The famous pole method of the Red Junks was the 6 ½ points. This, they say, is because Sim (Chan/Zen) Teacher Jee Shim came south and hid aboard the Red Junks and taught Leung Yee-Tai. After he learned, Leung Yee-Tai became the master teacher of the Red Junks and passed the technique to San Kam (New Kam). Later, when in Foshan, he taught the techniques to Mr. Leung Jan. The Red Junk students made the 6 ½ point pole very popular. It was the specialty of many in the Foshan Weng Chun (Always Spring) sect.
The 6 points are Tai (Raise), Lan (Bar), Dim (Point), Kit (Deflect), Gwot (Cut), and Wun (Circle) and the half point is Lao (Leak). In fact, these 6 ½ points become 28 points and many changes are possible from these. The 6 points are for attack and ½ point is for defense. Mathematically, 7 x 4 is 28. This is like when you write an article. It has a beginning, a continuation, a turn, and then a finish. They can become 10 000 words and still much more remains. This is why it’s a very good technique.
San Kam was famous in the Guangdong opera. He always aimed to develop the martial arts. He was also very patient when teaching others. When he had finished learning the martial arts, he taught many students on the Red Junks. Because this martial art was from Jee Shim, and at the time the Manchurians were after the Shaolin disciples because they were revolutionaries, he could not say it was Shaolin martial arts or that Jee Shim had taught him. He knew Jee Shim had taught in the Shaolin Weng Chun Dim (Always Spring Hall). So he call this art Weng Chun sect.
The main boxing form of the Weng Chun sect is Saam Bai Faat (Three Prayers to Buddha). Because Jee Shim taught on the boat and the boat was a small place, the big stances and long bridges could not be used. So, the method was all changed to sunken downward facing elbows and short hands. The focus was on protecting the back. They only used Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma (Yee Shaped Clamping Groin Horse). This only required a few feet of space. And they could practice in a small place. Because the Red Junk traveled on a river, the boat always rocked on the waves. This way, the body would rock and the horse remained easy to move. They made the stance narrow, so it would be stable on boats.
The Weng Chun wooden dummy is also very important, but all normal dummies are “dead”. In many other system, the dummy is put halfway in the ground, so it cannot move. On the boat, they cannot make it like this so San Kam thought up a new method. The “dead” dummy was brought to “life”. The support was put against the wall, but the hands were not changed. This wooden dummy had some good points. With the “dead” dummy, even when used with a lot of power, it cannot move. This means you can use hard to hit hard. The new dummy was softer. Though it hangs on the wall, it is very heavy and must be practiced with hard power. But with the “live” dummy, when it’s hit it will come back, making it soft power. So, to continue practice, it must be used with soft power. Thus, the old dummy trains hard power while the new one uses hard and soft combined. This is why it is very good. In this way, Weng Chun boxing, even if practiced on land, can use the “live” dummy and sand bags hanging on the wall (which also involves rebounding power).
In practicing the pole it is very rare to use a dummy, but the Weng Chun sect has a pole dummy. The pole dummy also hangs on the wall. It uses one square piece of wood with seven poles. Each side has three poles of 1′5″ (Chinese measure). The middle one is shorter. It is practiced by hitting the dummy.
This pole dummy was created by San Kam because at that time he was working on the Red Junk, which was very narrow. They used the single headed pole but it could not move it around much. The pole dummy is a pretend enemy and is struck with the pole. It is very flexible in the practice of the 6 ½ points. San Kam was famous for the pole methods. His student, Fung Siu-Ching was also a specialist in the 6 ½ point pole in Foshan.
By Ngaw Fei San Yan, New Martial Hero. Roughly translated from Chinese.