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Chum Kiu

Chum Kiu,

By Shaun Rawcliffe, in “Simply Wing Chun kung fu”

“Chum Kiu” are cantonese terms: “Chum” meaning “to seek” or “obtain” and “Kiu” meaning bridge; to connect or “reduce the distance between”.


Chum kiu, known as “seeking the bridge form” is Wing Chun’s second or intermediate form, and is the natural progression from learning Siu Nim Tao. Chum Kiu is, in reality, far more advanced and complex than Siu Nim Tao, primarily because it incorporates Siu Nim Tao and then comprehensively adds to it. All the basic hand techniques, energies and the use of those energies that are developed in Siu Nim Tao, are used within Chum Kiu, which teaches the practitioner how to gain complete control of the fighting environement. Chum Kiu training increases the power developed within Siu Nim Tao, so it is vital than sufficient level of understanding and proficiency has been developed in Siu Nim Tao, before Chum Kiu training commences.

The principal concept behind Chum Kiu is, as the name suggests, “to seek” or “to search for the bridge”. The “bridge” refers to the forearm, or any phisical contact point, either arms or legs, on the opponent. This contact enables the practitioner to utilize the sensitivity  and energy developed through Chi Sau to control and dominate his opponent by reading his movements and intentions. Through contact it is possible to respond immediately with the appropriate defensive technique, to parry and trap or counter-attack.

In order to avoid being hit, as well as to increase the power of Wing Chun’s techniques, Chum Kiu practises and develops powerful stepping and turning footwork, whilst simultaneously offering forward hand techniques to safely intercept and receive a strike , or to create a point of contact. Though the primary aim of Chum Kiu is to seek out the opponent, it also incorpotates a multitude of other concepts: it utilizes all the basic concepts, hand techniques and structures practised within Siu Nim Tao, and adds functionality to them through the correct usage of stepping and turning footwork.

Kicking techniques are introduced and practised within Chum Kiu, both defensively to intercept an attaker’s kicks or to bridge the gap at a lower level; and offensively to attak an opponent’s legs and stance.

Chum Kiu also contains several tools and mouvements to recover the centreline; however, unlike Biu Tze that aggressively recovers the centreline when an opponent takes advantage of a mistake, Chum Kiu recovers the centreline as soon as the mistake is felt by the Wing Chun practitioner, and before the opponent has the opportunity to capitalize upon it.

Chum Kiu practice unifies and coordinates the upper and lower body. This harneses the power and energy available through correct turnung and stepping, and continues the development of structure and efficient body mechanics begun in Siu Nim Tao. The legs and footwork must be trained to function as part of the whole body, not as a separate structure from the upper body. In application, footwork involves stepping forwoards, backwards, to the side and at an angle, as well as turning on the spot. Stepping must be fast and powerful to close in on the attaker, driving towards him, jamming his attacks, and counter-attaking.

There are obvious differences between Siu Nim Tao and Chum Kiu, in addition to the use of kicks: first, Siu Nim Tao is the fundamental training method of Wing Chun; it is performed from a fixed, static stance using only one hand at a time. Each arm is trained independently; even within the second section when two hands are used together, they are actually performing exactly the same techniques and mouvments simultaneously.

Chum Kiu is much more complex and demanding, in that both hands are simultaneously practising different mouvments, working together in unison and coordinated with powerful stepping and turning footwork, to change direction and position. Through diligent Chum Kiu practice, the body becomes hightly coordinated, allowing multiple and simultaneous responses, with both arms and with kicks.

Source: https://books.google.ro/books?id=Z70tBgAAQBAJ&pg=PT169&lpg=PT169&dq=about+chum+kiu&source=bl&ots=ZoiaGMom5d&sig=eQFYg6oSIkIFIY0siMx7k5O_jQc&hl=ro&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjs3IifqpzbAhXRJlAKHdMJD4o4HhDoAQg_MAQ#v=onepage&q=about%20chum%20kiu&f=false


Chum Kiu | Basic Understanding Of Closed Bridge To Open Bridge

Chum Kiu | Basic Understanding Of Closed Bridge To Open Bridge

By Sifu Larry Rivera

Maybe you are already a member of Enter Shaolin or you are just searching around the web looking for more Wing Chun training, either way you came to the right place. Wing Chun is known for its close quarter fighting ability. Because of teachers like Ip Man who taught the late Bruce Lee, this amazing martial art has managed to captivate a generation. People from around the world have the ability to learn the Wing Chun training system thanks to pioneers and now the internet.

Chum Kiu which is the second form in Wing Chun taught after Sil Lum Tao. It unlocks a practitioners ability to fight close quarter by using closed and open bridges to close the distance between you and your opponent. While Wing Chun has many offensive and defensive techniques the style really shines as a counter offensive system of fighting.

