I heard the wooden dummy was taught individually to each student in private back in the 1950s; could you share with us how your wooden dummy training began ?
After I had learnt Chum Kiu, around one year into my training, Mr Yip Man advised me I was to start learning the Muk Yan Jong (wooden dummy form). The Muk Yan Jong was taught one-on-one and in private at the time, and I learnt it in the same fashion. To facilitate this, the wooden dummy was actually located in the kitchen as a hint to others not yet learning it to respect Mr Yip Man’s privacy.
There was no reason to go in there, say to wash your hands, for example, since the bathroom was available for that sort of thing.
I continued to train hard on the Muk Yan Jong whenever I was there but after one month, I wasn’t satisfied with my own progress
so I asked Mr Yip Man what I should do since I didn’t have a wooden dummy at home. Mr Yip Man explained that there’s no need for a wooden dummy - train the Hoong Jong (Empty wooden dummy form).
Simply put a shoe in front of you and treat that as the wooden dummy. Thereafter, I continued to train hard in my Hoong Jong
The wooden dummy was actually located in the kitchen as a hint to others not yet learning it to respect Mr Yip Man’s privacy.
During the time you were training, who did you see the most often?
I would see Hui Siu Cheung, Kan Wah Chit, Choy Siu Kwong and Chan Chee Man often. There was also the Bus Company group. Ng Chan, Wong Jok, Wong Cheung and others. There was a big group of them
Siu Nim Tau is often translated as “Little Idea” – what is the meaning of this, and are there aspects of “mind intent” (Nim Lik) training within this form?
Let’s look at the first word of Siu Nim Nau, Siu (Chinese character 叔) . There is one straight stroke combined with two angular strokes.
We must examine this word carefully. It actually represents Wing Chun’s Yee Gee Kim Yeung Maa. When practicing Siu Nim Tau if we focus on the Yee Gee Kim Yeung Maa, we can develop Gwaan Sing Lik . what I refer to as Inertia Energy.
I personally do not use the words Little Idea, Nim Lik or mind-force. Siu Nim Tau is the key to developing the Yee Gee Kim Yeung Maa.