Muk Yan Chong - The Wooden Dummy Form (木人樁) - Introduction
Muk Yan Chong is roughly translated as "Wooden Dummy or Wooden Man" and it teaches the student advanced positions, energies and techniques.It also shows the student how to move and make contact/bridge with an opponent using your arms or legs. It gives greater insight to the student how the Wing Chun hand and foot positions interact with an opponent's arms and legs.
The Wooden Dummy Form is split in to eight different sections for clarity this is because each section is based upon a different concept or theory. The Muk Yan Chong Form is different to all other forms in the Wing Chun system because it is the only form that is practised with a static opponent.The static opponent or Dummy is good for a student's development as they can use their imagination with the movements they are performing in conjunction with the Dummies arms and legs.
The advantage with training on the Dummy is that you can get a very good idea of how to use the Wing Chun movements against someone. Depending on the section of the form the arms of the dummy are either modelled on the part of the arm from the shoulder to the elbow so in reality the arms would almost be twice as long or the elbow to the wrist. This shows the student the correct positioning of their technique on the dummy. The arms are positioned in such a way so that you can either be working on the inner or outer gate of the opponent. The dummy has a leg which is to help train your footwork, using your own legs to jam down the legs of your opponent and also helps to train your kicks.
This is so you can manoeuvre around the dummy with ease and not get tangled up in the arms. Although the Dummy is only a training aid and not a true representation of an opponent the main concept of the Dummy is to maintain contact as you would in Chi Sau but you are using you arms as well as your legs to maintain contact/bridge. If you were training with a partner they would be able to tell you if and when you got things incorrect, the Dummy will obviously not do this, I like to think that the Dummy whispers to the student regarding their faults regarding their technique or position but the student has to look inwards to see their faults.
Muk Yan Chong - Understanding
First & Second Section Both consisting of 10 movements each.
Section one and two are the more or less the same but are a mirror image of each other. The only differences are that section one starts with the left and section two starts with the right hand and they finish slightly differently too. Both these sections have more emphasis on footwork, maintaining contact with the dummy and getting used to moving around an opponent and attacking on an angle.
Each section opens with a Fut Sau applied to one of the upper arms of the Dummy which then moves in to a lap Sau while you apply the neck pulling arm (Man Geng Sau) to the back of the neck. The Fut Sau is showing to move forward to intercept an incoming strike. The neck pulling arm demonstrates how to apply from behind the neck as a controlling technique from either a half clinch (one hand) or full clinch (both hands). The Lap Sau is controlling the opponents arm whilst applying the Man Geng Sau. Bong Sau is then applied while the practitioner moves around the body, the Bong Sau is applied on the inside of the Dummy arms and rotated in to Tan Sau on the outside of the upper arms.
This demonstrates the relationship of Bong Sau and Tan Sau and how they are used to change gates. A palm strike is applied at the same time as Tan Sau showing simultaneous defending and attacking. This ties in with the last sections of Sui Lim Tao and Chum Kui but is used with the training aid of the dummy. A double Guan Sau is then applied as the practitioner manoeuvres back into the dummy and shows how you use Kwan Sau to rotate your arms to free up position both moving from outer to inner gate to the outer gate. The Bong Sau and Tan Sau section is then performed on the other side of the Dummy.
From the last double Guan Sau in this section the arms move into a Fook Sau, Tok Sau position followed by a palm Strike and Fook Sau. This part of the section shows ho to use the Fook Sau and Tok Sau together. Both first and second sections finish with a double Tok Sau.
Third Section Consisting of 10 Movements
Section three has an emphasis again of moving round the dummy using long range attacks and defending from side attacks. Section three opens with three Pak Sau's and this shows how to use Pak Sau as a parry and or move in on your opponent, whilst suppressing their offensive arm at the same time. A Jum Sau is then applied on the outside of the Dummy arm which jams the opponent's arms enabling you to execute a Fak Sau toward the throat of the Dummy. A Lap Sau is then applied to one of the arms and arm whilst applying a low strike. This set of movements is performed on both sides.
A low Bong Sau is then applied to the lower arm of the Dummy which is used to transition to stepping round to the left hand side of the Dummy. A side kick is applied and then as you move in to the Dummy you apply a simultaneous Pak Sau to the outside of the upper arm of the Dummy and Fak Sau to the trunk of the Dummy. This set of movements is again performed on either side using the second low Bong Sau to transition from the left side to the right side of the Dummy.
This section shows how to defend and attack from the side of an opponent, although this is applied from the sides of round the dummy this will be straighter when applied to a live opponent due to the flexibility of the arms and shoulders of a live opponent. The kick is applied from the side is either to bridge and make contact with an opponent from long range, close down the distance with a view to follow up on your attack with close range techniques, or to warn off or create distance either by drive your opponent away or by pushing yourself away. Again double Guan Sau is used to move back into the centre of the dummy, which has the same application as in the first section. The Section finishes with a double Tok Sau.
