Sinking and Standing

Wing Chun is primarily an internal martial art, using subtle body movements to overcome physical force and strength. One of its core mechanics is sinking and standing which borrows the reaction force of gravity. This allows you to attack with greater force and to hold your position under pressure.

Here’s an example: if you were to push someone with just your palms, elbow pointed sideways, using just your upper body strength, how far can you push that person away? Alternatively, tuck your elbows in, close to your torso, and try to connect your whole body – from your heel, to the torso, elbow and ultimately to your palm. Can you see that path linking the ground to your palm? Now rise and attack. How far can you strike this time?

That’s why in the first form ‘Siu Lim Tau’, which translates to ‘the little idea’, usually practiced to focus the body and mind on stillness, relaxation and body structure. You need to be in this state of mind to connect to the ground effectively. Practise lifting your body slightly upwards for each outward motion, followed by sinking back to the ground and gripping the floor with your stance for each inward movement. This sequence can help you deliver more torque and power in your application.

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