The Second Form of Wing Chun.
Chum Kiu (Cham Kiu), or “Seeking the Bridge” is Wing Chun’s second weaponless form. The Chum Kiu form builds upon the skills developed from the first form Siu Nim Tao.
It is important to continue practicing the first form for it is the foundation of your entire Wing Chun. Chum Kiu, although it has fewer sections as the Siu Nim Tao, its performance is longer and demands additional skills.
As in all Wing Chun lineages, there are different ways to perform the Chum Kiu. None of them are incorrect. All are different interpretations of the knowledge and experiences in the art of Wing Chun.
The Difference to Siu Nim Tao
In the Siu Nim Tao form, the Wing Chun practitioner learns to stand stable in his/her “Yee Ji Kim Yun Ma”, (Character two, goat clamping, horse stance), or IRAS (Inner Rotating Abduction Stance).
In the Chum Kiu form, the practitioner now moves his/her body. The Wing Chun practitioner shifts his body, rotates, turns, steps, kicks, and attacks at one angle while moving in another.
These skills are further supported in “Lat Sao” (fighting techniques) drills to learn the proper use of them.
Bridging the Gap
In the Chum Kiu, the student learns to “bridge the gap” between himself and the attacker. Use of the Lap Sao – Kuen, or Lap-Da, as well as the Bong Sao / Wu Sao, or Bong-Wu position come into play.
The student learns to defend and counter-attack in fluid movements while paying close attention to body mechanics.
The Lap Sao drills and use of Bong-Wu are further supported in the first section Chi Sao (Pon Sao) drill with the first attack and defense.
The 45-degree Angle
The important use of the 45-degree angle is first introduced in Chum Kiu and has to be closely paid attention to. Most students overestimate the size of the 45-degree angle. It is smaller than what most think.
This angle of attack and defense has proven time and again of its effectiveness and strength without one having to be strong physically.
This, along with the use of the triangle, is invaluable to your Wing Chun technique.
The 3 Main Kicks of Wing Chun
For the first time (until the Wooden Dummy form) are kicks of Wing Chun are introduced in the Chum Kiu form.
These kicks are; the front kick, the “Bong-Kick” (sidekick), and “Tan-kick”.
Note: Ip Man used only the front and “Tan-kick” in his Chum Kiu form. His student, Leung Ting added the “Bong-Kick”, into the form for the mere reason that otherwise, the kick would not appear until one learned the Wooden Dummy form.
Performing the Chum Kiu strengthens your stance, tests your balance, schools your coordination of simultaneous hand and body movements.
There are so many things to learn in the Chum Kiu that is a good reason why some much time (in the lineage I practice, from the 2nd through 12th student degrees) is spent learning and perfecting it.
As in the practice of all forms, it is necessary to perform them at first slow in sections. Then continue on paying close attention to alignment and body structure. Finally, power is applied.
The Chum Kiu form is an essential step toward understanding and improving one’s technique, skills, and understanding of the Art of Wing Chun.
Here is a video of the Chum Kiu form once performed by Grandmaster Leung Ting.