Fourth Section Consists of 9 Movements
The first part of section four is performed with both hands performing the same techniques simultaneously with emphasis on simple transitions which highlights how easy it is to move from one position to another. This underlines the importance of gate changing when dealing with an opponent which may have you in a multitude of positions including a half or full clinch position.
Section four begins with a double Jum Sau applied to the outside of the upper arms of the dummy which moves in to a double Huen Sau, followed by a low double palm strike. Both hands move up to an inside gate double Tan Sau and then to a double high palm strike. This shows how to use an entry technique such as Jum Sau and follow up with a Huen Sau which changes the gate of your arm without moving your body thus moving from outside to inside enabling you to continue your attack.
Although this seems pretty simple an opponent may wish to get in close to try and grapple you in to a half or full clinch position, from this position you are vulnerable in potentially going to the floor so you can use these techniques to aid with the prevention of going to the floor, the low palm strike is toward the opponents hips and is designed to disengage them, thus disrupting your opponents structure which enables you to regain the advantage.
The double Tan Sau that follows represents an inside Tan Sau followed by a double palm strike to the head which shows the importance of getting on the inside of your opponents arms as it is impossible to block from this position making it easy to hit your opponent. You then move both hands down onto the top of the upper arms of the dummy. Kwan Sau is used which is a rolling movement with both hands that roll around the arms of the dummy. From this part of the section you can see how the rolling motion frees up your position by continually changing the gates of your arms which can also be applied when in a half or full clinch position.
After you have rotated three times, the hand that is in a Tan Sau/Jum Sau executes a strike cutting thought the opponents defence. A Bong Sau is then applied which uses the same principle as in the first and second sections of the Dummy. Bong Sau is applied on the inside of the Dummy arms and you move around the Dummy where the Bong Sau moves into a Tan Sau, the other hand strikes the trunk of the dummy at the same time you apply a kick to the knee of the Dummy leg. This set of movements is performed on both sides. Again Double Guan Sau is used to move back into the centre of the dummy, which has the same application as in the first section. The Section finishes with a double Tok Sau.
Fifth Section Consists of 21 Movements
Section five teaches the student about structure and balance as a double handed push is introduced (Po Pai). Performing the push is not about shoving your opponent but more about driving them back to create distance. Po Pai can also be used as more of an internal strike if performed correctly. When applying Po Pai the practitioner has to have a stable structure in order not to push themselves backwards. It also highlights the importance of pushing or attacking the centre of an opponent as on other and deviation away from the centre will result in the Po Pai not being applied correctly, where as applying Po Pai or attacking an opponent off centre may result in the opponent gaining the advantage. There is emphasis on which hand is used in the high position depending on what side of the body you are when performing your attack too as if you use the wrong hand you may end up crossing your hands which will result in you being trapped.
This section starts with three horizontal Jut Sau movements; this is to show how the Jut Sau works by using it as a deflection against incoming strikes. A high Guan Sau is applied whilst striking the lower part of the trunk of the Dummy. This emphasises how to use a high Guan Sau to change from one gate to another enabling you to strike.
With the right hand high, both arms then move into a Double Guan Sau on the inside of the Dummy arms and from this position you move in and Po Pai (double handed push) is applied to the centre of the Dummy. A left high Bong Sau is applied and you move around to the right hand side of the Dummy and apply Po Pai. You then use double Guan Sau to manoeuvre in to the centre of the Dummy and apply another Po Pai again with the right hand high. Your right hand moves into a high Bong Sau position you move around to the left hand side of the Dummy and apply a Po Pai. You then come back into the centre of the dummy with Double Guan Sau and finish off this section, which has the same application as in the first section. The Section finishes with a double Tok Sau.
Sixth Section Consists of 15 Movements
Section six is about complex movements such as gate changes and correction which are delivered at a fast pace. The student has to remain relaxed to perform the movements correctly. The speed at which the movements are performed are directly related to how relaxed the student is when performing them. The kick in this section is applied with the "wrong" leg i.e. the leg that is furthest away. This is to show that a kick can be applied while the practitioner is on the move or is wrong footed. Some apply the kick from a standing positions whilst others perform the kick whilst on the move, both versions are correct.
This section opens with a turning Double Guan Sau followed by a Kwan Sau, then Guan Sau is applied again whilst turning the other direction. This part of the form shows how to use Double Guan Sau as defensive cover as it covers both high and low parts of the upper body simultaneously. The Kwun Sau that follows is to effectively free up your position or quickly counter the attack. A right Bong Sau is then applied whilst turning the opposite direction and is quickly fed through the arms of the Dummy which is followed by a Lap Sau and palm strike with the left hand; this set of movements is repeated on the opposite side.