Another thing Wing Chun is known for is it’s quick attacks by utilizing the center line theory. In the following video, Sifu Phu teaches a basic understanding of using bridges. Bridges are just a fancy way of saying forearms. 😉 Bridges are best used as intercepting tools to close the distance when someone is attacking you. Because you have mobility at your elbow, it makes it easier to deflect as well as draw in your opponent because you can bend at your elbow.

Because much of Wing Chun training deals with close quarter situations bridging your opponent brings them into the ideal range for a counter attack. If you use your bridges effectively you don’t have to chase your opponents arms. This is a good thing because often times when a person starts chasing arms, they begin to lose their own stability and balance thus creating an opening for their opponent to attack them.

Once a student starts learning the Chum Kiu form is when they usually start learning Chi Sao too.

Chi Sao is sensitivity training. Sensitivity training helps the student know where, when and how an opponent is going to attack.

Source:  https://www.entershaolin.com/wing-chun-training-online-chum-kiu-basic-understanding-of-closed-bridge-to-open-bridge/


Chum Kiu Interview

Chum Kiu Interview,

By Sifu Greg Lebanc


For one reason or an other I managed to speak to a handful of Gary Lam students recently. One of his students, Sifu Greg LeBlanc, completed the system under Gary Lam and I decided to ask him a few questions about Chum Kiu.

Lets see what he had to say:

EWC: How did you get involved with Gary Lam/ WSL Wing Chun?

Sifu  LeBlanc: I was introduced to Sifu Lam by a friend and student of his; he invited me to check out Sifu Lam’s class in Monterey Park. To be perfectly honest I was not interested in Wing Chun, but I had a friend who I thought might be, so I

went along to check it out. I had been at that time looking for a martial art teacher who understood structure; which I did not expect to find in Wing Chun. To my surprise, after watching Sifu Lam talk and teach for half an hour, I realized that I had found what I was looking for. I signed up and never looked back.

EWC: Compared to other arts, do you consider Chum Kiu to be some what high level? For example, I’ve HEARD Bruce Lee studied Wing Chun for around 5 years, and under Ip Man never surpassed the level of Chum Kium.

Sifu  LeBlanc: Chum Kiu is taking the shapes and concepts of Siu Nim Tao and putting them in motion; it introduces footwork, changing angles and moving the entire body as a unit. It develops the connection of the lower body to the ground and the hip and elbow connection, making a bridge, finding the new centerline of a moving target and controlling multiple targets. Chum Kiu’s most important section, like the Siu Nim Tao, is in the beginning. Training the balanced rotation of the hip for power and making a new angle is critical to putting Wing Chun into practice.

EWC: If someone is new to Wing Chun, what can they expect to learn from Chum Kiu? 

Sifu  LeBlanc: Chum Kiu is the development of the alphabet of Siu Nim Tao into combined and moving shapes and ideas. Chum Kiu is the integrated expression of the theory found in the Siu Nim Tao. Each section is an extension of the blueprint found in Siu Nim Tao; without this cohesion, the meaning of the form is lost. Chum Kiu is divided into three sections; each section features a different use of the Bong Sau shape. The form teaches the application of Jaam as an attack, the use of the elbow to disturb, damage and to cover on an inside wrong Paak Sau. Fook Sau, Dai Jeung, Jaat Sau, Paak Sau, Faak Sau, low punching and Laan Sau are all developed. The Daan Gerk and Wang Gerk kicks are trained (stepping into a hand attack range); as are reflexes for hitting a new centerline and bringing the arms back to the centerline from low, pulled or extended positions. The Gaam Sau (aka Soh Sau) is also trained as a control for disrupting or diverting a kick. This is a brief outline, with many other ideas and variations possible as one goes deeper into the form.

EWC: According to the WSL/Gary Lam perspective, what is the most important concept to learn in Chum Kiu? 

Sifu  LeBlanc: One of the most important concepts in Chun Kiu is related to the lower body being the engine or motor for the actions of Wing Chun. The turning done in the beginning of the form can be trained as an isolated drill. Mastering this solidifies the lower and upper body connections for all actions in the system and develops the balance and precision needed to rapidly change angles to make the opponent wrong, putting your triangle on them and their triangle away from you.

EWC: If someone “truly” understands Chum Kiu, how will it change their Wing Chun? 

