Bil Jee pivoting

mook jong man

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When I perform the Bil Jee form , as I start the pivoting elbow strike sequences.
I was taught to pivot the upper body first , and the rest of the body follows on and lags behind a little bit , unlike the Chum Kiu where the body is pivoted as one unit.
Does everybody else do it this way as well ? , initiating the pivot with the upper body first apparently develops the proper way of co-ordinating the extra power generated by the upper body .
 

Eru Il繙vatar

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The way I was thought all moves were sopposed to be initiated by the hips, including in Biu Tze. I don't understand why initiating the move with the upper body would develop more power. If you could explain a bit more I would be grateful. As I see it, pivoting your whole body as one delivers more speed and therefore also more power into the strike. Keeping the upper-lower body unity also allows you to put your whole weight into the elbow strike.
 

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When I was taught the Bui Jee, the elbows were in rotation from the shoulder first followed by the body, but when the rest of the body came into play it moved as a whole. When wing chun is performed the body moves as a whole, providing the practitioner with full body weight and power behind the strikes.
 

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When I perform the Bil Jee form , as I start the pivoting elbow strike sequences.
I was taught to pivot the upper body first , and the rest of the body follows on and lags behind a little bit , unlike the Chum Kiu where the body is pivoted as one unit.
Does everybody else do it this way as well ? , initiating the pivot with the upper body first apparently develops the proper way of co-ordinating the extra power generated by the upper body .

Could be just your sifu way. Form and function are not always the same.Sometimes using the upper part of the body to move first makes sence when your looking at it from a distance point of view.
 
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mook jong man

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The Bil Jee form builds on the skills learned in Sil Lum Tao and Chum Kiu forms , but also in a lot of ways makes a departure from the concepts laid down in the previous forms.

One of these is the use of torque from the upper body, it is very similar to how an untrained person would try and generate power by twisting their upper body.

But the problem is you cannot utilise this extra power to its fullest extent unless you have trained in the structure of Sil Lum Tao and gained co-ordination from Chum Kiu.

The movement could quite easily become telegraphic if the timing and co-ordination required in the previous forms has not been trained.
This twisting of the upper body in Bil Jee if memory serves me well is supposed to train the proper way of transmitting force through the arms and into the Wing Chun weapons.

In fact in the Chair Gwun Kuen a preparation exercise for the Pole which teaches the trainee to advance and retreat in the low horse stance , this twisting motion is done quite a bit , exactly the same as Bil Jee .

So at a very high level the slight torque from the upper body can also be used to generate extra power for empty hand fighting as well , but only after proficiency is gained in the other forms.

As I said earlier the action could easily become telegraphed if it is exaggerated or not co-ordinated properly , say for example when performed by a junior student .

In our lineage if we were to stay locked in at the waist , when in the final position with our elbow on centre our feet would be straight like we were walking a tight rope , not a stable position to be in.

But if we use the correct way (for our lineage ) with the elbows leading the way and the waist twisting , then we should end up with the point of the elbow on the centre line , and the toes of the lead foot pointing inwards which means we are still in some semblance of a stance .

The point of the elbow is on the centre line and you should be feeling quite stretched across the upper back and shoulders , this stretching of the muscles is also very important for some reason that I can't recall at the moment .

In our lineage this twisting and stretching is done only in the elbow sequences and in the part where you palm strike from your centre line to the far side after you have done the three finger thrusts , it was this particular part where we were encouraged to twist and stretch the upper body .

The rest of the form is performed with upper and lower body unity as per the Chum Kiu form , it seems like this way of performing Bil Jee might be peculiar to the TST lineage I'm starting to think.
 

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The Bil Jee form builds on the skills learned in Sil Lum Tao and Chum Kiu forms , but also in a lot of ways makes a departure from the concepts laid down in the previous forms.

One of these is the use of torque from the upper body, it is very similar to how an untrained person would try and generate power by twisting their upper body...But the problem is you cannot utilise this extra power to its fullest extent unless you have trained in the structure of Sil Lum Tao and gained co-ordination from Chum Kiu...


