Biu Ji, the 3rd form in the system teaches us how to release power by asking us to relax. Learning Biu Ji involves relaxing the body in order to be able to perform the movements, and to relax our mind’s hold on the ideas we have been presented with while learning Siu Lim Tao and Chum Kiu. It asks us to look at our training, and the very system itself, from another perspective, thus giving us the opportunity to train within the system yet be free of it. As Wong Shun Leung said, we need to get up off the chair and to be the master of the system, not it’s slave.
Biu Ji is where the system steps outside of itself.
This form teaches us that fighting is imperfect, that we find ourselves in compromised positions where we need to break the rules according to SLT and CK in order to survive. It teaches us how to recover from a bad position in a way that will annihilate the opponent, to capitalise on our mistakes.
We learn that in certain circumstances we even must lose our waist structure as we’ve come to know it in the previous forms.
The Biu Ji stance is a little wider than the Chum Kiu stance, to encourage us to lower our centre of gravity when in extreme circumstances, when stability becomes more valuable.
In Biu Ji, as in Chum Kiu, we pivot on the heels when shifting towards the side, and the axis of the foot when shifting on our centre and striking towards the front.
We always begin our movements with the right side, to differentiate the Biu Ji form from the other forms. Even the simplest parts of our brain notice this difference, so we are aware through and through that this training is for extraordinary circumstances.
In the sinking elbow striking section, when we strike just once to each side, we use wu sau followed by palm strike for our clearing action. This trains in the option of hitting the opponent as we clear with our arm, in the event of that possibility. This move is from the Leung Sheung lineage, and obviously a very useful option to program in.
Biu Ji teaches us to change actions when one has failed, eg totally failed huen sau morphs into gan sau to achieve the same effect, or a huen that has half worked but failed to turn the opponent is now driven entirely by the waist.
After practicing Biu Ji our other forms and everything else become more fluid, more relaxed and more powerful in expression.
Biu Ji introduces the whipping action of expression of power through a relaxed structure from the ground into the opponent, utilising the entire body.
Even our trusted punch is found to be innapropriate in a certain circumstance.
When striking from the side into the side of the neck, eg our punch has missed and our fist is next to their neck, the normal VT fist will cause the thumb to act as a stopper on the jaw, so in this instance we must cap the thumb on top of the fist. Normally we would consider the thumb vulnerable, but in this case holding the thumb on top of the fist is the safest. Biu Ji asks us in this way and others to loosen up, to see things from a different perspective, indeed to be free from our very Ving Tsun training!
We have added a movement to the end of the form, to deal with a particular instance where our range is such that we are too close to punch, our elbow is restricted from striking over and down, and our hand is near the side of his head but not far enough to grab the neck. We strike the elbow up under the chin to suddenly tilt the face up, then quickly hammer fist down onto the upturned face. The hammer fist is from Leung Sheung lineage, and is an extremely powerful strike. We use the waist shifting on the axis of the foot to help with power and to bring the elbow up through the centre, then shifting back, again pivoting on the axis point to bring the elbow powerfully down through the centre. The wrist adds to the strike by canting downwards, which presents the small knuckle for the strike and serves to increase the structure at the wrist for safety and better force transmission.
Biu Ji teaches us how to recover from bad positions and turn this to our advantage. It teaches us how to strike from seemingly difficult angles and places, with different mechanics to deliver even more power than is normally possible. If in practice we are forced to use Biu Ji it means the situation has us under pressure and we will respond accordingly with more demolishing strikes than we would normally resort to. The responses will be automatic and only be expressed when the situation demands. This is one way in which Ving Tsun teaches us appropriate response.