Using a right Bong Sau applied to the left hand arm of the Dummy you move around the left hand side of the Dummy into a Tan Sau, low palm strike whilst stepping around the dummy a kick is applied to the trunk of the Dummy, the kick is used with the opposite leg which can be applied to control the opponent's hips or kick when wrong footed thus correcting your centre.
A Bong Sau is again used whilst manoeuvring to the centre of the Dummy and the set of movements is repeated on the other side. Again Double Guan Sau is used to move back into the centre of the dummy, which has the same application as in the first section. The Section finishes with a double Tok Sau.
Seventh Section Consists of 15 Movements
Section seven is about long distance bridging and the importance of moving in and closing down an opponent. Long bridging is using the tools of the Wing Chun system such as Tan Sau and using them at a longer distance than you would do normally. This theory is applied when you do not have any contact with an opponent such as when sparring or in a real fight.
The reference of the arms of the Dummy in section seven, changes from the normal reference of the opponents elbow to the wrist. This highlights the long range bridging and could refer to someone pointing at you or waving their hands around in your face for example. The importance of manoeuvring in to an opponent is fundamental to the Wing Chun system. If you do not close your opponent down quickly and effectively then you are fighting without efficiency in mind thus the key being preventing the opponent from fighting by trapping their arms/legs for example.
Section seven starts with a slight step backwards and applying an extended left hand Tan Sau whilst applying a right straight kick to the trunk of the Dummy, you then turn to the left applying a right Bong Sau/left Wu Sau position applied in the air while using the same leg as before you kick the knee of the dummy leg. This part of the form shows how to use the Wing Chun kicks applied to an opponent's mid section or leading leg while covering you upper body at the same time. The kick to the knee of the Dummy leg can also be a shin scrape. This set of movements is then repeated on the other side.
You apply a right Gum Sau and then move in to the left side of the Dummy whilst applying a left Pak Sau you strike the trunk of the Dummy using your right hand and your right leg sweeps the leg of the Dummy. You then move out of the Dummy back to a central position and apply a left Gum Sau and the repeat the same set of movements.
Again Double Guan Sau is used to move back into the centre of the dummy, which has the same application as in the first section. The Section finishes with a double Tok Sau.
Eighth Section Consists of 26 Movements
Section eight is slightly different to the other sections of the Dummy as it is the only section that passes through the centre of the Dummy twice. This section focuses on the theory of height of attack and defence as you apply a low defence and then work your way up the opponent using their other arms. This is also done with efficiency in mind as you apply multiple defences and attack with the same hand. This also emphasises that you may change gates between movements based on your opponents striking pattern.
The Pak Sau cover whilst kicking shows efficiency as you are in fact kicking the knee of an opponent whilst deflecting their initial attack. The kick will push against the knee joint forcing them forward and enabling you to counter by closing them down and attacking. The double handed Lap Sau is a controlling technique which is applied again with a kick to the knee of an opponent, thus forcing them off balance enabling you to continue your attack.
Section eight section opens with three Dai (low) Bong Sau's which are applied to the lower arm of the dummy, finishing on the right. This right arm then moves up into a Tan Sau which is applied to the inner right arm of the Dummy which then moves in to a palm strike which hits the head of the Dummy.
A right hand Bong Sau is then applied the upper left arm of the Dummy where you then move around to the left side of the Dummy and simultaneously apply an outer gate Pak Sau and with the right leg (leading leg) to kick the leg of the Dummy. You apply another left Dai Bong Sau whilst you manoeuvre back in to the centre of the Dummy followed by a further two Dai Bong Sau's finishing on the left. The same set of movements is repeated on the other side.
From the right side of the Dummy a right Bong Sau is applied again whilst you move through the centre of the Dummy through to the left side of the Dummy. The right Bong Sau is then manipulated in to the upper hand of a double handed Lap Sau (left hand low) which is applied to the left arm of the Dummy, whilst simultaneously kicking the knee of the Dummy. Bong Sau is then applied to manoeuvre in to the centre of the dummy and round to the right side of the dummy and the same set of movements is repeated on the other side.
Again Double Guan Sau is used to move back into the centre of the dummy, which has the same application as in the first section. The Section finishes with a double Tok Sau.
This completes the Muk Yan Chong form
Muk Yan Chong builds on Sil Lim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Gee
The next form that is taught is fifth form which is Luk Dim Boon Kwun - 6.5 Point Pole or dragon pole. Amongst other things builds short range power in the arms and wrists, and how to control a weapon with using your structure. The Luk Dim Boon Kwun develops arm strength and power.