The Hidden Power of Siu Nim Tau by Chu Shong Tin

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,324
Reaction score
9,470
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
The Hidden Power of Siu Nim Tau by Tsui Sheung Tin (aka Chu Shong Tin)

Like every beginner in class, I started my journey with Siu Nim Tau, even though I had already familiarized myself with the form as an observer. It took me little effort to completely learn the basic movements. I then began to wonder about the essence of the form, besides the hand movements. I went to Yip and inquired about the meaning of Siu Nim Tau, especially the non-combative tone in the name. Yip replied: "This is about Lop Nim -- to establish an idea in the mind". I am sure most of my peers have also heard about this term. Yip also added that it required prolonged practice of this form to truly master the essence of lop nim.

Chu Shong Tin
 
Last edited:

Danny T

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
2,293
Location
New Iberia, Louisiana USA
Excellent article.

My Sifu, would say "intent". "Use your 3rd eye to see, use your mind to do not muscle"

This last paragraph in the article describes it well.
"Finally, I suggest that all fellow Wing Chun practitioners look carefully into each technique of Siu Nim Tau. Discover the subtle circular movements in each of them. Practice with mind focus and steady speed. Use the mind to command each technique rather than using muscle tension. I am sure you will gradually find great joy and satisfaction in your Siu Nim Tau training!"
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,369
Reaction score
3,582
Location
Phoenix, AZ
BTW has anybody noticed that our most active member of the TST lineage has been missing for a couple of months ...Namely Mook Jong Man. I sure hope he comes back and starts posting again. His input was very valuable to this forum.
 

Transk53

The Dark Often Prevails
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
4,220
Reaction score
836
Location
England 43 Anno Domini
BTW has anybody noticed that our most active member of the TST lineage has been missing for a couple of months ...Namely Mook Jong Man. I sure hope he comes back and starts posting again. His input was very valuable to this forum.

Now that you say that, hope nothing is wrong. I find him very compelling.
 

Danny T

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
2,293
Location
New Iberia, Louisiana USA
BTW has anybody noticed that our most active member of the TST lineage has been missing for a couple of months ...Namely Mook Jong Man. I sure hope he comes back and starts posting again. His input was very valuable to this forum.
I was thinking the same when posting about the Mook Jong yesterday.
Didn't he go to Japan?? Maybe doesn't have the time or is unable to visit with us.
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,324
Reaction score
9,470
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
What I find interesting about the article is that the way he is talking Lop Nim made me think an awful lot about taijiquan.

After reading the article I will be going back to work on Siu Nim Tau
 
Last edited:

Reeksta

Green Belt
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
151
Reaction score
89
Location
Birmingham, UK
Great article, really useful for people new to wing chun like myself. Thanks for posting
 

yak sao

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
2,183
Reaction score
761
I was thinking the same when posting about the Mook Jong yesterday.
Didn't he go to Japan?? Maybe doesn't have the time or is unable to visit with us.


Yea, he moved to Japan so they could be closer to his wife's parents I believe.

I think he just doesn't love us anymore.
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,324
Reaction score
9,470
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
Yea, he moved to Japan so they could be closer to his wife's parents I believe.

I think he just doesn't love us anymore.

WHAT!!!! Japan doesn't have internet.....HARUMPH!!!!! How DARE HE!!!! We've been jilted :D

I hope all is going well with him in Japan
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,369
Reaction score
3,582
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Rebel, since you reposted this video, how do you feel about this approach?

...Some really gravitate to the "internal" interpretation of WC, associated with the legacy of Tsui Sheung-Tin and more recently popularized by this guy, Nima King.

...Others are much more skeptical, pointing out that these kinds of "chi" demonstrations, also associated with some schools of Aikido and Taiji, foster the kind of mystical, magical thinking that is the bane of martial arts, barely a step removed from no-touch knockouts.

So what's your take on TST and now, his torchbearer, Nima King?
 

Taiji Rebel

Black Belt
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
651
Reaction score
339
Rebel, since you reposted this video, how do you feel about this approach?

...Some really gravitate to the "internal" interpretation of WC, associated with the legacy of Tsui Sheung-Tin and more recently popularized by this guy, Nima King.

...Others are much more skeptical, pointing out that these kinds of "chi" demonstrations, also associated with some schools of Aikido and Taiji, foster the kind of mystical, magical thinking that is the bane of martial arts, barely a step removed from no-touch knockouts.

So what's your take on TST and now, his torchbearer, Nima King?
The mind-body connection is more subtle. It is easier for the majority to focus on the physical aspects. Martial arts movies and YT have mystified these practices and used them as dramatic devices. You mention Aikido, which reminds me of the Unbendable Arm demonstration - you can hear them talking about this kind of exercise when speaking of the image of a flowing hose, relaxation etc. nearer the end of the video.

What matters is the experience. It is not magical, or mystical. It is just the relaxed and subtle use of mind and body working together. By relaxing and flowing we are able to create the most efficient dynamic structures and alignments with the body in relation to outside forces.

I have no real opinion on either of these guys. The video and their work is useful for illustrating a principle which can be found in many different body/mind practices. They are not unique in this respect, but I am sure there will be a certain number of people who follow them and hang on their every word.
 

Taiji Rebel

Black Belt
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
651
Reaction score
339
Rebel, since you reposted this video, how do you feel about this approach?

...Some really gravitate to the "internal" interpretation of WC, associated with the legacy of Tsui Sheung-Tin and more recently popularized by this guy, Nima King.

...Others are much more skeptical, pointing out that these kinds of "chi" demonstrations, also associated with some schools of Aikido and Taiji, foster the kind of mystical, magical thinking that is the bane of martial arts, barely a step removed from no-touch knockouts.