Sifu  LeBlanc: To truly understand Chum Kiu is to have a solid foundation in Siu Nim Tao; Siu Nim Tao is the letters of the Wing Chun alphabet, Chum Kiu is the beginning of making words. Wing Chun is not a technique based system; it is the study of logical ideas and concepts that will improve you’re fighting ability. The more you understand about the system of Wing Chun, the more the system itself begins to teach you. In the end, the best teacher is not what you think (or what someone else thinks), but rather what you experience and can test. Fancy ideas about what is possible under pressure are quickly dashed on the rocks of Chi Sau; it is this reality check that proves what is and isn’t creditable when your training partner (or opponent) is not compliant. In Wing Chun we must at the earliest moment of a fight move to take position and attack the center of mass of our opponent; without these principles guiding how we train, misleading ideas crop up in our practice.

EWC: When one advances beyond the level of Chum Kiu, what is the most common “Chum Kiu” mistake they make or forget? For example, is there one characteristic or concept Wing Chun people assume they understand from Chum Kiu, but never apply it? 

Sifu  LeBlanc: I would say that with the exception of the Baat Jaam Do, the entire Wing Chun system is working on developing and reinforcing common skills, concepts and structure. That means that all elements of training are working to harness that same direction in development. No one part should be trained more than another and all training should be seen as not only making your own Wing Chun better, but also actively trying to help your training partner improve as well.

EWC: Is there anything you feel is rarely discussed about Chum Kiu? Perhaps something most people misunderstand?

Sifu  LeBlanc: See the Siu Nim Tao as the root for the entire system; and regard Chum Kiu as an extension of the ideas and principles found there. Practice both every day and look to them as references and guides as you train other elements of the system. All should be in agreement and interrelated to one degree or another. Never see one aspect of training as more important than another and look for the commonality and relationships to the diverse aspects of development in the system as a whole. Keep things logical, grounded in reality and as Sigung Wong Shun Leung said: simple, direct and efficient.

EWC: Do you have any final thoughts about Chum Kiu?

Sifu  LeBlanc: In the beginning Wing Chun may appear to be a somewhat large system, with many drills and an array of actions and responses to a threat. Each generation and teacher brings to it their own contributions to the tradition and each teacher lends their own particular strengths to how it gets past on. Ironically the longer you study Wing Chun, the smaller the system will appear. At the most advanced levels Wing Chun becomes a vertical fist punch; relying on CouragePower and lastly Skill for implementation. The complexity and sophistication of the system are housed in simple and powerful actions, delivered directly and decisively to the head or neck of your opponent.

I’d like to thank Sifu Leblanc for interviewing with us! It is always interesting to hear from a high level Wing Chun practitioner.

Source: http://www.shopwingchun.com/greg-lebanc-chum-kiu-interview/


Chum Kiu

Chum Kiu

by Chu Shong Tin

Literally, Chum Kiu when translated is the method of how to deal with the opponent�s wrists once in contact. In other words, Chum Kiu is the form applicable to fighting. If the theory of Chum Kiu is analysed carefully, it is found that it has reached the acme of perfection.

Chum Kiu is to utilize the body weight of a person as the source of energy and combining the moves of Siu Nim Tau to create a skill that can apply force in different directions. As a result, the opponent will find it difficult to tackle these kind of moves because his centre of gravity has been affected and will be easily toppled over. Hence, your chance to win in fighting is increased.

The theory of Chum Kiu can be grouped as follows: 1. The application of �two-way� force; 2. Using the centre of the body as the source of energy; 3. Using the mind to control the movement of the body; 4. Using the simultaneous attack and defence movements.


The majority of the moves in Chum Kiu is to apply the force moving in two different directions to contact with the wrists of the opponent. Although it is called the �two-way force�, yet, if analysed in more detail, it is found that it consists of skill of applying the force pointing from more than two directions.

The turning stance of Chum Kiu is a two-dimensional turning, i.e. turning on a surface. When the turning stance is combined with use of Tau Sau, Bong Sau and Fook Sau of Siu Nim Tau at the same time, every move of Chum Kiu will comprise the effect of having a force pointing from two different directions. Thus, the opponent will find it difficult in dealing with these kind of moves.

I was invited to organise a seminar in Holland in 1994 in which I demonstrated the �two-way force� of Chum Kiu. During the demonstration, I wrestled with a young and huge Negro who could easily lift up 250 kg. At that time, I weighed only 60 kg. As the body weights vary so greatly, my winning with the use of Chum Kiu obtained the shouts of triumph from everybody present on that occasion.

The reason why the �two-way force� is difficult to be deal with is very simple. Assume that one can easily raise up an object of 50 kg, but if a person pushes you with a force of 20 kg from the side while you are lifting an object of 30 kg then you will find it very difficult to resist the pushing and will even lose your balance and fall over.

