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The first form of Wing Chun is Siu Nim Tau, which translates to 'small idea' or 'little thought'. The Siu Nim Tau form teaches you how to build up your structure and achieve a relaxed state, which is necessary for the proper generation of force and the development of Wing Chun's 'Power of Relaxation'.
The three most basic handwork of Wing Chun, the tan sau, bong sau and fook sau, form part of the arc of a circle or sphere. These movements are performed through the rotation of the circle at its centre, such as the ball joint in the shoulder. As a spherical shape can withstand a much stronger external impact than any other shape, these movements are highly effective for attacking and defending in a self defence scenario.
To enable proper rotation, there are three conditions which must be in place:
- The integrity of the Wing Chun exponent's stance and structure;
- The relaxation of muscles around the joints and the spine; and
- The existence of a clear intention on what to rotate and where to rotate from.
Wing Chun's movements are initiated through the rotation of the ball joint in the shoulder as opposed to the pushing of the hand, which would cause the Wing Chun exponent to tense up their shoulder and restrict their movement. The elbow joint is also used in the rotation of the shoulder joint; the elbow expands and rotates around the point of resistance instead of pressing directly into it.
Once the idea of rotation and its application to Wing Chun's movements has been mastered, it may be applied effectively in any self defence situation.