Understanding Wing Chun's Centre Line

APL76

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It exists in the WC pole form. But does it exist in the WC open hand form?

Something like this - counter-clock half circle, clockwise half circle.

wc-stick-circle.gif


In open hand, it may look like this.

Yes it does exist in the empty hand forms, though to a large degree I suspect it will probably depend on the style of wing chun you do.

It is a feature of the Yip Man wing chun I learned; and It is most certainly a central component of Sum Nung wing chun I learn. That said it doesn't appear, from what I have seen at least, to be that prominent in most Yip Man wing chun.
 

wckf92

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It exists in the WC pole form. But does it exist in the WC open hand form?

Something like this - counter-clock half circle, clockwise half circle.

wc-stick-circle.gif


In open hand, it may look like this.


Yes, in the first form.
 

Flying Crane

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But yeah, the spear forms are practically identical, because 5B8T is specifically a single ended long staff form, lots of circling and poking, not a lot of big swings and translates almost perfectly to adding a point in the end. I have seen waxwood staves that are actually sharpened to a point, rather than a steel tip. Just as deadly.
This is not my experience. We have a staff form that we call fifth brother staff and it is exactly what you say that it is not in the above.

It is double-ended (but gripped and used from one end at a time, not gripped in the middle), contains lots of sweeping strikes and far fewer pokes, and really does not resemble spear at all, at least when compared to an actual spear set.

I believe that the name is used widely for sets found within different systems, that are not the same set. I do not believe it is possible to trace an existing set to a specific ancestral set, I believe the name is simply popular and over time it was applied by many people to many sets.

Thats my take on it, anyways.
 

Oily Dragon

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This is not my experience. We have a staff form that we call fifth brother staff and it is exactly what you say that it is not in the above.

It is double-ended (but gripped and used from one end at a time, not gripped in the middle), contains lots of sweeping strikes and far fewer pokes, and really does not resemble spear at all, at least when compared to an actual spear set.
The Fifth Brother Eight Trigram form is pretty standardized in China, especially around spearwork and other long weapons, and it's most heavily tied to Wong Fei Hung's lineage and the Yang family spear forms. It's found in others but not popularly. Generally it's safe to say the 5 Southern Family arts kept this form going, although others like Wing Chun would definitely know about it and train it.

But everyone loves to change things. If you are doing something different than this, I'd love to see a video, because chances are it's not the canonical 5B8T form, it's modified.

Yes, a lot of this is common in CMA. And in my world the old film beats later video. And no, it's entirely possibly to link modern forms with ancient weapons forms. The ancient Chinese were meticulous about documenting stuff. I have stele, artwork, pictures before even the advent of cinema.

Lam Chun Fai does the best version on camera in the last 100 years, but my YouTube skills aren't working very well at the moment...here's some old B&W, and Wing Lam in Technicolor.


 
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Oily Dragon

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Not to mention, Gordon Liu basically set the standard for 5B8T in the 80's.

"I'm here to deliver the poles...the poles of righteousness!"

 

Flying Crane

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The Fifth Brother Eight Trigram form is pretty standardized in China, especially around spearwork and other long weapons, and it's most heavily tied to Wong Fei Hung's lineage and the Yang family spear forms. It's found in others but not popularly. Generally it's safe to say the 5 Southern Family arts kept this form going, although others like Wing Chun would definitely know about it and train it.

But everyone loves to change things. If you are doing something different than this, I'd love to see a video, because chances are it's not the canonical 5B8T form, it's modified.

Yes, a lot of this is common in CMA. And in my world the old film beats later video. And no, it's entirely possibly to link modern forms with ancient weapons forms. The ancient Chinese were meticulous about documenting stuff. I have stele, artwork, pictures before even the advent of cinema.

Lam Chun Fai does the best version on camera in the last 100 years, but my YouTube skills aren't working very well at the moment...here's some old B&W, and Wing Lam in Technicolor.


Yup, that is exactly not what our fifth brother staff set is. Perhaps the eight trigrams designation makes a difference, I dont recall hearing that part in the name we use. Maybe they are two different sets distinguished by that.

But hey, what do I know?
 

Oily Dragon

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Yup, that is exactly not what our fifth brother staff set is. Perhaps the eight trigrams designation makes a difference, I dont recall hearing that part in the name we use. Maybe they are two different sets distinguished by that.

But hey, what do I know?

Trigrams are deep kung fu knowledge, so...not suitable for Saturday afternoon. That said,

I spent the afternoon researching the history of southern staff forms (Shahar, Judkins), I have a whole set of notes outlined specific to Wing Chun, so the basic transmission of material from old Song dynasty military drills, through Shaolin Temple, and later to Ming Dynasty and later on Red Opera boats is a little clearer.

The staff (spear) forms came into the Wing Chun families via just a handful of routes (a few key real and Shaolin-trained legendary figures), but by the time Ip Man learned (some of) Wing Chun, they had become unmistakably southern (the single ended long staff as boat oar) but he (according to certain gossip) would only teach them for huge sums of money. While I don't buy into that sort of talk lightly, Ip Man was an opium addict for some time, so the idea of him fleecing students for cash and giving them substandard staff training doesn't seem far fetched. You could, at the same time, get singled ended staff training in other southern schools.