2. Using the centre of the body as the source of energy

In practising Chum Kiu, one must use the centre of the body as the source of energy. The purpose is to maintain the body weight as an unity and then every move will contain the weight of the whole body. When the opponent is in contact with any part of your body, he will then have to suffer an attack from your whole body weight.

3. Using the mind to control the movement of the body

The purpose of using the mind to control the movement of the body is to generate the whole body weight without using any unnecessary muscular force. Thus, every move you are using will contain the weight of the whole body.

4. Using the simultaneous attack and defence movements

Practising Chum Kiu has entered into the stage of body contact with the opponent. This means that Chum Kiu is the form which will comprise of the combating skill. Hence, every simple move of Chum Kiu contains a common structure which is fit for attack or defence. Apart from having the speciality of Wing Chun (i.e. not to waste energy), every move will contain the scientific structure for combat, allowing the fighting skill to show up when facing the opponent.

It is of my opinion the fighting skill of Chum Kiu is difficult to describe in writing. The best way is to understand it is through demonstration and practice. If I have to put down all the Chum Kiu skills in writing, the article will be so profound that the person who reads it will find it hard to understand and will be confused.

Source: http://wingchunpedia.org/pmwiki.php/WCP/ChumKiuByChuShongTin


Chum Kiu – Seeking/Sinking The Bridge


Chum-Kiu – the Wing-Chun intermediate level form: Chum (search/seek), Kiu (bridge/gap). Literally means “seeking the bridge.” Chum-Kiu also means ‘sinking the bridge’. A bridge is created when one of your arms makes contact with the arm of the opponent. After a proficient level is attained in the Siu-Lim-Tao, Chum-Kiu is taught to the students at this level to bridge the gap to your opponent, developing arm and leg movements from the Siu-Lim-Tao into a coherent fighting system, consists of techniques to destroy your opponent’s structure and balance, leaving him open to attack. This 2nd form encloses advanced footwork, such as Chuen-Ma, Hau-Ma, Tor-Ma, Thoi Ma are incorporated using Yiu-Ma (Waist Power), to generate force in the strikes and block movements. New hand positions, kicks and movement are also introduced. Close-range attacks using elbows and knees are also streesed. Chum-Kiu can also be looked on as the ‘bridge’ between the hand motions of the first form, and the emergency motions of the third form.

Since Siu-Lim-Tao develops proper structure, stance, centerline, hand-eye coordination, qi development, body unity and the power of proper intent, Chum-Kiu adds and develops three more energies. These are forward momentum, pulling momentum and turning momentum. These energies add significant power to all Wing-Chun techniques though coordinated movement of the body along both linear and circular paths. Practicing Chum-Kiu will lead to a heightened awareness and understanding of the ways in which these movements enhance and magnify natural body power ‘chi’. The nature of this form is to train your body balance by playing the form. The more you practice this form the better your balance will be. Chum-Kiu is a bridge to a greater understanding of the Wing-Chun system.

• Hands positions are Lan-Sao, Fak-Sao, Biu-Sao, Dai-Bong-Sao, Lin-Wan-Cheung (chain palm strikes), Sup-Gee-Chang (crossed palms) and arms break.

• The heart of the Chum-Kiu “Yiu-Ma-Hap-Lap”, latterly translates as “waist power co-operation”, either in deflecting or returning force using Chuen-Ma/Yee-Chi-Kim-Yeung Ma.

• Kicks are Dim-Gerk (front kicks) and Jeet-Gerk/Waang-Gerk (low side kicks).

• The techniques in Chum-Kiu are more apparent as well as the footwork required. This form stresses the importance of mobility and the coordination of movements to achieve maximum effect using Yin-Yang power art.

This form is divided into three sections. In the first section we train several crucial concepts that will enhance your Kung-Fu. These movements train the body to move in coordinated unison to fully maximize efficient use of the body’s qi in implementing hand techniques while maintaining balance as the centerline is changed. These movements train our timing as well as develop flawless hand replacement; as one hand retreats from the centerline to the guard position, the other hand replaces on the advance position on the centerline. This ensures that control of the centerline is never given away. Our “dead horse” stance from Siu-Lim-Tao now becomes alive in the practice of Chum-Kiu.

In the second section, Dim-Gerk kicking is introduced in the form. This practice allows the student to deliver powerful, economical and efficient kicks while maintaining optimal balance while communicating little visual intent with the upper body. The student learns to shift his/her weight to the back leg to help deliver power to the kicks while maintaining balance and sensitivity along the centerline with the leg/feet.

The third section focuses the student to develop unity of the horse stance and hand techniques to better develop body power through kicking, stepping and changing the centerline.


Chum Kiu – 尋橋

Chum Kiu (Cham Kiu)- Seeking the Bridge


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.