So what's your take on TST and now, his torchbearer, Nima King?
How about you? What are your thoughts about the video, Nima King and TST?
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,369
Reaction score
3,582
Location
Phoenix, AZ
How about you? What are your thoughts about the video, Nima King and TST?

Although I've trained with people from a few different branches of the Yip Man Wing Chun lineage, I've never personally worked with any TST people. Outside of Hong Kong, it seems like his following was biggest down under, in Australia, and possibly New Zealand, while I live on the opposite side of the globe in the southwestern part of the USA. Don't know of any TST people around here.

So ....any vague ideas I have about the legacy of TST, the Saam Si-hing of Yip Man's Hong Kong Kwoon and renowned "King of Siu Nim Tau" come only from a few brief exchanges on forums and casually watching a few YouTube clips. In short:


That said, it seems that the TST branch not only puts a lot of emphasis on relaxation and softness and structure, but also embraces an "internal" approach involving a lot of emphasis on "chi".

FWIW, a similar drift towards the "internal", or at least a hyper-fixation on the minutia of technique and "structure", rather than practical results, has occurred in many branches of WC, including my own. It is as though those who are marketing WC have given up teaching fighting applications, and have decided to market magic and mysticism to people who they know will never physically test the art.

Before MMA was big, the WT branch I came from not only produced enthusiasts like me, but also produced some genuine tough guys. You know, "fighters". Since the mid 90's those kind of athletic, tough guys gravitate to competitive fighting sports Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA. On the other hand, take a look at the YouTube clips and check out the types of people you see taking seminars from Nima and others like him. I would not describe any of them a likely to be "fighters".

So, after the rise of MMA, successful marketers of many traditional martial arts seem to have decided that their only future is in what my old Chinese sifu called, "selling dreams".
 
Last edited:

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
14,084
Reaction score
4,551
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
So, after the rise of MMA, successful marketers of many traditional martial arts seem to have decided that their only future is in what my old Chinese sifu called, "selling dreams".
To me, one should try to introduce TMA into MMA. I will be happy if one day someone will use "rhino guard" in UFC.
 
Last edited:

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,369
Reaction score
3,582
Location
Phoenix, AZ
To me, one should try to introduce TMA into MMA. I will be happy if one day someone will use "rhino guard" in UFC.

What? "Rinos" or old moderate republicans fighting in the UFC?

Great idea, all politics aside. Heck, I'd like to see politicians and fat-cat billionaires of every stripe pounding on each other in the UFC! Who wouldn't!!!

But seriously. I agree that the goal of teaching functional skills that could be applied and tested in competitive venues like the UFC, is a very positive thing and something I too would like to see more often in TMA.
 

Taiji Rebel

Black Belt
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
651
Reaction score
339
Although I've trained with people from a few different branches of the Yip Man Wing Chun lineage, I've never personally worked with any TST people. Outside of Hong Kong, it seems like his following was biggest down under, in Australia, and possibly New Zealand, while I live on the opposite side of the globe in the southwestern part of the USA. Don't know of any TST people around here.

So ....any vague ideas I have about the legacy of TST, the Saam Si-hing of Yip Man's Hong Kong Kwoon and renowned "King of Siu Nim Tau" come only from a few brief exchanges on forums and casually watching a few YouTube clips. In short:


That said, it seems that the TST branch not only puts a lot of emphasis on relaxation and softness and structure, but also embraces an "internal" approach involving a lot of emphasis on "chi".

FWIW, a similar drift towards the "internal", or at least a hyper-fixation on the minutia of technique and "structure", rather than practical results, has occurred in many branches of WC, including my own. It is as though those who are marketing WC have given up teaching fighting applications, and have decided to market magic and mysticism to people who they know will never physically test the art.

Before MMA was big, the WT branch I came from not only produced enthusiasts like me, but also produced some genuine tough guys. You know, "fighters". Since the mid 90's those kind of athletic, tough guys gravitate to competitive fighting sports Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA. On the other hand, take a look at the YouTube clips and check out the types of people you see taking seminars from Nima and others like him. I would not describe any of them a likely to be "fighters".

So, after the rise of MMA, successful marketers of many traditional martial arts seem to have decided that their only future is in what my old Chinese sifu called, "selling dreams".
You mention magic and mysticism. This is not something I see. You speak of "selling dreams" as if this is a new thing. Look at the amount of success and life coaches hawking their wares these days - every advert you see was designed with the intention of selling a dream.

Martial arts has been corrupted in many respects. You have all the different schools and styles vying for students. Since arriving in America the martial arts have been massively corrupted. These days martial arts are big business and a competitive one it is too.

One thing I am still not clear about is your thinking on the internal and structural aspects. Are you for, or against this kind of approach?
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,369
Reaction score
3,582
Location
Phoenix, AZ
You mention magic and mysticism. This is not something I see. You speak of "selling dreams" as if this is a new thing. Look at the amount of success and life coaches hawking their wares these days - every advert you see was designed with the intention of selling a dream.
True.
Martial arts has been corrupted in many respects. You have all the different schools and styles vying for students. Since arriving in America the martial arts have been massively corrupted. These days martial arts are big business and a competitive one it is too.
America? Sure, but the teachers I'm thinking of started off in Asia, and in one case, built their biggest profit making scheme in Europe.
One thing I am still not clear about is your thinking on the internal and structural aspects. Are you for, or against this kind of approach?
The branch of the art I train places great emphasis on technique, structure, proper bone and joint alignment (kinetic linkages) and relaxation to develop soft and elastic "springy energy".

That said, if you want to fight, you better be powerful and explosive, as well as tough mentally and physically. In short, no magic.

Me, I'm too old for that. Even this keyboard warrior stuff tires my fingers, so now excuse me while I go take a nap! ;)
 
Top