Siu Lim Tau, sometimes referred to as Siu Nim Tao, is the first of the hand forms of Wing Chun Kung Fu. It teaches the student the basics of the martial art for beginners. Grandmaster Ip Man described that in “Siu Lim Tao or ‘little idea’, the ideas of daily matters, such as money, work, hate, love, etc…. ‘decrease to as little as possible, or even none’, so that the practitioner may ‘concentrate only upon practicing’. Siu Lim Tao is divided into three sections, with a total of one hundred and eight movements. Each small section has its own aim in practice, and various meanings in application. The first section is for training the basic strength of the wrist and elbow. The strength is in the formation of the major hand positions of Tan Sau, Fook Sau, and Wu Sau. If you wish to perform well in Wing Chun, you must use the first sections of Siu Lim Tao to train the basic power and strength. There is no short cut, once the movements of the form have been learned, they must be practiced seriously to train the power and strength. Every Wing Chun practitioner knows when practicing the first part of Siu Lim Tao, that it has to be slow. To train for the strength one has to be serious, and to be serious one must do it slowly. The second section is the training of using the strength and power. In Wing Chun Kung Fu, the strength and power are used half soft, half hard. This is easily demonstrated when throwing a punch, your arm travels at great speed but the muscles are relaxed, this is the soft part. But just before you make contact with your opponent, your muscles in your arm tense up for a split second, this is the hard part. This later develops into full delivery of the Kinetic Energy of your arm and body into the target, without compromising balance. The third section is for training correct position of the basic hand movement into your muscle memory. Movements include Pak Sau, Tan Sau, Gaun Sau, Huen Sau and Bong Sau. The practitioner must concentrate on executing each movement’s position correctly.
Wing Chun Ku second form Chum Kiu builds on the base of knowledge learned in the first form and teaches the practitioner how to use these skills under different conditions. The first section of Chum Kiu teaches how to use turning and techniques at the same time, for example the Bong Sau and Wu Sau with turning and body shifting. This is teaching the practitioner to use the hips to develop power, something which is not seen in the first form. It is also teaching the practitioner about body positioning when using techniques like the Bong Sau which becomes considerably more effective when combined with body shifting (turning). The first section also introduces two way energy as seen when the Lan Sau arm Laps and a straight punch is delivered. This enables the practitioner to deliver more devastating blows with relative ease as the Laping arm is enabling the transfer of power across the body as the force can flow in one motion without interruption, with the addition of pulling your opponent off balance, the target will also be moving into the punch and so additional damage will be caused. The second section introduces Wing Chun stepping, this, when combined with techniques enables the safe bridging of the gap between the practitioner and his/her opponent. Hence Chum Kiu or ‘seeking the Bridge’. For it is with contact that Wing Chun practitioner has his/her biggest advantage. Furthermore the second section of Chum Kiu is building on Siu Lim Tao by making the practitioner use both footwork and kicks with hand techniques such as blocks. Chum Kiu also introduces the Wing Chun practitioner to three different kicks, a lifting kick to block others kicks, a front kick which can be aggressive or defensive but never flashy, and a turning kick which again can be used to stop the advance of an attacker or strike them. The Wing Chun kicks like hand techniques are non committal and do not compromise the balance of the practitioner in any significant way, due to their exceptional speed but lack of height. Also throughout the practice of Chum Kiu the practitioner must use both hands at once. Although this is done in Siu Lim Tao, when both hands are used in the first form they perform the same action whereas in Chum Kiu they do different things, requiring a higher level of ability and concentration form the practitioner. Therefore Chum Kiu builds on Siu Lim Tao.
Biu Gee (thrusting/darting hand/fingers) is sometimes also referred to as Biu Tse, Biu Jee or even Bil Gee is the third and final hand form of the Wing Chun Kung Fu system and is generally only taught to trusted Wing Chun practitioners. Biu Gee contains advanced techniques and emergency escapes. Bui Gee teaches how to perfect the use of ‘inch energy’, enabling the practitioner to develop power through very short distances. It also builds on the two way energy developed in Chum Kiu. Biu Gee footwork is known as circle stepping or Huen Ma and is essential to the Wing Chun system. Again this builds on the Chum kiu style thrusting stepping or Biu ma. Huen Ma enables the rapid but safe change of direction enabling the practitioner to avoid an attack and swiftly counter attack. Biu Gee also introduces the practitioner to a technique known as Kop Jarn, or downward elbow. Kop jarn can be used to attack at very close distance where punching or striking with the hand is not an easy option. Kop jarn can also be used to block an incoming attack when the practitioner has his/her hands trapped. This is one of the reasons Biu Gee is said to contain emergency escape techniques. Other emergency techniques are seen in Biu Gee, for example the use of Biu Tse Sau to escape when the elbow has been pinned. Therefore Biu Gee completes the hand forms of the Wing Chun system by finalising the use of power and energy in techniques, building on the Chun Kiu style stepping and providing the practitioner with options to escape a bad situation such as being pinned, trapped or recovering from a fall. Therefore because Biu Gee builds on Chum Kiu which itself builds on Siu Lim Tao It should only be learned after Chum Kiu has been properly understood. Once Biu Gee has been mastered the practitioner can deliver devastating power through extremely short distances with pin point accuracy.