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Archives de Catégorie: nim lik

Faire le Pont : Building the Bridge / Chercher le pont : Seeking the bridge

What is the bridge?

« Seeking he bridge » is seen, in the forms, in the end or the firs form : Siu Lim Tao (The Little idea) and seen a lot in Chum Kiu (Seeking the Bridge). later on, in the Biu Jee, you will see bridge deformations and variations ans the practical bridge is seen in the woodent dummy and than extended in the long pole practice.

Maybe the Bridge is the most important thing to get in Wing Chun, really easy to catch when you think about it, but really difficult to assimilate in the core of your mind and body.

« Making the bridge », and « seeking the bridge » is doing Wing Chun, nothing else is important.
If you don’t know what the bridge is, you don’t feel it, you are only moving your hands imitating your teacher, not doing Wing Chun yet.

  • « Seeking the Bridge » is a notion you start to see in the last moves of Si Lim Tao and witch is the core of the second form : Chum Kiu. Seeking the Bridge is learning how to connect his body with the opponent’s.
    How to do it, when to do it is taught with various exercices I won’t describe here, it’s easier in a video, it’s part of the combat training.
    Seeking the bridge is not only physically making contact with another person, it’s being able, by any contact, to feel instantly  the whole body of your opponent and even to anticipate what he is going to do.
    This capacity needs a lot of hours of fight  and chisao to be used and manifests itself by inconscient and judicious moves in every contact.
    Later on, on a different level, you will be able to think of what you do, to analyze in real time or to think ahead what your opponent will do, just like in chess.
  • « Building the Bridge » is the first thing I teach to a new student, and it’s the first thing he doesn’t understand.
    Building the Bridge is the thing to seek in your practice.
    Without inner Bridge, there’s no Wing Chun.The power comes from the bridge, it’s where the fun begins.The bridge is what relies the ground to the tip of your fingers, we call it « the Long Bridge Energy ».
    We can talk for hours about short or long bridge power, but, to show it to someone, you must have found your bridge.Your teacher can guide you to find your Bridge, but, eventually, finding the Bridge is an individual quest.

Qu’est ce que le pont?

« Chercher le  pont » est abordé, dans les formes, à la fin de la Siu Lim Tao, est abondamment traité dans sa norme à la chum kiu et dans ses variations dans la biu jee.
Il est ensuite placé dans la pratique au mannequin de bois, puis étiré jusqu’au bout du bâton long.

Le pont est peut être la notion la plus importante du Wing Chun, la plus évidente à saisir intellectuellement, mais également la plus longue à intégrer naturellement dans le corps.

Faire le pont, savoir chercher le pont, c’est faire du Wing Chun, le reste n’a que peu d’importance.
Le corollaire est que si on a pas le pont, on ne fait qu’afficher un panel technique, agiter les bras, prétendre faire du Wing Chun.

Si on ne peut que guider l’étudiant à découvrir sa façon de « construire son pont » , chose bien personnelle et dont la prise de conscience est individuelle et chaque fois différente, il existe beaucoup d’exercices stratégiques pour enseigner comment « chercher le pont ».

  • « Chercher le pont » : c’est la notion qui est abordée à la fin de la siu lim tao (tao de la petite idée) et qui est le thème de la chum kiu (Chercher le pont).
    Il s’agit d’apprendre à connecter son propre pont avec l’adversaire, quels moyens, quand, sous quelles stratégies?
    Je ne vais pas développer cette notion dans cet article,  ces notions seront traitées quand nous aborderons la chum kiu et le biu jee.
    Chercher le pont, ce n’est pas seulement prendre le contact avec l’adversaire, que ce soit son bras ou ses pieds.
    Etablir un pont, c’est être capable, au contact, de ressentir instantanément ou avec un peu d’avance, les mouvements ou les intentions de l’adversaire.
    Cette capacité, nécessite beaucoup d’heures de chisao et se manifeste d’abord par des mouvements inconscients au contact qui donnent l’avantage si le conditionnement de l’élève a été judicieux.
    Par la suite, il est constaté qu’avec le recul et l’expérience de combat, on peut être plus spectateur ou acteur de cette capacité en temps réel.
  • « Faire le pont » est une notion qu’on doit aborder dès la première minute du premier contact avec un enseignant de Wing Chun.
    Faire le pont est l’obsession du pratiquant éclairé, car c’est du pont que nait la force, et c’est du pont que commence le fun.
    Le pont est la capacité de relier l’appui sur le sol au bout des doigts sans solution de continuité et avec un soutien fort.
    On appelle ça le long pont, une notion très facile à comprendre mais difficile à intégrer dans son corps.
    On peut explique ce qu’est la force courte, mais, pour la démontrer, il faut avoir intégré le long pont.L’apprentissage du long pont est personnel, la façon dont le professeur l’a appris n’est en aucun cas la norme, chaque élève a son chemin pour trouver son pont mais il existe un ensemble d’exercices statiques, dynamiques, seul ou à plusieurs pour aborder et approfondir cette notion.Une fois qu’on a le pont, le fun commence et, pour le professeur débutant, il est difficile d’appréhender  des personnes qui ne l’ont pas, tant cette notion est intégrée et parait naturelle.