However, the good news is that a common webwork of the 5B8T form connects several arts The Yang family staff forms (northern Han) contained just a handful (about six and a half...) of key techniques, these later on circa Ming dynasty became what China now associates as Fifth Brother Eight Trigram staff, which if you know Hong Kong cinema has become immortalized with Hung Kuen flair, but is way older than that.

To Young Wing Chun, this is the "Six and a Half Point Staff" technique. That's why I find the comments like "oh this makes more sense with a weapon in your hands" enlightening. Because it's true, whether or not you're holding anything.

Sigong Kwok has a great video on this.


I have no idea what school this kid is in, but it's clearly 5B8T.

 
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Oily Dragon

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And just because it's Saturday, this is the best staff duel ever caught on film. Somebody once told me this was fake movie stuff, I asked them if they could pull it off. Crickets.

In reality, these are two very skilled 5B8T masters. They goofed this movie's name in the English though. 8 Diagrams??? Come on, dude. Know your kung fu!

(Eight trigam double ended staff!??)

 

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Im not supposed to post our stuff on the internet, but I found this on YouTube. It is not our fifth brother staff (I dont actually know what this set is, Bak Hoc definitely has some variations from one school and lineage to another) but this is the type of technique that our fifth brother staff has.

 

JowGaWolf

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Im not supposed to post our stuff on the internet, but I found this on YouTube. It is not our fifth brother staff (I dont actually know what this set is, Bak Hoc definitely has some variations from one school and lineage to another) but this is the type of technique that our fifth brother staff has.

that makes me super tired just watching it. If you told me that is the lesson for to today, I would be like "time to pretend to pass out and hope for the best" lol
 

wckf92

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Trigrams are deep kung fu knowledge, so...not suitable for Saturday afternoon. That said,

I spent the afternoon researching the history of southern staff forms (Shahar, Judkins), I have a whole set of notes outlined specific to Wing Chun, so the basic transmission of material from old Song dynasty military drills, through Shaolin Temple, and later to Ming Dynasty and later on Red Opera boats is a little clearer.

The staff (spear) forms came into the Wing Chun families via just a handful of routes (a few key real and Shaolin-trained legendary figures), but by the time Ip Man learned (some of) Wing Chun, they had become unmistakably southern (the single ended long staff as boat oar) but he (according to certain gossip) would only teach them for huge sums of money. While I don't buy into that sort of talk lightly, Ip Man was an opium addict for some time, so the idea of him fleecing students for cash and giving them substandard staff training doesn't seem far fetched. You could, at the same time, get singled ended staff training in other southern schools.

However, the good news is that a common webwork of the 5B8T form connects several arts The Yang family staff forms (northern Han) contained just a handful (about six and a half...) of key techniques, these later on circa Ming dynasty became what China now associates as Fifth Brother Eight Trigram staff, which if you know Hong Kong cinema has become immortalized with Hung Kuen flair, but is way older than that.

To Young Wing Chun, this is the "Six and a Half Point Staff" technique. That's why I find the comments like "oh this makes more sense with a weapon in your hands" enlightening. Because it's true, whether or not you're holding anything.

Sigong Kwok has a great video on this.


I have no idea what school this kid is in, but it's clearly 5B8T.

Dang...that dude in the kwok video must have the worst pole shocking skill I've ever seen LOL
 

Flying Crane

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that makes me super tired just watching it. If you told me that is the lesson for to today, I would be like "time to pretend to pass out and hope for the best" lol
It is some really effective material. Ive pretty much stopped using flexible waxwood and use hickory instead. Those techniques will pulverize your head and beat you into the dust. It is absolutely lethal. I think perhaps people tend to forget how lethal a stick/staff is. I think in many peoples minds, staff plays second fiddle to something like sword. People like the obvious lethality of a steel blade. But skillful staff will kill you just as dead, and will break your sword for good measure.
 

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Im not supposed to post our stuff on the internet, but I found this on YouTube. It is not our fifth brother staff (I dont actually know what this set is, Bak Hoc definitely has some variations from one school and lineage to another) but this is the type of technique that our fifth brother staff has.

Fujian Crane style, which makes sense.

Here's a similar example, Fujian Crane dude actually borrowed a Wing Chun longstaff to do this form.

 

Oily Dragon

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No, not Fujian crane. This is Tibetan.
Makes senses, there's a long cultural connection between the two.

Keep in mind both went through centuries and centuries of military dynasty pressure to be effective or die on the battlefield. The family lineages still teach them because they're effective, and relatively simple, compared to some of the goofy wushu sporty flashy stuff.

I sometimes find it mentioned that Tibetan White Crane and Fujian White Crane aren't related. The truth is they have separate origins but were combined centuries ago by various styles, Wing Chun being just one.
 
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