The Stance

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.

If two objects of the same mass and density, are moving toward each other at the same speed collide, how can one bounce off while the other stands its ground? The answer is that if one of the objects is spinning or twisting as it travels, you can be sure this object will stand its ground, while the other will bounce off. Chum Kiu serves this purpose. ~Ip Ching/Ron Heimberger

Kwok Chum Kiu

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.

The Kicks

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:


First Section

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

Second Section

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.

Third Section

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



Introduction to Chum Kiu

by Craig Sands

Introduction to Chum Kiu

Chum Kiu is the second of the three open-hand forms of Wing Chun Kung Fu. It builds upon many of the basic principles and techniques learnt in Siu Lim Tao to create a coherent fighting system.

Chum Kiu introduces and develops fundamental rules of footwork and body unity while moving.   Whilst Sil Lim Tao develops proper structure, stance, center-line hand eye co-ordination, energy, body unity and the power of focused intent (developing the necessary ability for strength and focus from a static position), Chum Kiu enhances these and develops the use of structure under dynamic conditions, and is performed with speed of movement.

Chum Kiu adds and develops three more energies: forward momentum, pulling momentum and turning momentum. These energies add significant power to the techniques through unified movement of the body along both linear and circular paths.  Chum Kiu develops a heightened awareness and understanding of the ways in which these movements magnify the potential of natural body power.

Chum Kiu involves moving and apply the structure developed within Sil Lim Tao – which can be seen in four key areas:

  • Moving into the opponenet
  • Turning
  • Kicking
  • Body Unity / Connectivity to the ground

These four areas are explored in more detail below.

Moving into the opponent

Chum Kiu consists of a variety of techniques and movements designed to move structurally into an opponent, referred to as bridging the gap.  One of the main translation meanings of Chum Kiu is “searching for the bridge.”   Importantly, ‘searching’ implies active motion which is a key function of learning chum kiu.  The ‘bridge’ refers to the path to the opponent, finding a contact point on the forearm.  Where this contact does not existing the Wing Chun practitioner activity seeks to make one – hence searching for a bridge.


Chum Kiu develops an understanding of how to turn and move efficiently which helps to develop weight transfer, weight distribution, and increased balance and structure.   By learning how turn correctly and efficiently this helps detect the slightest opening in which to compromise an opponent’s position by disrupting their center.

While Sil Lim Tao develops an understanding of structure and deliver attacks along the center line, Chum Kiu teaches how to control the center line whilst turning the body to deal with incoming forces off the center line, how to use feet to control and turn your opponent, how to shift to redirect incoming forces, deliver elbow strikes, and how to neutralize the opponent’s attacking hand and deliver a combination of attacks.


Chum Kiu also introduces the Wing Chun practitioner to three different kicks.  The Wing Chun kicks like the hand techniques are non committal, with the weight balanced on the back leg.  This ensures that the balance is not compromised.  It also allows the front leg to be used for blocking and kicking.

The kick in the third section of Chum Kiu opens with a turn followed by a crescent kick.  This, as with all the kicks, highlights that there may be a distance between you and an opponent.  Kicks can be used to warn off opponents, to step in and bridge the gap or to attack and gain contact with your opponent.  Distance is the key when ever using kicking techniques.

The final kick out to the side whilst turning square can be used to correct your center or apply a kick to attack an opponent who is slightly off center.

Body Unity and Connection to the Ground

The aim of the Chum Kiu form in Wing Chun kung fu is to add very strong vectors of rotating force, using the entire body mass, to the movements learned in Sil Lim Tao.

Sil Lim Tao introduces and develops the importance of unifying the lower and upper body together to make a singular unit.  In Chum Kiu this is tested and power is put into the system -’re-learning’ and ‘refining’ the understanding and experience.

With simultaneous hand and foot movements, the Chum Kiu form further develops to link between the upper and lower body using the Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma stance which was learned in Sil Lim Tao.  Specifically, the Chum Kiu form begins to introduce the concept that “power comes from ground”.

When this is done correctly, the force created is multiplied by the mass of the body and seems to come from a number of directions at once. The superior result of this is to create movements which are very difficult to oppose, as the force is no longer a simple straight line, but is now rather a balanced, rotating force which is aimed directly at the opponent’s centreline.

Additionally, the stepping within Chum Kiu develops the timing between hand and feet techniques – learning how to move as a single unit.  Moving as a single unit you are then able to root to the ground, have a good structure and maintain your balance.

It is this integration of all elements of the body, accomplished by correct pivoting and stepping, which teaches you to generate maximum force with minimum effort – allowing a small person to overcome the brute strength of a much larger opponent.