The point of the elbow is on the centre line and you should be feeling quite stretched across the upper back and shoulders , this stretching of the muscles is also very important for some reason that I can't recall at the moment .

I am currently reviewing, or more accurately "re-learning" my WT Biu Tze material (corrected form, chi-sau training and fighting application). One of the things that strikes me again and again is the paradox you pointed out in the first parts of the quote above... namely that Biu Tze builds upon the structures learned in SNT and Chum Kiu, and yet at the same time "departs" from or transcends these basic "rules".

Regarding the elastic upper body torque and stretching: This is heavily emphasized in the WT lineage... and its really difficult for me, in part because I'm constitutionally a bit tight and stiff-jointed, and secondly because I do some weight training without putting in a commensurate amount of stretching (I know, my bad). Anyway, one thing accomplished by the stretching of the upper back and shoulders is the development of a very elastic quality of the shoulder that adds tremendous power, snap, and even range to the strikes. If you look at videoclips of Leung Ting or his most advanced "practitioner" grade students, you can see this shoulder movement in their punching. Ironically, before this level, we were taught that the shoulder never moves forward when you punch. Later, much later, you learn differently.

BTW this old way of teaching, where the sifu says things are absolutely, positively, 100% one way, and then years later reveals the "exceptions to the rule" is something I've come across many times with some old fashioned, Chinese instructors.

It's done, for many reasons. For one thing, you want your students to focus on what they need to know at their current level and not to be skipping their basics and trying to jump ahead. I can understand and accept this, although I prefer a more direct and honest approach.

Unfortunately, another reason for this is fear that the casual student may learn too much and "steal" your best stuff. The instructor often holds back these refinements until he is confident that a student is both loyal and "worthy"-- whatever that may mean.

For my old Sifu, "worthy" sometimes had way too much to do with financial worth, as in, "How much can you pay me?" And to make sure that nobody else got the details without putting out the goods, he would deliberately sneak in "errors" and incorect information into his books and videos. They'd be about 95% correct, and then have some "technical screw-ups" just to keep people from trying to learn from the books alone, before they had been taught the "correct" version. No wonder a lot of people got the wrong idea about his system!

In fact Kamon Guy once stated the same thing in reference to the same instructor. Kamon Guy noticed that this sifu would tell you not to do something ever, and then you'd catch him doing something very similar! Well, I chalk it up to this whole contradictory way of teaching. As a educator by profession, and an unapologetic product of modern Western Civilization, I vastly prefer an honest approach. If my students ask me about a movement that they aren't ready for yet, I just tell them, "Yes, you have a good eye to notice that refinement, but you aren't ready to learn that yet." ...And finally I've found an instructor who is honest enough to teach me WT the same way.
 
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mook jong man

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You are a 110 percent correct Mr Geezer , I reckon its a bit like when you first learn to drive a car. Your driving instructor will say you have to keep both your hands on the wheel at 10 o clock and 2 o clock and keep looking in your mirrors .

But after a couple of years of driving you break the rules and start driving with one hand on the wheel , the other hand fiddling with the radio and not looking in the mirrors as much as you should , but you had to go through all the stages of learning the proper way first .

I remember reading something that Sigung said about Bil Jee that if a junior student starts doing Bil Jee before they are up to standard they will probably injure themselves and if they try to use it in a fight it can be used against them. I know what you mean with chinese masters , sometimes it felt like you got the bare minimum of information and that you had to drag it out of them somewhat.

But it doesn't matter I just kept on asking questions and experimenting with different ways of doing things and eventually through trial and error you get there in the end . They don't like to spoonfeed you too much , they show you a bit then you get left to your own devices.

This is ok for a while but the student still has to be stimulated by learning new techniques otherwise they will start making up their own . Which is pretty much what happened to me , after 10 years I was stagnating and maybe only getting taught a new technique every 6 months , I was getting very bored .

So I started training with some pancrase guys on the side and started adding a lot of ground stuff and takedowns to my Wing Chun . It was like a shot in the arm , it gave me new found motivation to train. It meant that I got shafted out of the place because some people didn't like my hybrid version of Wing Chun , but I was hardly learning anything new to be honest anyway .

