Chum Kil is critical to Wing Chun practice as it introduces movement and coordination. It teaches mobility, after having learnt the basic hand techniques from the first form’s static position.
A key Wing Chun principle is to contact, or intercept, your opponent’s hands in order to exert control. The Chum Kil form, which translates to “searching for the bridge”, trains the practitioner to make contact through coordinated hand and feet movement.
Ip Man dedicated 3 years to the Chum Kil pivot
Elements of Chum Kil
In the first section of the form, pivoting is practiced together with a fixed, double-arm position. The movement is training the ability to receive an incoming opponent by contacting the hands and rolling their power off your centreline. This is an example of “soft” kung fu, which does not seek to test strength head on and favour the stronger, larger person.
Such is the importance of this pivot movement, Ip Man spent 3 years training it.
The Chum Kil first section also includes repetition of the Bong Sao movement. In this instance, it is the rigid version of Bong Sao, which is used when in contact with your opponent’s arm.
In the second section of Chum Kil, stepping and kicks are introduced.