Super slow Siu Nim Tau (siu lam tau)

Eric_H

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Though I typically agree with John W when it comes to different types of drilling, in this one I prefer to adopt the model that every type of training is conditional and seasonal in the journey.

In the beginning, one of the hardest things to train in WC is to not move - nearly every other martial art will dodge, step back or sidestep. In HFY WC we tend to set up our structure from square one/original position and defend that space.

This requires mental training (overcoming the flinch and stress responses) and bridging technology. In order to maintain the original position without being run over, the technology we need to develop is Loi Lau Hoi Sung and proper Kim Yueng Ma to support it. Both of those are part of the lesson of the first form in my line.

For many students, being able to stay still is way harder than being able to move.

Once a student is no longer in that season, I agree with developing body coordination in movement as has already been opined.

As for doing the form very slowly, my experience points that it can have benefits when the student has yet to develop a sense of sinking the body and the elbow.
 
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geezer

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In the beginning, one of the hardest things to train in WC is to not move - nearly every other martial art will dodge, step back or sidestep. In HFY WC we tend to set up our structure from square one/original position and defend that space.

This is one of the big differences between HFY and LT's "WT" coming from the IP Man lineage. I got a little taste of the HFY method once working chi-sau with Jake (remember him?). Although I don't believe he trained with you for long, he really admired that non-moving aspect of HFY that he saw you do.

Leung Ting's method tends towards the opposite end of the spectrum, moving effortlessly with just an ounce of pressure. ...yet now that I think about it, he would occasionally demonstrate powerful rooting and immovability under pressure too. Apparently there is a season for everything.

In Escrima, the DTE guys call that going deep, or de fondo for those times when there can be no yielding or retreat. It's a whole different mindset, like Leonidas at Thermopylae.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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For many students, being able to stay still is way harder than being able to move.
To escape a foot sweep, or single leg attack, you have to move your leg any way. IMO, if you have to guard your ground (very good training) and not moving back, the WC YGKYM is too narrow for that (it's too easy for your opponent to reach your both legs).

If you use side way wide stance to guard your ground, when your opponent attacks, you can shift your weight back and forth. But I don't believe WC uses side way wide stance.
 
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ShortBridge

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I actually had a chance to meet and train with @Eric_H a little bit last weekend. Terrific guy and some really interesting stuff. I think we had a lot of common ground, until it came to Chi Sao and then our differences were clear. Unfortunately, we saved that for last and didn't have enough time to riddle it out, but it's clear that we just regard it as different exercises entirely.

Hopefully we'll get a chance to revisit that later this month. It's always great to connect with people in real life and even better when there are differences and they are cool.
 
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geezer

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I actually had a chance to meet and train with @Eric_H a little bit last weekend. Terrific guy and some really interesting stuff. I think we had a lot of common ground, until it came to Chi Sao and then our differences were clear. Unfortunately, we saved that for last and didn't have enough time to riddle it out, but it's clear that we just regard it as different exercises entirely.

Hopefully we'll get a chance to revisit that later this month. It's always great to connect with people in real life and even better when there are differences and they are cool.

I'd definitely like to hear more about your very different types of chi-sau. Now I'm really curious. It's really cool that you can accept that you are doing different exercises rather than taking the "this is right and that is wrong" approach. By considering them different types of training, you leave yourself open to considering what the other drill can offer.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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As for doing the form very slowly, my experience points that it can have benefits when the student has yet to develop a sense of sinking the body and the elbow.
I like to associate my slow training with footwork. For example, if I just train "guide opponent's arm across his body (guide opponent's leading arm to jam his own back arm)", I want to coordinate my back foot stepping with my leading arm guiding. I want to make sure that when my leading hand starts to

- move, my back foot also start to move.
- stop, my back foot also stop at the same time.

For those drills that without footwork, I can't train this kind of hand and foot coordination. This coordination can be noticeable in slow speed training.

