips and legs for power. The importance of the immovable elbow theory, first introduced in Siu Lim Tao, is now heavily stressed in Chum Kiu. Dynamic use of the upper arm and elbow in combat is introduced in the first section.
The arms must have supplemental help from the legs, hips and torso. With this in mind, it is easy to see why you should never work the hands alone. That would be a feeble and disorganized effort to create power. ~Ip Ching / Ron Heimberger
The second section introduces Wing Chun stepping, this, when combined with techniques enables the safe bridging of the gap between the practitioner and his/her opponent. Hence Chum Kiu or ‘seeking the Bridge’. For it is with contact that Wing Chun practitioner has his/her biggest advantage. Furthermore the second section of Chum Kiu is building on Siu Lim Tao by making the practitioner use both footwork and kicks with hand techniques such as blocks.
Also throughout the practice of Chum Kiu the practitioner must use both hands at once. Although this is done in Siu Lim Tao, when both hands are used in the first form they perform the same action whereas in Chum Kiu they do different things, requiring a higher level of ability and concentration form the practitioner. Therefore Chum Kiu builds on Siu Lim Tao.
The third section of Chum Kiu expands upon what the practitioner has learned in Siu Lim Tao & the first two sections of Chum Kiu. The Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma (stance) from the Siu Lim Tao form has a 50/50 weight distribution, while the Chum Kiu Ma (stance) carries its balance or weight on its back leg. The Bik Ma or Pressuring step introduces the practitioner to a forward weight distribution in their footwork. We are also introduced to the Bong Sau in the lower gate, as well as the Double Palm or Po Pei Chang.
The majority of the Kicking Principles lie within the third section, such as the Huen Gerk or Tsiu Yang Chut Gerk (Realigning Kick), where the concept of Recovery is emphasized in the lower gate.
The concepts of Trapping and Fan (continuous motion) are employed with the 45* gum sau (pinning hand) motions and the Lin Wan Kuen, both executed in the closing of the 3rd and final section of the Chum Kiu form.
Fan Sao is used to harness your opponent’s every move. When your opponent attacks, you defend yourself with one hand and attack him with the other. This process continues until you utterly destroy your opponent’s ability to fight. ~Ip Ching/Ron Heimberger