What is Sil Lum Tao?
It’s said that the Sil Lum Tao form contains all you need to understand everything about Wing Chun. I don’t agree with that statement 100%. But it does contain the fundamental basics.
In the video above, which includes both the front and side view, you’ll notice that the entire form focuses on the upper body and arms.
However, paying attention to detail, you’ll notice that the very beginning contains the opening footwork that puts you in a horse/goat stance.
In the lineage represented here, the Wing Chun’er uses circular steps to get into the stance. Other lineages like to pivot their feet to get into position.
To most outsiders, the Sil Lum Tao is not dynamic. It’s boring.
But once you spend some time on it and have memorized the movements, what you can do to make it more interesting is perform it s-l-o-w-l-y.
This will give you a great workout (on par with Tai Chi’s slow and methodic moves). It also gives you time to pay attention to your centerline, central line, balance, posture, breathing, and forward energy. That’s a lot for a simple and “boring” form!
Another tip is to practice in front of a mirror. If you have access to a full-body mirror, that’s even better. This provides visual feedback, which will help you see if your movements are in the center or central lines or completely out of place.
Often, especially when you’re first starting out, you can’t ‘feel’ if you’re in the right position. Your body hasn’t developed the tactile references.