On January 29, 2017, via Skype connection, newly-minted red sash student Eben Hensby (in Victoria, BC) had a conversation/interview with Sifu Jim Kragtwyk (in Haiku, Hawaii) on the topic of Chum Kiu. The audio and transcriptions are included below, in four files (in mp3 and pdf formats). (Occasional sound issues are due to the nature of a Skype conversation, including dropouts and sound quality issues.)
Chum Kiu – Searching for the Bridge
Since Siu Nim Tau (aka Sil Lim Tao) develops proper structure, stance, centerline, hand-eye coordination, chi (aka qi) development, body unity and the power of proper intent, Chum Kiu adds and develops three more energies. These are forward momentum, pulling momentum and turning momentum. These energies add significant power to all Wing Chun techniques through coordinated movement of the body along both linear and circular paths. Practicing Chum Kiu will lead to a heightened awareness and understanding of the ways in which these movements enhance and magnify natural body power – chi. The nature of this form is to train your body balance and hand and foot coordination by playing the form. The more you practice this form the better your balance will be. Chum Kiu brings one to a greater understanding of the Wing Chun system.
This form is divided into three sections. In the first section, we train several crucial concepts that will enhance your kung fu. These movements train the body to move in coordinated unison to fully maximize efficient use of the body’s chi in implementing hand techniques while maintaining balance as the centerline is changed. These movements train our timing as well as develop flawless hand replacement; as one hand retreats from the centerline to the guard position, the other hand replaces on the advance position on the centerline. This ensures that control of the centerline is never given away. Our “dead horse” stance from Siu Nim Tau now becomes alive in the practice of Chum Kiu.
In the second section, Dim Gerk kicking is introduced in the form. This practice allows the student to deliver powerful, economical and efficient kicks while maintaining optimal balance while communicating little visual intent with the upper body. The student learns to shift his/her weight to the back leg to help deliver power to the kicks while maintaining balance and sensitivity along the centerline with the leg/feet.
The third section focuses the student to develop unity of the horse stance and hand techniques to better develop body power through kicking, stepping and changing the centerline.