I don't think I was ever taught deliberate misinformation like you Geezer , at least I hope not . But I really believe that even if you are , when you train hard and experiment , and through trial and error you will eventually find the right way yourself , it just might take longer because you got a bit of a bumsteer in the first place.
 

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Unfortunately, another reason for this is fear that the casual student may learn too much and "steal" your best stuff. The instructor often holds back these refinements until he is confident that a student is both loyal and "worthy"-- whatever that may mean..
Chris Crudelli mentioned this in Kick *** Moves. It was the proverb of the cat and the dog. The dog came to the cat and asked it how to be more agile. For years the dog trained and learnt from the cat and when it thought that it had done everything, the dog turned on the cat.
The cat ran up a tree. Dog couldn't reach it. Sometimes it is nice to save some secrest for yourself...

In fact Kamon Guy once stated the same thing in reference to the same instructor. Kamon Guy noticed that this sifu would tell you not to do something ever, and then you'd catch him doing something very similar! Well, I chalk it up to this whole contradictory way of teaching. As a educator by profession, and an unapologetic product of modern Western Civilization, I vastly prefer an honest approach. If my students ask me about a movement that they aren't ready for yet, I just tell them, "Yes, you have a good eye to notice that refinement, but you aren't ready to learn that yet." ...And finally I've found an instructor who is honest enough to teach me WT the same way.

I too prefer an honest approach to learning and teaching. There are some things I might hold back, but this would be for the own students good
At basic level you learn static movements (traditional stance, biu ma, huen bo, lin wan kuen, etc) but later these structures have to feel natural. You can't fight a person on the street with rigid structures. That's old school wing chun and basically doesn't work in realistic environments. Like our Sifu says, you don't arrow walk through doors or huen bo round people in a crowded street. You move naturally. Sure, your footwork will be better and your base will be lower, but you can't be so rigid. Wing chun is progressive, which means that there will be different ways of doing things. A beginner will learn chain punching done with square shoulders, whereas more advanced students will learn it done with rotating shoulders

As for your original post Mook - chum kil is most definately about learning how to pivot the body as one unit. In bil gee the elbow is slightly delayed
If it helps, when you are doing the rotations from ledt to right, try pausing when your feet go neutral (basic stance) - your elbow should be down with your hand behind your ear
 

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Originally Posted by mook jong man
The Bil Jee form builds on the skills learned in Sil Lum Tao and Chum Kiu forms , but also in a lot of ways makes a departure from the concepts laid down in the previous forms.

One of these is the use of torque from the upper body, it is very similar to how an untrained person would try and generate power by twisting their upper body...But the problem is you cannot utilise this extra power to its fullest extent unless you have trained in the structure of Sil Lum Tao and gained co-ordination from Chum Kiu...


The point of the elbow is on the centre line and you should be feeling quite stretched across the upper back and shoulders , this stretching of the muscles is also very important for some reason that I can't recall at the moment .

This point has been emphasised in my school as well. Allthough I seem to turn the body, keeping the upper-lower body unity and then at the last moment I do this streching that you mention. The racionalisation behind is that you add the speed of the shoulders moving forward/body twisting to the allready moving lower body(hips) thus generating more speed/increasing acceleration. And becouse force is accelartion times mass the force you deliver on impact is much bigger. Also becouse you keep the upper-lower body unity you can deliver more mass in to the strike thus increasing the m part of F=ma, you are again increasing the amount of force you deliver. But if I understand correctly you seem to do it the other way arround-first twisting the upper body with the lower body comming behind with a lag? Where you told a reason why doing the elbow this way is sopposed to increase power?
 