Parmi les exercices pour appréhender le pont, on peut noter :

  • Yee Jee kin yeung ma : Posture de base en Wing Chun, qui, pratiquée correctement et isolément au 3è mouvement de la chum kiu est un exercice puissant pour développer le pont.
  • La pratique du Mabu (position du cavalier) du Bajiquan.
  • La pratique de la poussée des mains, que je détaille dans la vidéo No 2 sur la Siu lim tao
  • La pratique dirigée, lente, posturale du chi sao ou du mannequin de bois.
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Niem Lik

The Hidden Power of Siu Nim Tau —  Tsui Sheung Tin:

My master Yip Man first started teaching Ving Tsun in Hong Kong at the Restaurant Worker’s Union Association. At the time I was the secretary of the association, so Master Yip and I had many opportunities to be together. Before I became interested in Ving Tsun, I often overheard Master Yip explaining his Ving Tsun theories in his classes. Gradually he sparked my interest in the art. It so happened that I had great interest in physics and mechanics; I enjoyed his theories on body structure and power development methods very much. Through my careful analysis, I was convinced that Master Yip’s art was flawless and very advanced. Finally, I decided to follow Master Yip and became his student.
Like every beginner in class, I started my journey with Siu Nim Tau , even though I had already familiarized myself with the form as an observer. It took me little effort to completely learn the basic movements. I then began to wonder about the essence of the form, besides the hand movements. I went to Master Yip and inquired about the meaning of Siu Nim Tau, especially the non-combative tone in the name. Master Yip replied: « This is about Lop Nim — to establish an idea in the mind ». I am sure most of my peers have also heard about this term. Master Yip also added that it required prolonged practice of this form to truly master the essence of lop nim.

This hidden meaning of lop nim really caught my interest. I spent much time analyzing its nature, but could still not grasp the concept. Therefore I decided to drop all my thoughts and simply practiced Siu Nim Tau whenever I could, day and night. After a long time, I began to see the connection between lop nim and the form. I suddenly felt great joy in my Ving Tsun training, which fueled my interest in the art further. I became obsessed with the art. Gradually I discovered some powerful but hidden forces within each Siu Nim Tau movement. All the movements are indeed able to deliver indestructible power, yet they look very soft and graceful. At that moment, the concept of lop nim became extremely enlightening and inspiring to me. I finally understood the reason behind it.

I summarize this hidden power as a kind of nim lik (the force of an idea; or mind/intent force, where nim is the same idea/intent as in nim tau ). In essence, Siu Nim Tau has two major points: nim lik and « structure ».

1. Nim Lik

(force of idea/intent): it stabilizes all Ving Tsun movements to form a springy and dynamic combination of body structures. It makes Ving Tsun body structure able to sustain great pressure and produce rebound energy. Although there are common terms such as nim lik, qigong, noigong or supernatural abilities that are being perceived as some kind of unusual power, here I would only illustrate the concept behind nim lik (force of idea/intent). Nim lik is the power of a highly focused mind. It helps one bring forth chi flow into every part of the body. Everyone should have this kind of power. However, without training, it is very difficult to focus thoughts. Siu Nim Tau is a great tool to invoke mind focus power. If properly practiced, one can deliver this kind of power at will in every instance. The mind can stay focused even when the structure is adjusting or moving at high speed. So to achieve nim lik is the goal of Siu Nim Tau.

Let’s look at a simple example: if a healthy person falls down from a 6 – 7 feet tall platform unprepared, although he/she lands with both feet, he/she is still likely to injury him/herself. However, if the person is mentally prepared for the fall, his/her feet will automatically recoil and absorb the impact. Also, he/she can only have this reflex if his/her feet are relax. This is an unique attribute of human muscle in its relax state. The springy force on the feet that help the person land safely is a direct result of relax muscles and nim lik.

note: according to contemporary scientific findings; when human muscles are in relax state and are moving at steady speed, they can sustain greater pressure than when they are tensed up (using force). It is so amazing that our Ving Tsun ancestor Ng Mui was able to make use of this scientific method to design our Siu Nim Tau hundreds of years ago

2. Structure:

Yee Gee Kim Yang Ma allows one to project all energy forward towards the target. Tei Gong (pulling up of the muscle around the anus area) helps unite body and stance. It also helps relax the leg muscles while being in the stance; thus the whole body reaches a highly alert and ready state. These are the necessary conditions to produce nim lik and must be maintained firmly. The core techniques of Siu Nim Tau — Tan / Bong / Fook — are indeed subtle uses of body mechanics. These three techniques take the shape of arcs or bows. As we extend the arc shape further, Tan / Bong / Fook become hemispheres. As we all know, an arc or spherical-shaped object can sustain strong impact. It can also transfer or deflect energy dynamically when spinning. A wheel can accelerate faster than objects of other shapes (e.g. square, triangle). Each movement in Siu Nim Tau, inspired by this efficient arc-like structure, and when combined with nim lik, becomes extremely powerful defensive and offensive techniques. In addition, practitioners must not employ brute muscle strength. Siu Nim Tau training should never be tiring. To be proficient in this foundation, all movements should be done with the mind rather than strength.

Many Ving Tsun practitioners like to impose their techniques into frozen and static postures. Many believe that Bong Sau should be done at certain height or angle, or criticize others for not complying to their artificial standards. Some may call this style traditionalist; that style reformist; and on and on. In fact, movements in Siu Nim Tau are not named as if they were static postures. For example, when rolling up Tan Sau into Bong Sau, it is the course of this rolling movement that makes up the Bong Sau technique; the function of Bong Sau exists in its circular motion. Similarly, all other techniques in Siu Nim Tau employ circular movements in various directions.

It is a popular belief that Bong Sau is a passive technique: practitioners only use Bong Sau to deflect incoming forces. This would apply to the scenario where a statically posted Bong Sau is being used to block attacks. However, this explanation lacks an understanding of Bong Sau. In my experience, Bong Sau can deliver enormous offensive power. Indeed, it is a very aggressive and penetrating technique due to its circular nature.

Finally, I suggest that all fellow Ving Tsun practitioners look carefully into each technique of Siu Nim Tau. Discover the subtle circular movements in each of them. Practice with mind focus and steady speed. Use the mind to command each technique rather than using muscle tension. I am sure you will gradually find great joy and satisfaction in your Siu Nim Tau training!