Chum Kiu the second form

 by Dan Knight

Chum Kiu or Seeking the Bridge

There are two main points in Chum Kiu: to avoid [attacks] by turning, and to be stable. I practiced the Lan Sau turning movement in Chum Kiu every day, all day for three months, but my father wouldn’t teach me the next movement until I got it right. “You think three months is a long time?” he said, “I followed my master for three years!”– Ip Chun


Wing Chun’s second form

Wing Chun kung fu’s second form, Chum Kiu builds on the base of knowledge learned in the first form and teaches the practitioner how to use these skills under different conditions ie. with movement and turning.

The Goals / Benefits of Chum Kiu

Chum Kiu makes the student practice a number of useful skills. Some of the benefits of training Chum Kiu are as follows.

  • Practice using the turning or Yiu Ma, with techniques to help generate power in strikes and blocks.
  • Introduces kicking techniques to the student. Kicking is a vital weapon/component in Wing Chun.
  • Introduces Biu Ma stepping to the student. Essential for being able to chase down a target or close the distance to the opponent.
  • Practicing the turning will improve the students balance and structure.
  • The student will learn to coordinate 2 way energy along side movement. For example the Lap Sau and strike. Or later Bong Sau, Wu Sau together with stepping.

The Second Forms’ Structure

Ip Chun Lan Sau from Chum Kiu

The first section of Chum Kiu teaches how to use turning and techniques at the same time, for example the Bong Sau and Wu Sau are performed whist turning and shifting the body weight from one leg to the other. This is teaching the practitioner to use the hips to develop power or Yiu Ma as it’s called in Cantonese. Yiu Ma and body movement in general, is not present in the first form. Chum Kiu is also teaching the practitioner about body positioning when using techniques like the Bong Sau which becomes considerably more effective when combined with turning.

The first section also introduces two way energy as seen when the Lan Sau arm Laps back and a straight punch is delivered. This enables the practitioner to deliver more devastating blows with relative ease as the Laping arm is enabling the transfer of power across the body as the force can flow as one motion without interruption, with the addition of pulling your opponent off balance, the target will also be moving into the punch and so additional damage will be caused. The key to doing this is to learn how to use all the muscles in your body in a short sequence ie. your hips and legs turn and start generating some power, which is then carried on my the shoulders and finally the arm. If you miss time this, you end up just striking with your arm and not using the power of your whole body. The only way to develop this skill is through practice. Chum Kiu is a vitally important way to practice synchronizing the body’s movements to work as one unit.

Tip If you can’t do the turning Lan Sau in the first section quickly and powerfully without loosing balance, you need to practice more. It should feel natural. If it doesn’t get your sifu to help you do the movement until it feels natural and comfortable.

Samuel Kwok doing the Bong Sau in the Chum Kiu formThe second and third sections introduces Wing Chun stepping, this, when combined with techniques, this enables the safe bridging of the gap between the practitioner and his/her opponent. Hence the form is called Chum Kiu or ‘seeking the bridge’. It is with contact that the Wing Chun practitioner has his/her biggest advantage, this is, after all one of the areas Wing Chun specializes in and is a big part of why we do Chi Sau. Furthermore the second section of Chum Kiu is building on Sil Lim Tao by making the practitioner use both footwork and kicks with hand techniques such as blocks/covers.

Chum Kiu also introduces the Wing Chun practitioner to three different kicks, a lifting kick to block others kicks as done by Ip Chun, a front kick which can be aggressive or defensive as used by Ip Ching, and a turning kick which again can be used to stop the advance of an attacker or strike them if they try to get around the practitioner. The Wing Chun kicks like hand techniques are non committal and do not compromise the balance of the practitioner in any significant way. This is due to their speed and lack of height. Most kicks are delivered to targets below the waist, like the groin or knees.

Also throughout the practice of Chum Kiu the practitioner must use both hands at once. Although this is done in Sil 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 from the practitioner.

Therefore Chum Kiu builds on Sil Lim Tao.


Chum-Kiu The “Arm-Seeking” Form

by Phil Bradley

The second form of Wing Tsun is called Chum-Kiu. Meaning “Arm-Seeking,” this curriculum teaches us how to seek out the arms of the opponent and to “connect a bridge”. Once we connect to the opponent, we can immediately determine where the holes in his defense are.

Because we now know where he is, we can take advantage of it and enact our own attacks, e.g. taking the fight to him vs. waiting for him to come to us.

Using Chum-Kiu concepts, we pay particular attention to our turning and weight distribution. If we do not turn enough, we will be exposed to the attack, whereas turning too much will over-extend ourselves. We also learn the various ranges involved with fighting because you have to adjust your range according to what the opponent is doing.