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Eru Il繳vatar;1150334 said:
This point has been emphasised in my school as well. Allthough I seem to turn the body, keeping the upper-lower body unity and then at the last moment I do this streching that you mention. The racionalisation behind is that you add the speed of the shoulders moving forward/body twisting to the allready moving lower body(hips) thus generating more speed/increasing acceleration. And becouse force is accelartion times mass the force you deliver on impact is much bigger. Also becouse you keep the upper-lower body unity you can deliver more mass in to the strike thus increasing the m part of F=ma, you are again increasing the amount of force you deliver. But if I understand correctly you seem to do it the other way arround-first twisting the upper body with the lower body comming behind with a lag? Where you told a reason why doing the elbow this way is sopposed to increase power?

It doesn't have to be an elbow , it could be anything really , that part of the form is mostly just teaching you to use rotational energy for explosive power .
You could slap someone across the face using this rotational energy and generate a lot of power . As I said in a earlier post some of it has to do with transmitting force into the knives or the pole. I was probably told at one stage the reason for it , but its long since been forgotten .

Quite frankly this stuff is getting close to the limits of my knowledge , so I sent off an email to someone a lot more senior than me about this stuff , but I'm still waiting for a reply unfortunately.
 

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Yea, I agree in a sense. Acctualy in referance to that shoulder stretching I would say it's the samilar concept as the wrist snap at the end of the punch. This are some of the finer points that add that little extra that shows a lot on the opponent when executed properly, but on your part it just looks like a movement of a centimeter or two. I just don't understand that part with the upper body moving first with the lower lagging behind. That doesn't at all mean that it doesn't have a very good reason for it. Unfortunately I don't understand that reference to the knives or the pole form as I don't have them yet. Will have to take your word for it :) I look forward to reading the response of that senior.
 

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First of great question, Mook Jong, its been on my mind for a while, not just for bil jee but for strikes in general.

Eru Il繳vatar;1147609 said:
The way I was thought all moves were sopposed to be initiated by the hips, including in Biu Tze. I don't understand why initiating the move with the upper body would develop more power. If you could explain a bit more I would be grateful. As I see it, pivoting your whole body as one delivers more speed and therefore also more power into the strike. Keeping the upper-lower body unity also allows you to put your whole weight into the elbow strike.

Eru, it takes a lot longer for you to initiate a punch from your whole body than it is to throw a punch without the body.

Somehow, I feel (and this is just from my notion of physics which could be wrong if so point it out) that by throwing the elbows with the upper body first you increase the velocity of strike and then root it to your legs with your lagging hip movement.

what're your thoughts on this guys?
 

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What your talking about is a bit diffrent to what I was referancing in that particular statement that you highlighted. But as far as I see it using your whole body when punching delivers more speed to the strike too. If your standing in your stance, pivoted a bit to the left for example, and you strike forward while picoting to the right, the speed of your hips(on which your upper body is resting) and the speed of your arm add up. In contrast to when you are stationary and you only punch.

What I was referancing to in the statement you highlighted was that if your start moving your upper body while your lower body stays stationary, first of all you go against that natural position of the body, second if you tork it and then start moving your lower behind the overall speed will be that of your upper body torking/twisting which will be slower that that of a pivot which you learn in Chum Kiu rotating the lower body, and then at the last moment before the end of the move where you add the twist of your upper body. Thats how I see it. The funny thing is that I'm starting to think Mook and I are doing the same thing execpt that we do it the other way arround; he twists he's upper body first with the lower body following at the lag(acctualy using his upper body to turn his stance?) and I have my hips initiate the movement of the upper body, with the upper body twist right before the end just adding the speed thats acctualy similar to that turning punch I explained earlier. It was more in referance to that tension. I may have gotten something wrong or don't understand something, this is just how I see things. Feel free to correct any part of that if you find something I got wrong. I'm here to learn :)
 
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mook jong man

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First of great question, Mook Jong, its been on my mind for a while, not just for bil jee but for strikes in general.



Eru, it takes a lot longer for you to initiate a punch from your whole body than it is to throw a punch without the body.

Somehow, I feel (and this is just from my notion of physics which could be wrong if so point it out) that by throwing the elbows with the upper body first you increase the velocity of strike and then root it to your legs with your lagging hip movement.

what're your thoughts on this guys?