Am I the only person who has this concern? Do we have different goals in our slow training?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I don't like to train MA slow. It makes me to feel old. When I see old people move in slow speed, it upsets me.

Am I the only person who feels this way?
 

ShortBridge

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I'd definitely like to hear more about your very different types of chi-sau. Now I'm really curious. It's really cool that you can accept that you are doing different exercises rather than taking the "this is right and that is wrong" approach. By considering them different types of training, you leave yourself open to considering what the other drill can offer.

Well, I can't speak for his lineage and wouldn't want to appear to be trying. I also don't really want to speak for mine. I'll just speak from my experience and then layer on top of that that I have a shoulder problem that has kept me from putting too much of my own emphasis on Chi Sao for the last few years. I do teach it and I like doing it up to a point.

For me, it is two things:

1) It is an exercise that enables for developing flow, grounding, and the right ratio of structure and softness. It's a great way to develop sensitivity and find openings and opportunities by feel, rather than sight or intellect. My partner is there to expose flaws in my structure and intent so that I can correct them.

2) It can also be a really fun game. It's not fighting and I don't really consider it "sparring", it's a unique construct for Wing Chun and maybe related styles.

When people talk about Chi Sao tournaments or in the Olympics or talk about it as though it is fighting or sparring, I don't really get that. It's not what I understand it to be, though you do get to hit each other. I think if you want to "spar" or test yourself against another system, for example, there are much better ways to do that. But, Chi Sao is one of many things that builds our skills and contributes to that goal over all. I think that the interwebs world of Wing Chun has made chi sao out to be something other than was intended.

That's my take, not speaking for my si gung or his legacy. I actually don't recall what he may have said about it in the past. And I didn't get enough time on it with Eric to understand his perspective. I hope to see him again this month and maybe we can talk about it more or may be he'll chime in here. I like where my kung fu comes from a lot, but I'll never make claims along the lines of it being the only one true..whatever. Life is too short for that sort of thing.
 

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We routinely do Sui Lim Tao (SLT) for between 10 to 20 minute in class (we have 2 hours so enough time).
For us it is a very important developmental tool that achieves a number of goals.

Firstly we try to lock the appropriate structure into the body through pulling everything into place during SLT and holding it for extended periods of time repeated many times over years of training. It also refines our adherence to the centreline in application of our forward force (see below) by relating the forward force tightly to structure.

Secondly it develops a lot of strength through trying to reach and hold the ideal structure. We sink in the stance and bring the resting arms up and back with the hips forward. This puts a lot of isometric tension on the body and develops strength. In addition to that we have our forearms under tension during Sam Bai Fat (SBF) which develops them too.

Thirdly we try to relax everything other than the forearms while we do SLT which when repeated over a descent length of time (a couple of years) and when one learns to relax under that kind of tension it is easier to get a deeper level of relaxation while doing the rest of the Wing Chun we do.

Fourthly through doing SBF very slowly we develop forwards force through the arms that eventually comes into training in Chi Sao, which, through Chi Sao and training in drils, eventually comes into practical application allowing you to attack when the line is clear and avoid force that is not forward (coming from the opponent) without thought, it becomes completely automatic.

In my opinion none of that is easily achievable if one doesn't do SLT very slowly of extended periods of time. Hence, we do it for at least 10 minutes each time.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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we do it for at least 10 minutes each time.
Do you follow the CMA guideline that each move should be coordinated with either 1 inhale, or 1 exhale of your breathing?

When you train slow, how do you coordinate your move with your breathing. If you coordinate your move with either 1 inhale, or 1 exhale, you can't train your move too slow. If you make your slow move for more than 1 inhale, or 1 exhale, you have just broken your single moves into parts.
 
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yak sao

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Do you follow the CMA guideline that each move should be coordinated with either 1 inhale, or 1 exhale of your breathing?

When you train slow, how do you coordinate your move with your breathing. If you coordinate your move with either 1 inhale, or 1 exhale, you can't train your move too slow. If you make your slow move for more than 1 inhale, or 1 exhale, you have just broken your single moves into parts.

