Siu Nim Tao
is the first open-hand form, or taolu
, of Wing Chun kung fu
. The form may also be called Sil Lim Tao or Sil Lum Tao.
Siu Nim Tao is a traditional form from Wing Chun Kung Fu and its history is similar to that of Wing Chun. The form originated in the Shaolin temple approximately 250 years ago. Little is known prior to this, however, many martial arts employ a neutral position when first teaching students the basic elements of a particular style.
All the basic hand movements used in Wing Chun are contained in Siu Nim Tao. There is minimal leg movement in the form; the feet only move to set up the stance in the initial movements.
Siu Nim Tao practice:
- defines the centreline and teaches students where their hands should be relative to it
- teaches students how to execute Wing Chun strikes correctly
- reinforces the correct elbow position
- instills correct breathing patterns
- facilitates force generation in short range Wing Chun strikes
Great emphasis is put on relaxation while performing Siu Nim Tao. This facilitates efficiency of movement and hand speed. Some teachers, notably Chu Shong Tin, place enormous emphasis on relaxation during Siu Nim Tao practice.
Siu Nim Tao can be used as a form of moving and breathing meditation
. In addition, it increases student concentration and focus. The form is also used extensively to develop forward energy in Wing Chun practitioners.
Demonstrations of the form
Although many of the movements are similar, Siu Nim Tao varies significantly between schools and branches
Tsui Sheung Tin
Wong Seung Long
Leung Ting (fast forward to 2:11)