To clarify a little bit more the waist only lags slightly behind the upper body , you can only notice it at slow speed at high speed it is unnoticeable .

The rotational power of Bil Jee relies on high speed , so those elbow sequences you should be doing those quite fast. I've hit pads held at the side of me with the Bil Jee elbow and I felt that I was able to transfer pretty much most of my weight into the strike , when you've been training for a while you can just tell when you haven't co-ordinated something properly because it just feels a bit off somehow .

What you said just then reminded me of something , when my Sifu punched really fast it was like the acceleration of his punch went out and dragged his whole body along with it and I asked him about this and he said yeah thats what is happening .

Yet as beginners when we first learnt to step and punch we were taught to synchronise the step with the punch to get maximum power , but my theory is that at the higher levels you are able to punch at such high speed that your leg can't possible keep up with your arm so what happens is that your punch accelerates and then pulls the rest of your body along with its momentum.
 

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Eru Il繳vatar;1150475 said:
What your talking about is a bit diffrent to what I was referancing in that particular statement that you highlighted. But as far as I see it using your whole body when punching delivers more speed to the strike too. If your standing in your stance, pivoted a bit to the left for example, and you strike forward while picoting to the right, the speed of your hips(on which your upper body is resting) and the speed of your arm add up. In contrast to when you are stationary and you only punch.

Hmm. i see what you're saying here. The built up speed is fast. I'm refering to the 0-60 acceleration from the start, like in a car starting from scratch.

Eru Il繳vatar;1150475 said:
What I was referancing to in the statement you highlighted was that if your start moving your upper body while your lower body stays stationary, first of all you go against that natural position of the body, second if you tork it and then start moving your lower behind the overall speed will be that of your upper body torking/twisting which will be slower that that of a pivot which you learn in Chum Kiu rotating the lower body, and then at the last moment before the end of the move where you add the twist of your upper body. Thats how I see it. The funny thing is that I'm starting to think Mook and I are doing the same thing execpt that we do it the other way arround; he twists he's upper body first with the lower body following at the lag(acctualy using his upper body to turn his stance?) and I have my hips initiate the movement of the upper body, with the upper body twist right before the end just adding the speed thats acctualy similar to that turning punch I explained earlier.

I agree with this.
Eru Il繳vatar;1150475 said:
I'm here to learn :)

we all are:)

What you said just then reminded me of something , when my Sifu punched really fast it was like the acceleration of his punch went out and dragged his whole body along with it and I asked him about this and he said yeah thats what is happening .

This is what i'm refering to. If you have a higher 0-60 acceleration (using cars for lack of a better anology) you can slip through your opponents defenses before he can react in close quarters. I'm sure of the timing of joining the top and bottom yet, i'm still experimenting, but by eventually turning the lower body you are rooting yourself using similar principles to what we learn in chum kiu.
 
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Eru Il繳vatar;1150475 said:
What your talking about is a bit diffrent to what I was referancing in that particular statement that you highlighted. But as far as I see it using your whole body when punching delivers more speed to the strike too. If your standing in your stance, pivoted a bit to the left for example, and you strike forward while picoting to the right, the speed of your hips(on which your upper body is resting) and the speed of your arm add up. In contrast to when you are stationary and you only punch.

What I was referancing to in the statement you highlighted was that if your start moving your upper body while your lower body stays stationary, first of all you go against that natural position of the body, second if you tork it and then start moving your lower behind the overall speed will be that of your upper body torking/twisting which will be slower that that of a pivot which you learn in Chum Kiu rotating the lower body, and then at the last moment before the end of the move where you add the twist of your upper body. Thats how I see it. The funny thing is that I'm starting to think Mook and I are doing the same thing execpt that we do it the other way arround; he twists he's upper body first with the lower body following at the lag(acctualy using his upper body to turn his stance?) and I have my hips initiate the movement of the upper body, with the upper body twist right before the end just adding the speed thats acctualy similar to that turning punch I explained earlier. It was more in referance to that tension. I may have gotten something wrong or don't understand something, this is just how I see things. Feel free to correct any part of that if you find something I got wrong. I'm here to learn :)

What you could do if your really keen , is to get a guy to hold a focus mitt face up directly at the side of you and you pivot around and strike it with your elbow as if you were doing Bil Jee.

