As every year, Chen instructor’s course completed the series of courses offered by Sigong for the Tse Centre instructors. Siba had organised a seamless schedule and by the end of each day we had packed together loads of teaching, testing, polishing and training.
We started the journey with Iron Lung Gong some years ago during the pandemic and with this last polishing session we can return more confident in our practice.
Like sweet rain after a long drought! This day was a big event as it marked the first in-person seminar held since the Covid pandemic. Tse Centre students have been looking forwards to this for years.
Grandmaster Tse begain teaching a brand new seminar series on the advanced Qigong form – 9 Colour Qi Ball
Dragon Shadow Sword is quite different in its energy and movements from other sword forms. It is great to study a new skill and to better understand sword techniques and also how to use it.
In part 4 of the Chen Taijiquan 13 Long Pole seminar GM Tse shortly touched upon the universal attribute of good martial arts masters: they should all look healthy also when they are old, reflecting the internal and health aspect of their arts. GM Tse then gave a lecture on the movements completed so far in the form, going into details about the names, energy and applications as well as parallels to the spear.
When discussing footwork within the parameters of martial arts very little is spoken about in terms of meanings, applications and positions. Normally the discussion is focused on basic tenets such as moving forwards, backwards, and to the sides etc. This is where 10 star footwork shines through as Tai-Sigong has organised and arranged the 10 star footwork to help us cope with any kind of situation or opponent.
Part 4 of the Wing Chun 10 star footwork seminar commenced with a comprehensive lecture about aspects of Siu Lim Tao and Chi Sau, covering topics such as emptying your mind but still being able to fight, and how using less energy and movement makes you more sensitive allowing you to change your technique and position more easily. Many more topics were covered.
After a short break everyone followed Siba Moy for a 30 minute one legged Siu Lim Tao after which we were divided into groups and put into breakout rooms to the discuss the previous 3 stars.
Tai-Sigong then asked students questions about what we had covered and learnt so far. What students didn’t fully understand was thoroughly clarified by Tai-Sigong.
After another short break we discussed Waahng Ma, the next star. Students asked many questions and Tai-Sigong went on to explain the meaning, application and position and further clarified how Waahng Ma deals with attack and defence.
This was another informative seminar that only deepens our Wing Chun knowledge and highlighted how footwork is just as valuable as hand techniques, and I’m sure that everyone is looking forward to part 5.
by Eric Paule
Very enjoyable ten star footwork seminar, it is so good to get everything very clear. Thank you Sifu
I enjoyed the lecture today in the Ten Stars Footwork part 4 seminar, where Sigong explained how to practice our forms and applications and how to improve our Chi Sau. We went over the three stars from previous seminars and added another one. It is good to repeat all the stars every time, it gets easier to remember and focuses our understanding on the key and important part of each movement. Looking forward to learning more about the future stars. Thank you Sigong. Christine
A very interesting lecture about attitude, energy and training with plenty to think about how we each train individually. Still so many details being clarified in every type of footwork we cover, thank you Sigong pushing our learning further. Sam
Sifu, thank you for this enjoyable seminar. It is always great to get more detail and understanding. Wing Chun really is amazing. Thanks Peter W
It was great to go over Wang Ma in today’s 10 Star Footwork seminar as well as practicing the previous stances. It was also very interesting to hear about the importance of relaxation in the lecture. Thank you, Sigong! Best, Tom Hogg.
Interesting lecture on the very basics of Wing Chun – without this foundation the rest of our skill will be weak. Siu Lim Tao keeps impressing me with its depth.
Great to go through the first three footworks and finish with Waang Ma.
Thank you Sigong.
The fourth part of the Wing Chun Ten Star Footwork series revised the footwork from the previous seminars and continued with Waahng Ma. I like the format of going through the meaning, the structure and the application of each type of footwork. I find this makes it much easier to remember. Thanks for another great seminar Sigong. Peter Hogg
This time, Waahng Ma! I am still enjoying thinking about attack and defence with these footworks, and the recaps are good but we ran out of time to get through all the previous ones — note to self, maybe next time I should suggest to my group we start with the most recent one and work backwards!
Thankyou TaiSigong for 10-star footwork part 4. The lecture at the start was very interesting especially getting the correct attitude and energy for Wing Chun and practising the techniques gently so that we don’t loose these. It was good to clarify the position of Wang Ma and how it is just one movement in the application for both attack and defence, no Jyun Ma! Thanks, Rod.
Thank you Sigong for teaching us the fourth star. I also appreciate reviewing the other 3 stars as well. I find it pretty amazing that just by turning my body, my reach is longer and I am able to hit my opponent. I am able to close the gap! The flip side of the coin is equally amazing as I am able to increase the gap so my opponent can’t hit me. Thank you Sigong for sharing all of these fantastic skills. Deborah Hart
Another great seminar focusing on 10 star foot work. This week we looked at whaang Ma and revised the other steps. With each seminar my understanding becomes clearer. Thanks Sigong.
There is a great deal to understand and embody in the Wing Chun skill. I am very glad I have this opportunity to better understand and explore all aspects of footwork and it’s connection to Chi Sau and fighting. Thank you Sifu!
