By Chu Shong Tin
At the time when I followed Grandmaster Ip Man in learning Wing Chun, Ip always emphasized on the important of Elbow Force. Therefore, I believe, for those Wing Chun followers who had been personally taught by Ip, should have heard and seen the explanations and demonstrations of the purpose of Elbow Force. For those who have not fully understand Elbow Force, only concentrate on the usage of Elbow Force with Tan Sau and Bong Sau and neglect the fact that Elbow Force can be used with any techniques in Wing Chun.
During all these years at the seminars that I have done all over the world, I always demonstrated the skill of the Elbow Force. The most remarkable one was in 1986 at Adelaide in Australia when I demonstrated the Wing Chun stance on one leg. At that time, I was pushed by three westerners from the same direction towards me when I was standing on one leg. My stance was not affected by their pushing. Again on the 5th of November 1999 at the 1st World Wing Chun Conference organized by the Wing Chun Athletic Association, two heavy foreigners joined together to push towards me. This time, I stood on a scale and could transfer their force and it showed on the scale that I was about a hundred pounds heavier.
Another time, it was the 12th of June 1994 when I had a seminar in Holland. I used the Elbow Force in the Chum Kiu technique and overpowered a young Negro. (The youth has a huge physical build and has a nickname of Black Mountain). This display obtained the shouts of triumph from everybody present on that occasion.
Unfortunately, those followers of Wing Chun who do not understand the Wing Chun Kung Fu deep enough had later criticized the skill of the Wing Chun Elbow Force I had demonstrated as acting. This is really laughable.
The skill in the Elbow Force can be described as ‘difficult to understand but easy to work on’ or ‘easy to understand but difficult to work on’. Since I started the Wing Chun Tea Party up till now, for those who have inquired about the Elbow Force, I can correct them to get the right feeling and the power of the Elbow Force. As long as one can relax the muscle, one can comprehend the profoundness of the Elbow Force and be surprised of the strange ability of the Elbow Force. In order to reach the desired effect, one needs an instructor who understands the skill and the most important part is patience and constant training.
Elbow Force is only one of the skills of this profound Wing Chun system. Each form has its own hidden skillful techniques. Therefore, I hope that practitioners will not concentrate only on the application of the movements. They should study in depth the unique skills of Wing Chun Kung Fu. Through this, the advance Wing Chun Kung Fu can be unleashed and the essence of Wing Chun Kung Fu can be disclosed to the world.
By Chu Shong Tin