For example, the Siu-Nim-Tau teaches basic attacks and defenses as they relate to the punch/palm striking range. In Chum-Kiu, however, we have kicks, elbows, and even grappling and takedown range. Short of ground fighting, these are four complete ranges of fighting that are addressed in Chum-Kiu training.


Section 1

Section 1 of Chum-Kiu introduces a variety of concepts that deal with trapping, changing angles, using elbow attacks, and defending against multiple opponents.

One of the interesting elements of section 1 is that Chuen Bong-sau, or Turning Wing-arm, is the first of many Bong-sau actions we will perform throughout the Chum-Kiu. It is said that approximately 70% of the Chum-Kiu is comprised of various Bong-sau actions, and the first of these is seen in section 1.


Drills & Applications


In addition to a wide variety of new actions (as well as enhancing previously-learned concepts during our Siu-Nim-Tau training), the Chum-Kiu also introduces the three primary kicking methods: Ching-sun-gerk (Front Thrusting-kick), Wang-chang-gerk (Side Thrusting-kick) and Che-chang-gerk (Slant Thrusting-kick).

The interesting element of Wing Tsun kicks is that instead of chambering the leg and pivoting the knee like many other arts do, we thrust the foot by pistoning the knee. The elbow thrusts the fist, and the knee thrusts the foot.


Ching-sun-gerk, or Front Thrusting-kick, can be employed at various heights, but its primary height is usually the waist. When you can kick with full power and at a parallel height (when your leg is parallel to the floor), then all kicks lower than that will generally see a great deal more power being released.

Lower-level kicks are usually the norm in Wing Tsun, mainly because it is more difficult for the opponent to see. And if it is harder to see, then it is harder to defend against. The problem, however, is that many practitioners do not train their full power at a parallel level, which in turn sees a great deal of power lost that they can achieve.

Therefore, always train this kick in the forms to be full power and parallel to the floor.


In addition to single opponents, Wing Tsun also includes kicking methods for dealing with multiple opponents. We do not get to pick and choose how many will attack us, so Wang-chang-gerk allows us to respond to opponents approaching from the side.

Wang-chang-gerk, or Side Thrusting-kick, is exactly as it sounds: a kick to the side, or 90-degrees from our present position. But like all Wing Tsun kicks, there is no pivoting at the knee; instead, it is a true thrust of the knee to thrust the leg. We use the elbow to piston or “thrust” the fist, and we use the knee to piston or thrust the foot.

An interesting facet you will see in many other styles is that their version of a side kick is really nothing more than turning to the side and doing a front kick. They call it a side kick but it is actually a front kick. As I was trained, though, a side kick is a true kick to the side vs. turning to the side and initiating a front kick.


One of the more common kicking methods you will see in Wing Tsun is called Jeet-gerk, or Stop-kick/Jamming-kick. This is a fast, powerful slamming action into the opponent’s shin, knee or thigh to halt his actions, as well as disrupt his footwork.

Jeet-gerk can take many shapes. From face-to-face and exploding with a low kick to the knee or shin in response to an approaching attacker, to the example below where an attacker approaches and we simply lash into the leg while simultaneously pulling them via Lap-sau.

Note: Jeet-gerk is not in the Chum-Kiu form but it is still a valuable kicking concept. Some schools, including the AWCA, introduce Jeet-gerk during Siu-Nim-Tau training but expand on it during Chum-Kiu.


The Chum-Kiu teaches a variety of elements that are applicable in today’s society. It is interesting when someone says that Wing Tsun lacks a particular fighting element for today’s “flavor of the month” martial art, because there is nothing that Wing Tsun does not have for realistic fighting.


Wing Tsun includes a variety of locking, trapping and pinning actions, with most of them found in the later stages of Siu-Nim-Tau and throughout the Chum-Kiu.

Ground Fighting/Anti-Ground Fighting

Wing Tsun’s ground fighting actions are actually the stand-up principles applied to a prone position. With jamming kicks, elbows and even Chi-sau, the ground fighting/anti-ground fighting concepts are reserved for the latter stages of Chum-Kiu training but continue through Biu-Tze.


In addition to kicks, brutal elbow attacks are a mainstay of Chum-Kiu. Pie-jarn, or Horizontal Hacking-elbow, is one of the most frequently used of all Wing Tsun elbow attacks. While attacks like this may seem brutal, remember that Wing Tsun is strictly for fighting vs. rules-based sports. It is not flashy, showy, and there are no rules. You have been attacked, you are fighting for your life, and all targets are an option.