Because WT/WC very often deals with an opponent by blitzing in with numerous attacks, even as many as several attacks per second, there is no way to exhale on every single attack.
If we tried to do this we would quickly hyperventilate and be at the mercy of our opponent.
That's not to say that there won't be an occasional strong exhale with a well placed kick or punch, but for the most part we seek to have normal breathing.

So during SNT training, we strive for deep, rhythmic breathing from the diaphragm
throughout the form, not trying to sync our breathing with the movements.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Because WT/WC very often deals with an opponent by blitzing in with numerous attacks, even as many as several attacks per second, there is no way to exhale on every single attack.
You don't have to inhale/exhale fully. You can inhale/exhale partially.

In CMA there is one "section breathing" training that you divide your breath into

- 1, you inhale fully, and then exhale fully.
- 1/2, you inhale 1/2, inhale another 1/2. You then exhale 1/2, exhale another 1/2.
- ...
- 1/7, you inhale 1/7, inhale another 1/7, You then exhale 1/7, exhale another 1/7, ...

This way you can train both partial inhale and partial exhale.

If you throw several punches in 1 second, of course you cannot coordinate your breathing with your punch. that's the "fast extreme for speed".

I'm talking about the "slow extreme for power" that you slow down your move for more than 1 inhale or 1 exhale.

not trying to sync our breathing with the movements.
To switch from exhale to inhale (or the other way around) in the middle of a single move violates the power generation principle. The more that you do it, the less body coordination that you can achieve.

On the

- outside, your hand should coordinate with your foot.
- inside, your breathing (Chi), intention (Yi), power generation (Li) should all coordinate together.

You can't have both inhale and exhale for either "compressing" or "releasing".

 
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Dirty Dog

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Because WT/WC very often deals with an opponent by blitzing in with numerous attacks, even as many as several attacks per second, there is no way to exhale on every single attack.

You can't exhale sharply several times in rapid succession from one inhalation? Weird.
 

APL76

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Do you follow the CMA guideline that each move should be coordinated with either 1 inhale, or 1 exhale of your breathing?

When you train slow, how do you coordinate your move with your breathing. If you coordinate your move with either 1 inhale, or 1 exhale, you can't train your move too slow. If you make your slow move for more than 1 inhale, or 1 exhale, you have just broken your single moves into parts.

No. Breathing should be natural throughout all of it, not just SLT. I was specifically taught NOT to time breathing with movement. It is to be kept as close to natural breathing as possible.
 

wckf92

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No. Breathing should be natural throughout all of it, not just SLT. I was specifically taught NOT to time breathing with movement. It is to be kept as close to natural breathing as possible.

Yup. Same here. Just breathe naturally.
 

yak sao

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You can't exhale sharply several times in rapid succession from one inhalation? Weird.

Yes of course I can , but that's not the way it should be trained.
As I and a couple of others have mentioned, the goal of WC is to breathe naturally.
This doesn't disparage all the other martial arts that exhale on every attack, just another way Wing Chun is different.
 

Danny T

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There are a number of ways for the body to take in air and to off gas carbon dioxide. Costal breathing and Diaphragmatic are what we see the most of. In Form in WC we strive for natural, relaxed diaphragmatic breathing vs costal. Diaphragmatic breathing allows greater amount of air, helps lower the center of gravity and helps allow the elbows to stay inward and closer the the centerline vs costal breathing that expands the rib cage, raises the center of gravity, and pushes the elbows outward from the centerline as well as raises the shoulders slightly.
Don't hold your breath and don't exaggerate it. Just breathe when you need to.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I was specifically taught NOT to time breathing with movement.
It's the other way around. You time your movement with your breathing.

A: How slow should I train my Taiji.
B: It depends on your breathing speed. When you just wake up in the morning, your breathing speed is slow, you do your Taiji slow. After you have run 5 miles, your breathing speed is fast, you do your Taiji fast.

To force your breathing speed is bad for your body.
 
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