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Above is Yip Man performing the wooden dummy form
the quality is not very good but its show the style taught by the master
Mok Yan Jong The Wooden Dummy Form
This is the final Wing Chun form without weapons. This form I found to be the most misunderstood of all the forms. I didn’t find a lot of variations in the form but the understanding of the form varies tremendously. There is confusion within the form of which move counts as a move when counting the 108 moves, this is understandably as some of the moves can just be a wrist role. The number of each move is not very important as long as you do them all.
There are a lot of repeat moves which merely move you from one move to another, as all the moves must be within the confines of the dummy there is only so many moves you can do. This does cause confusions as there is no clear change it’s a lot of moves the same.
The biggest confusion is that we are dealing with a lump of wood. This is often forgotten and people bash it in the belief it will toughen your arms. If you need to toughen your arms then your not doing Wing Chun as we believe in using a small force to overcome a big force. Being a piece of wood it cant move or replicate a human so we have to use imagination when doing the dummy form.
Sometime the dummies arms represent the hand at other time the elbow this very important point is often forgotten. If the instructor forgets this point then the students don’t learn the real techniques. The dummy teaches distance and sticking more than toughening. The dummy form more than any other allows for variation within the form, it is not intended to be ridged. You are using a piece of wood so you can kick the knee this time and next time kick the leg. This does account for variations in all the forms but in the dummy form it is more acceptable.
I thought long and hard how best to show the dummy form whether to use a dummy, stand alone pictures, one of the modern dummies with movable arms. After much thought I decided to show the form done against a person, I thought this would achieve several things. First it is clear what is going on so there is no confusion as what the moves is, secondly it means there should be minimal need to explain what is going on. Thirdly most students at home wont have a dummy so they will need to use some other method of practice.
A note about the photos I have tried to show the moves as clearly as possible while keeping the positions clear, The dummy is like most other forms in that it is repeated on the other side. With this in mind if a move isn’t clear on one side I have made sure its clear on the other. It is hard to show the form in great detail as a lot of it involves wrist rolls which at this level you should already know.
Photos d1-d7 shows the first few moves I have shown the foot work so it is clear the lead foot advances slightly then the rear foot comes together with the lead foot before doing the side step.
Note the Bog Sau stays in contact with the hand as it turns into Tan Sau.
Photos d8-d14 are the end of the first part before the form is repeated on the other side. Note in d10-d11 the hands remain in contact the Bong Sau follows the arm into a strike if you pull away and loose contact you can get hit. The palm blocks are done against the elbows as this can effect the balance more than doing it on the hands, it also is a smaller movement which makes it faster.
Photos d16-d24 are a repeat of the first part done on the other side this is followed by d25-d27 which is a fast block this is often done upwards as a quick slice as the hand rotate in the on guard position or it can be done as a palm block.
Photos d28-d33 are a little misleading as its done on a dummy its aim is to block towards your self and is often used to break a wrist hold, being done on a dummy you cant come down on the hand the same.
Photos d34-d43 show an emergency situation that goes against the WC principles by going a Choy La Fut type of move and striking with a knife hand while the body is lowered. The kick here can be varied as can the range of these moves. I have gone wide so I can kick the lead foot, if I was tighter in I may well kick the rear leg don’t be afraid to change it around a bit your attacker wont always oblige by puts his leg forward for you to kick
Photos d45-d57 involves a lot of wrist roles and the arms remain in contact through out most of the section this section I have seen master make silly mistakes. The most common is to role the wrist and to far and come to far over the arm so it is free to hit you this is very clear in Photo d54 which you can see I have contact with the wrist preventing him from punching if I had rolled right over the wrist he could slip his arm and attack.
The other part of this section is how far to twist the waist in these moves. This can vary and depends on the power and speed of attack, if it’s a powerful slow attack you can turn more as this will deflect the force and throw them off balance. If it’s a very fast attack the hands may have to do more work. I find it very good to practice this with women as they generally have little power but do have a relaxed speed.
Photos d58-d73 are in the most part clear and revolve around a double palm strike but the move in d58-d59 are again emergency blocks which is done against very quick strikes.
Photos d74-d82 are clear what is going on but the kick is a bit hard to do as it feels wrong footed again vary were you kick
Photos d80-d91 mostly involve kicks again you can vary the point of contact for the kicks and the on guard so different hands are forward. The kicks with the Bong Sau tend to be used in a situation were someone pulls down on your arm which will increase the kicks power as you are kicking down. I have shown the action a little further back than normal so you can see the action.
photos d91-d111 don’t really require any explanation you can see in photo d99 the Tan Sau and palm strike from the first form. Photos d111-d111a-d11b-d122 show the final moves of the form. The form is normally closed by bringing the feet together and doing a salute