Fighting vs. Exercising

A variety of today’s exercise routines include boxing, kickboxing, and other similar actions. These programs will usually tell you that in addition to improving your fitness, you are also creating a valuable self-defense skill set, something that you could use in real life for protection if you had to.

I am not going to say that you are not learning something about self-defense, because clearly you are. The body is replicating the actions of movements you would use for defending yourself, and these can be valuable elements if you find yourself in a self-defense situation.

I have also read/heard stories of some who were able to protect themselves only with the skills they learned from their kickboxing-oriented fitness programs. Whether true or not, I can see the relevance and have no reason to doubt it.

Keep in mind, however, that these are merely mechanical actions that you are practicing in the air. It is true that you are learning the mechanics, but at the same time, the focus of the training is primarily health and fitness. Creating a skill set that you can actually rely on for defense is a bit different, and without understanding that, it is a false sense of security to think that an exercise program is the same as learning self-defense.

Fighting and exercising are two different things. Yes, you are improving your fitness, and yes, you are learning the mechanics of basic self-defense actions. Remember, though, that real self-defense and exercising are not the same thing. There is more to reliable self-defense than merely going through the motions, and that is a primary concept we learn in the Chum-Kiu.

Please do not create a false sense of security by relying on your fitness program to teach you about real protection. I personally love fitness programs that include boxing and/or kickboxing because they generate more movement that relates better to overall conditioning. However, these fitness programs will not stop a 250-lb. enraged attacker bent on drilling you into the ground.

But Wing Tsun will.


Concepts & Theories

The Chum-Kiu revolves around seeking out the opponent, and once found, we sink or leak through his/her defenses in order to attack. The most relevant areas of this training includes concepts for angling and turning in order to make the most of the space we have, which in turn allows us to address multiple opponents.

The Chum-Kiu is also where Wing Tsun’s three primary kicking methods – Ching-sun-gerk, Wang-chang-gerk and Che-chang-gerk – are introduced. With these three kicks, we now learn to respond to leg attacks with our own legs vs. using the arms. An interesting facet, however, is that even with the kicks, we also learn that in many cases, responding to the opponent’s kick is sometimes not even necessary.

A common yet effective tactic is that when the opponent kicks, we explode forward into them in order to decrease the range. Not only can this jam the kick, but it can also decrease the power that the kick can produce by shortening the length it has to travel. And with a decreased distance, it cannot produce the same amount of power.

The “bridge” between the Siu-Nim-Tau and Biu-Tze is the Chum-Kiu. It is here that we take our basic concepts learned during our Siu-Nim-Tau training and really make them mobile, efficient, fluid, and responsive. Not only do we learn kicking and elbow attacks/ defenses, but we also learn how to engage multiple opponents.


Chum Kiu – Bridging the Gap

The second set of Wing Chun is called “Chum Kiu” or “Searching For the Bridge.” In Chinese, “Bridge” refers to the arm. Searching for the Bridge refers to the art of trying to make contact with the opponent Chum Kiuso that the sticking hand techniques can be applied.

Wing Chun divides the art of fighting into two parts. One part is the techniques which apply while in contact with the opponent. The other part is the art of trying to make contact with the opponent. Part one is much more scientific than part two. The art of trying to make contact with the opponent relies not only on speed and proper timing, but also on psychology.

The second set contains footwork and hand techniques required to make contact with an opponent. The second set teaches shifting (turning), and stepping (charging). This footwork complements the hand techniques taught in the first set.


One of the first things to notice about the second set is that it teaches one how to shift the feet. You shift on the heels of the feet while keeping the pelvis tucked in. In a shifted stance, the weight is off the front foot so that you can easily kick, deflect a kick with your foot, step or avoid foot sweeps.

Shifting (turning\rotating) serves many purposes:

  1. It adds force to short range attacks.
  2. It gets you out of the line of fire.
  3. It gets you closer to the opponent.
  4. It creates better angles for attacking.
  5. It lets you deal with very strong forces by allowing your structure to break down in a planned way.


The second part of the second set teaches one how to advance the stance. It teaches stepping and charging. The Wing Chun step is performed in several ways depending on the use. In the set you step with the heel of the front foot while dragging the rear foot. This kind of step keeps you solid on the ground in case the opponent attacks.

The second method of stepping is to propel yourself off the back foot using the toes. This is like a track runner starting a race. You shoot like an arrow into the opponent. The Wing Chun lunging action is similar to the lunge in Western fencing. When you are at a critical distance from the opponent, you rush in before the opponent has a chance to lift a foot to kick.

In the stepping, the feet are either on the same straight line or optimally, the heel of the rear foot is line up with the toe of the front foot. This stance is better for actual combat because it is quicker and the lead foot does not get tangled with the opponent’s lead foot.