I am now pleasantly surprised when we start the White Crane Sword seminar and I find that my movements are far better and more streamlined than before. They are still not perfect but, little by little, I see how the sword flows and how the tassel sometimes even leads the movement.
I’ve been wanting to learn a sword form for many years, in fact, I’d bought a collapsible sword on my very first trip to China with the centre in 2012! Ever since, I’ve waited for the right beginner-friendly seminar to start with, and was very excited to hear that Sigong would be beginning a new series on the Dragon Shadow Sword. Of course I’d never heard of it, but with a name like that, who could resist?
Interestingly, the Dragon Shadow Sword is a form which isn’t actually associated with any of the 5 main skills of the Tse Qigong Centre; it does however, happen to be the first sword form Sigong ever taught. Sigong had originally taught this form many years ago, so long, that even some of the most senior instructors have never had the chance to learn it. How very fortunate that the continuation of online seminars has allowed Sigong to reintroduce this rare form.
The first seminar started with an overview of the different branches of Chinese martial arts, which compared to “western” arts is thought of as soft or internal. Of course, within Chinese martial arts there is both soft and hard; soft traditionally associated with the Wudang Mountains, and hard with the Shaolin Temples of the northern Henan (Songshan) and southern Fujian provinces. Northern Shaloin styles tend to have bigger more open or straight movements, whereas southern Shaolin styles typically have tighter or smaller movements. Within the northern Henan province however, is also Chen Village, where we can see elements of both soft and hard come together in Chen style Taijiquan; one of the 5 centre skills. Dragon Shadow sword, along with one of the other centre skills, Chun Yeun, comes from the northern Shaolin tradition. It’s always interesting to hear how these different skills came together through Sigong, especially when they are unusual and cannot be found elsewhere. Sigong explained how he spent 3 months learning Dragon Shadow Sword from his first Taijiquan teacher, even before he began his studies in Chun Yuen.
After the initial lecture and usual warm-up, we began. The form opens beautifully, of course the fundamental challenges become apparent like, how to hold the sword and what to do with the other hand? We broke out into pairs to practice the opening, already we able to see the importance of posture and the straighter elements of a northern Shaolin style. After coming back together to the main room and a few questions about what we’ve just learnt, we continued on to the next challenge, how to transfer the sword from one hand to the other? Again, we are split into to rooms to practice with partners; it is clear that we will need to become very familiar with holding and handling the sword. Luckily, I was paired with my Sifu who is also new to the form, but much more experienced with the sword. We finally came back together for some further questions and… did we want to learn a bit more? Yes! Sigong showed us a little more of the form and we individually practiced this new part until the end.
For me, this has been a great start to my sword journey and I’m sure there are others in the group who feel the same. For a few, it must be a delight to come back to the Dragon Shadow Sword after so many years. Thank you again Sigong for keeping and passing down this extraordinary form!
by Sam Patel
Dragon Shadow Sword was the first sword form I learned many years ago. As Sifu said we were thought this form in the Qigong class at that time. It is a beautiful form and I enjoyed practicing it very much. It is so good to do this form again and learn and polish it in details. It is the uncle Choi for me as I was not expecting to do this form again. Thank you Sifu for a great form and a great seminar. Can’t wait for the next seminar. Shahriar
Exciting to start Dragon Shadow Sword and learn more about Sigong’s journey learning it as well as the wider context of where it sits within Chinese styles of Kung Fu. Thanks, Sigong! -Kay
It was really exciting to start on the Dragon Shadow sword today. Looking forward to learning more beautiful moves soon! Thank you, Sigong. Best, Tom Hogg
Very exciting! I always enjoy starting a new form. It has similarities to other sword forms but I can already detect a distinct flavour to this form. Looking forward to next time!
Thank you Sigong.
It was very exciting to begin on the first part of the Dragon Shadow Sword. I also enjoyed the lecture on the history of Shaolin and Wudang origins. I’m looking forward to the next installment of this form. Thank you Sigong. Peter Hogg
It is great to learn a new sword form and the Dragon Shadow Sword is just as enjoyable as I had hoped. Looking forward to learning more next time.
Many thanks Sigong.
Dragon Shadow Sword was always a mysterious form for me, something on the Chun Yuen syllabus that I didn’t know anything about. So when Sigong said he was going to teach it on-line I was really excited. The start of it has interesting movements but not too complicated so far. Looking forward to going deeper into the form. Thank you Sigong. Christine
Very exciting to learn this new form. A great first seminar, already looking forward to the next one, thank you Sifu
This will be my first sword form to learn. I really enjoyed today’s seminar and look forward to the next one. Many thanks Sifu. Peadar
Exciting to learn a new form and so far the energy feels really nice with a lot of circular and spiralling movement. Looking forward to more
It’s great to start a new form and I am really interested in the movements and the energy of the form. The movements so far are quite different and unique, I like that. Looking forward to next Dragon Shadow Sword seminar, thank you Sifu!
Thank you Sigong for introducing this form. Its not as complicated as White Crane without the tassel but still a very nice form and looking forward to learning more soon! Yunki
Grandmaster Tse continued teaching one of the most iconic forms of the Chun Yuen System.