First we have to make sure we are on the same page with the way we do the elbow , our elbow comes up high , not that far from your ear and comes crashing down , point of elbow on centreline . Try it your way and then try it my way and see if the pad holder can notice any difference in power if any.
 

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What you could do if your really keen , is to get a guy to hold a focus mitt face up directly at the side of you and you pivot around and strike it with your elbow as if you were doing Bil Jee.

You know what, I'll do that. My first chance is probably going to be during the weekend when I meet with one of my training buddies. But the problem is that even if your way is "better", I probably won't be able to do it justice as I'm not familiar with it. But I should basicly just twist my upper body and hit while letting the accelaration of the move drag my hip/stance behind it, right?

First we have to make sure we are on the same page with the way we do the elbow , our elbow comes up high , not that far from your ear and comes crashing down , point of elbow on centreline

Yeah, thats how I do it too.
 
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Eru Il繳vatar;1150540 said:
You know what, I'll do that. My first chance is probably going to be during the weekend when I meet with one of my training buddies. But the problem is that even if your way is "better", I probably won't be able to do it justice as I'm not familiar with it. But I should basicly just twist my upper body and hit while letting the accelaration of the move drag my hip/stance behind it, right?



Yeah, thats how I do it too.

Thats very true , I have been doing it this way since learning Bil Jee and it is internalised , so you would have to do it this way for a while as well.

Then of course you have to have some one that is good enough to be able to feel the difference on the pads .
 
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Okay I did a bit of experimentation last night on my heavy bag with elbow striking . I used a horizontal elbow from Chum Kiu as I thought this would be a better indicator in regards to moving the heavy bag , the Bil Jee elbow sends the power down so even though it is more devastating for the opponent it tends not to move the bag laterally as much.

I positioned myself with the bag directly at the side of me , and using the same horizontal elbow strike , I struck the bag with two different delivery systems . The first lot of elbow strikes I did with a strict , sharp Chum Kiu pivot with full body unity.

The second lot I did using the pivot from Bil Jee where the upper body initates the movement . I discovered two things one of which is that doing a lot elbow strikes as hard as you can on a heavy bag gives you a friggin headache.

The second thing I discovered is that the Bil Jee pivot does seem to have more power and move the bag more explosively . Now this experiment is far from perfect and I could have just been thinking it was more powerful , but the bag did seem to have more of a violent jump to it in my opinion.

After I did a lot of repetitions of both types I sort of came to understand why , my theory is that with the Chum Kiu pivot , when the rotation is initiated from the hips and the body stays locked . The body has to overcome the friction of the ground on your feet to initiate momentum , if we all accept that the greater the speed of rotation then the greater the impact will be on the target.

So in a nutshell the faster you can pivot then the more power you will have , but this will be governed by the friction of the ground. But in the Bil Jee way of pivoting that we practice , the upper body initiates the momentum , and doesn't have to overcome this friction to start off with only towards the end when the rest of the body starts to catch up , which by this time the body is already accelerating and drags the body with it , but at the end the hip still has to be behind the strike if you know what I mean.

In my opinion the Chum Kiu is the engine and the Bil Jee is the turbo booster installed onto the engine , the Bil Jee builds on the power of the Chum Kiu , with out being versed in the pivoting of Chum Kiu then there is no way the Bil Jee power can be used .

Because you still have to keep practicing Chum Kiu to learn to rotate your whole body faster which compliments the upper body torque of the Bil Jee. I hope people can understand my explaination , I only have a high school education and have worked in crappy factories most of my life so maybe a more learned person might be able to explain it better.

Any beginners reading this don't start trying to use the Bil Jee method , wait till you are taught . Just keep practicing the SLT which gives you the structure and the Chum Kiu which gives you the main engine , Bil Jee requires very high speed and co-ordination and the potential to hurt your back is very high and if you try to use it in a fight it will probably backfire on you.
 
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