How to Do the Chum Kiu Form in Wing Chun

Learn how to do the Chum Kiu form in Wing Chun from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast martial arts video.

My tips for training the Chum Kiu form are actually very similar to my tips for training the Siu Nim Tao form. If you practice at home, you should do it in a room that’s well-ventilated. You want to make sure you’re getting plenty of air. You want to focus on body mechanics, because again, that’s one of the main focus of the forms. There are deeper meanings within the forms and other things that the forms are training. The forms are obviously training your joints and your muscles and your tendons to help you generate power, but mainly, whenever we’re doing any kind of solo work we’re really trying to focus on body mechanics, because that’s really one of the best times to do it.

Like I said before, you don’t have somebody in front of you who’s really trying to punch you or kick you, so you can kind of do these things in a very relaxed way. That’s the best way to focus on body mechanics, is in a stress-free environment, because if you’re worried about somebody attacking your or hitting you, you will generally tend to go into threat mode, where things are going to clam up and these are going to make your body mechanics much worse.

Specifically for the Chum Kiu form, it’s very important to realize that now with the Chum Kiu form, we have kicks, we have steps, we have movements. It’s definitely much more dynamic than the Siu Nim Tao form, but that doesn’t mean that the Chum Kiu form needs to be trained fast or full speed or like same way you would do it in a fight, because again, if you train the form really, really quick, sometimes you think that it’s dynamic or maybe you think that it’s a little bit closer to fighting, but in reality, you can be hiding a lot of slop, a lot of incorrect movements with speed.

In fact, a lot of people who are not very good at body mechanics or at details, or they don’t know a lot of stuff will generally hide it with speed. They say you can hide a lot of slop with speed, and this is not what we want to do. When you practice the Chum Kiu form, make sure you do everything slowly and correctly first. In our system of Wing Chun, when it comes to doing the kick, we like to extend, we like to put power in the kicks, we like to fully launch our punch or our arms when we strike, but that doesn’t mean that the pace of the form is hectic, it’s done fast, or it’s done with a lot of power. It’s still supposed to be done in a relaxed way.

For the Chum Kiu form, again, you want to follow a similar idea which we have in a lot of the basic training in Wing Chun, which is a Chinese model called Dim Dim Ching. Dim Dim Ching means every point clear. What we mean by every point clear is that when you practice the form, again, if you do everything really fast, the points get muddied and they get kind of compressed together, and that’s again, a problem, because in Wing Chun, we’re not talking about choreography, we’re talking about set points.

If you mash everything together, you’re missing a lot of the set points. It’s very important, for example, to realize that there are a number of points within one movement. For example, you have one point, second point, third point, fourth point, fifth point, and you want to see all those points when you practice a form rather than just kind of throwing this and coming back like that, which you see, unfortunately a lot of people do. And then, a lot of individual points which need to be practiced with a partner are missing.

Make sure you practice every point clear and you practice everything slowly, correctly, and smoothly, and of course, depending on your lineage, depending on what version of Wing Chun you do, you want to follow your Sifu’s corrections.