What defines the Chu Shong Tin Method? Wing Chun is a fairly well-known system Kung Fu thanks to Bruce Lee. It was his first martial art and the basis for the style he came up with later called Jeet Kwon Do. In the last decade, it has become an even more famous martial art. With the release of the handful of the “Ip Man” movies. Today, over a million people are practicing Wing Chun around the world (not only in the Ip Man linage but many other lineages).
Though all these masters and practitioners around the world use the same name for the art (although sometimes spelt differently in English such as Ving Tsun instead of Wing Chun). They actually have huge differences in their practice and methods. Naturally, this leads to completely different results in the end. While the external movements and basic principles, such as the centerline theory, look the same, the internal engines and what goes on in the mind and body behind each movement can be very different.
What defines the Chu Shong Tin Method?
Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin was coined ‘The King of Siu Nim Tao’ by his teacher Ip Man within the first decade of his practice. In CST’s point of view, without correct understanding and ability in Siu Nim Tao, one is not able to bring forth the internal power and reach a high level in the art. Siu Nim Tao is the first and fundamental form of Wing Chun and its name translates to ‘little idea’.
This implies that its practice relies mainly on developing a particular state of mind which we can call ‘Nim Tao’. The ultimate goal of this practice is to initiate every movement with ‘Nim Tao’. This is only possible through the use of a correct and undivided type of focus.
Power Originating From This State of Mind
The type of power originating from this state of mind is unlike the force created by brute muscular strength. Muscular contraction can only give out a limited amount of force. Hence, when mindfully relaxed, they are able to withstand and produce enormous power. Beginners are often skeptical of this power of Mindful relaxation, nonetheless its existence is very real and attainable.
While performing SNT, the flow of ‘Nim Tao’ (which is a particular kind of mindfulness) should remain uninterrupted and constant. After prolonged practice in this way, when the ideas in every movement have been correctly developed, and the usage of every structure fully explored and familiarized, tremendous yet effortless power is always at one’s disposal.
Within this stage, the entire body starts to fill up with ‘Chi’, or energy. Grandmaster CST called it, ‘Nim Lik’, which is a type of energy released through the control of a highly focused mind. Once successfully attained, Nim Lik or ‘Chi’ acts as a kind of endless energy. This leads to a vibrant mind, a healthier body and a happier life.
Ip Man had hundreds of students. With a simple search on the internet you can clearly see that Chu Shong Tin was the only student of his to have the ability in the internal aspect of the art.
Tremendous Internal Power
Nima asked CST why none of the other Wing Chun Masters in the world talk about or are able to demonstrate such tremendous internal power with each and every movement. CST replied, that it’s because they haven’t delved deep enough into Siu Nim Tao. Perhaps, they only looked into the external movements and applications of each form.
In an interview for ‘The South China Morning Post’ while explaining the unique and exceptional method that was taught by CST, Nima King wrote,
“In the last 5 years I have been travelling around and respectfully visiting many masters. Not only Wing Chun but other styles of Kung Fu like Tai Chi in search of someone who has an ability close to CST. So far, I haven’t come across any that have my own level of control within their muscles and joints. Hence, I am nowhere near the level CST was.”