This site is about the secret Siu Nim Tao and 3 things you certainly didn’t know about it.
If you are anything like me, you are an ever-searching wing chun practitioner. You want to be the best YOU that you can possibly be.
Maybe deep inside you feel that something is missing from your martial arts training.
You feel that perhaps your master is holding something back from you. And you may be right. But it’s not that your master knows better. And shows you wrong things, but practices differently to keep you down. I am sure it is simply that he does not know any better.
Just go and watch any tutorial on Siu Nim Tao on YouTube or anywhere else on the internet. You will find that they are always telling the same stuff over and over again. You also never see any real differences between Siu Nim Tao practitioners. Apart from small and irrelevant details.
This is because all of them train Siu Nim Tao with a totally wrong basic idea in mind. It is not their fault (as it is also not yours) – they are just following instructions and traditions.
Most people think they train “techniques” or “basic movements” when practicing Siu Nim Tao. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consequently, they also show you nonsensical “applications” of these movements.
What if Siu Nim Tao was entirely something else? If Siu Nim Tao was a method to improve bodily functions and posture? If the wing chun founders were some incredibly clever chaps who knew an awful lot about the human body?
Looking at Siu Nim Tao in terms of “techniques” is looking at it in an extremely superficial way.
Have you never wondered about the awkward stance in Siu Nim Tao? Have you ever seen someone standing like this somewhere in the real world? What is the purpose of this?
Siu Nim Tao is full of coded information about the human body. But it takes some profound knowledge of human anatomy and careful observation to get behind it.
1. Hidden Information in Siu Nim Tao
Look for example at the opening in Siu Nim Tao – the way you get into the IRAS stance. First, you open your feet with your toes pointing outwards while rotating on your heels.
Then you do it in the opposite direction. While standing on your forefoot, you bring your heels outwards, which finally gets you into the IRAS position.
Why would you do it in exactly this order? In principle, you can simply just get into IRAS. But in this way, the original wing chun founders coded some information. What they are actually telling you is how to stand correctly.
Standing, the weight of our body should be evenly distributed between the heel and the forefoot. Like a bridge, there is the transverse arch in between. Your bodyweight should not be leaning to the front or the back. And certainly not sideways.
The opening of Siu Nim Tao tells you exactly that!
2. What are we really training in Siu Nim Tao?
Most people also believe that they are training the front of their body in Siu Nim Tao. They concentrate on their arms. But what you’re actually training is your backside! To be more exact, you are training your posterior chain. How?
The posterior chain is a chain of muscles on the back of your body and includes – among others – the calves, the biceps femoris, the gluteus, the erector spinae, as well as the trapezius and the anterior deltoids.
In Siu Nim Tao, you move your arms forwards, right? Each of your arms has a certain self-weight. Approximately 5-6 kg (11-13 lbs). When this weight is in front of your body, gravity is pulling on your arm.
What would happen if you did this with a broom-stick? It would fall forward, right? The same happens to your body – the reason why you don’t fall forward is that your posterior chain – from toe to head – is keeping you upright.
The posterior chain is essential for a decent “posture”. A decent “posture” is highly essential for stability and economy of movement. For good posture, you need a working posterior chain, while at the same time you have to have a long frontline.
If your frontline is shortened, good posture is impossible.
Siu Nim Tao accomplishes both: It lengthens your frontline, while at the same time strengthens the posterior chain.
3. The tremor response
Another overlooked, but an indispensable, aspect of Siu Nim Tao is that it teaches you to re-activate something called “tremor response”.
The “tremor response” is a natural way of the body to release itself from trauma and stress. It is – as I believe today – the very core of Siu Nim Tao.
This response we have in common with all vertebrates – but somehow our way of living makes us unlearn this.
If you practice Siu Nim Tao the proper way, you will re-learn the tremor response – which will accompany you for the rest of your life.
Siu Nim Tao is a very clever therapeutic tool that helps to unwind your fascial net, improves your posture, releases your body of trauma and stress and in this way builds the foundation for flawless and smooth movement. The very basis of wing chun – but you are certainly not training techniques.
If at all, then only on some abstract level.
If you really want to move forward in your wing chun and leave well-trodden paths, then I would recommend you do at least one of the following:
Read my book “The Secret Siu Nim Tao” about which “Wing Chun Illustrated Magazine” writes:
“The Secret Siu Nim Tao is a straightforward, easy to read and understand book. It is highly recommended and should be added to the library of all Wing Chun practitioners.”.
In this book, I go into the details and anatomical foundations of our body, describe what it has to do with Siu Nim Tao, and finally describe in detail how to exactly practice Siu Nim Tao to reap all its benefits.
Another thing you can do is take part in my Online-Course “The Secret Siu Nim Tao” which explains some anatomical foundations and in which you can actually see me practicing Siu Nim Tao. This way you get a clear understanding of the direction in which to move. This course is enriched with exercises which help you to get into the vital “tremor response” as fast as possible. Normally, students get this within half an hour. The online course is like private lessons – you can ask questions which I will answer as fast as possible.
What students say about the course:
” I can assure you that doing Siu Nim Tao according to the principles which you have described … is quite transformative in its own right; In other words, it has amazing benefits even without the shaking.” R.P.
I would recommend you get the The Secret Siu Nim Tao for detailed theoretical foundations and take part in the online course. This way you will have a theoretical foundation and practical access.
What you will learn:
– Basic human anatomy relevant for Siu Nim Tao
– What your body has in common with a bridge and a bonbon
– A method to relieve stress and trauma
– A method to improve your body structure (aka “posture” – you will learn the difference in the book)
Book and online course will – thoroughly applied – set you far apart from your co-students and yes: Even your master!