It is important to realize that the opening to all of the forms in Fut Sao Wing Chun is a key to the methods and concepts of the entire system. The opening into the ma bo stance has hidden meanings. There are footwork patterns, kicks, knee checks, and knee strikes in the seemingly simple first opening steps. The footwork patterns are the beginnings of the siu baat gwa (“little octagon”) movement. The kicks are front, diagonal, side, and sweeping. The knee checks and knee strikes are to the front, diagonal, and sides. The arm raise represents the outer gate application of the tan sao technique. The pull back is the jut sao technique and side body protection. So much in so little—that is the essence of Fut Sao Wing Chun. These details and more are presented in James Cama’s book, Fut Sao Cing Chun: The Leung Family Buddha Hand.
Siu Lin Tao
Siu Lin Tao translates as “The Little Transmutation,” and is also known as “The Beggar’s Hand.” As the fundamental mode of training in the Buddha Hand tradition, students dedicate at least four months of training this particular form and a test must be passed before one can advance to the next training level. Contained within this form is the synthesis of the entire Fut Sao Wing Chun system. It develops what is known as heavy nei gung (internal root power), horse stance, and an internal/external transmutation. It contains the essence of all three of the basic forms, Siu Lin Tao, Cham Kiu and Biu Gee. And even though the form is performed in a stationary standing posture, hidden with its “non-movement” are footwork and kicking techniques. We’ll look more deeply into the second and third Siu Lin Tao sets in the next chapter.
Cham Kiu translates as “Depressing Bridge,” and is also known as “Riding the Horse.” This is the second mode of training in the Buddha Hand tradition, student must dedicate four months to training the form, and passing a test, before they can move on to the next training level. This form utilizes full body movement within the four torque directions, utilizing vertical, horizontal, and angular left and right directional movement. Cham Kiu develops monkey footwork, angling, locking, grappling, snake body, crane hand, fox direction, and light skills for moi fa pole training.
The Cham Kiu form is the basis for the fighting concepts of the system. It is the first form which shows a unique siu baat gwa footwork used for angular attacks, and teaches many angular attacking combinations. Moreover, Cham Kiu develops how to bridge and lock up an opponent. It also emphasizes the low horse (up and drop down movements). One learns how to move the internal organs to enhance chi circulation and ging (kinetic) power. It introduces the chi body sensitivity and teaches bridging, joint dislocation and manipulation.
Biu Gee translates as “Thrusting Fingers” or “Darting Fingers,” and is also known as “Poison Snake Hand.” This advanced form develops internal ging (emitting power), vertical, horizontal and angular torque, yin and yang energy (e.g., expulsion/absorption, flying/eating chi), loose hands, fa ging (explosive force), finger strikes, inch shock, and scary powers. One can touch an opponent’s pressure points and strike with an internal burst of energy. A minimum of four months is spent on this form before moving on to the next level.
Fut Sao Biu Gee also contains grappling, chin na (seizing, locking), low horse fighting techniques, and anti-grappling techniques. Organ movement and breath retention is emphasized in this form. It shows one low horse kicking and punching technique and compact, subtle strikes are done with explosive power (ging) and chi body for subtle evasiveness. Elbows are executed in pointing and penetrating strikes. Ten different kicks are shown in the form, which also develops high level internal chi body sensitivity and evasiveness. Vibratory inch power generation is trained within the movements of the form. Biu Gee emphasizes finger techniques using full body power, to attack pressure points and nerve cavities (dim mak), which are structurally weak so the opponent cannot respond as effectively, giving the practitioner a formidable advantage.
Siu Baat Gwa
Siu Baat Gwa translates as “Little Octagon,” and is the eight-directional movement and footwork set. As the fourth mode of training it teaches one how to use vertical, horizontal, and angular bisecting movement, utilizing full body movement to enhance ging power. Movements are made with chi body sensitivity for full body evasiveness and striking. The form contains biu gee finger striking and chi palm techniques. The four powers of float, swallow, sink, and spit are also trained in this form. Siu Baat Gwa is a “change and invisibility” set containing angling, circling, spinning, stealth, and circle walking movements and techniques. One month minimum is spent on the practice of this form before moving on to the next.
This evasive, invisibility set puts one in an advantageous position for an immediate counter strike. This is a very rare form that is exclusive to Fut Sao Wing Chun. In fact, it incorporates techniques from all the previous levels of training, and combines them with advanced footwork, allowing the student to quickly place themselves in a position where their opponent is weakest. It is a close boxing system which emphasizes accuracy, balance, speed, roundness, flatness, and slightness.
Two Man Forms
Two-man forms are prearranged attack and counter attack exchanges between training partners that emphasizing techniques taught in each form. There are two-man forms for Siu Lin Tao, Cham Kiu and Biu Gee. These forms help the practitioners develop a sense of distance, fighting spirit, body conditioning and release of the fear of confrontation.
Lukh Dim Bun Kwan
Lukh Dim Bun Kwan is the Six and One Half Point Staff form. It is taught either with a six or eight foot staff and is a highly complex and tactical set that teaches long range fighting and pointing. Training with the long pole helps to develop thrusting power in chi sao (sticking hands) practice. This form takes at least six month to perfect.
Baat Jam Do
Batt Jaam Do are the “Eight Slash Butterfly Knives,” also known as “Pig Skinning Knives.” The form develops incredibly fast slicing techniques, which teach cutting power and short ging for use in chi sao and loose techniques. This form also takes six months to perfect.
Esoteric Vagabond Weapons
Fut Sao Wing Chun also makes use of what are known as the six esoteric, vagabond weapons. These include: bladed fan, double dagger flute, flying meteor balls, turtle darts, iron monkey ring, and chop sticks. It teaches you that anything can be a weapon.
Mok Yahn Jong
The Mok Yahn Jong or “Wooden Man Dummy” form is known as the “Fut Sao 108.” In addition to training the form on the wooden man dummy, this form is also performed on a stake post, a sliding dummy in a low horse stance, and with weapons. This advanced form is the culmination of the Fut Sao training curriculum, and includes the major concepts of all previous forms in addition to advanced fighting and dim mak techniques.
Nei Kung & Hei Kung
The nei gung (internal work) and hei kung (breath work) sets in Fut Sao Wing Chun are very rare Shaolin forms that hail from a small village in Canton. They are necessary internal training sets for the development of the heavy horse, light skills, ging, inch power and dim mak. These sets are rarely taught in Wing Chun but have been well-preserved.
Don’t miss your chance to learn about this very rare lineage of Wing Chun Kuen. Grab your copy of the late James Cama’s book, Fut Sao Wing Chun.