Review – Ving Tsun Musuem’s Sil Nim Tao: The Foundation

Review – Ving Tsun Musuem’s Sil Nim Tao: The Foundation

VTM Wing Chun Series #1-2: Sil Nim Tao: The Foundation By Sifu Benny Meng
Part 1:

In this the first video in the Ving Tsun Museum (VTM) Wing Chun series, Sifu Benny Meng covers in great detail all of the fundamental techniques and essential concepts vital at the Beginning Level of Wing Chun training. Immediately upon watching this video I was impressed by the high-level production, with multiple camera angles and professional soundtrack, but more impressive was the high level of instruction given. Having met Sifu Benny Meng and taken a tour of the Ving Tsun Museum, I can honestly say that he is a walking encyclopedia of Wing Chun and I had high expectations of his video series. He did not let me down. In true historian fashion Sifu Meng leaves nothing out of this production; after demonstrating the Sil Nim Tao form each individual technique is broke down, explained, and then demonstrated in practical application. Sifu Meng then goes on to fully explain the purpose of training in the Sil Nim Tao form and elaborates on the fighting concepts that make Wing Chun such an effective form of personal combat. I am very happy to have had the chance to watch this video as I feel that there are those few instructors who have vital information to share and Sifu Benny Meng is definitely one of them. Although I could highly recommend this to advanced students because the information here is that good, for beginners this video is a great place to establish a solid foundation in Wing Chun.

Part 2:
At the beginning of this video Sifu Meng uses this analogy: Part One of the Sil Nim Tao DVD, which was based on form training, is like the text book that gives you knowledge; Part Two would be like taking that knowledge into the laboratory and experimenting. I really liked that saying and it kind of clicked in my mind as to the literal English translation of Sil Nim Tao meaning “The Little Idea.” Simply put, if one can perfect the movements and concepts of the first form one would have a sound knowledge of Wing Chun and then the drills would be a way a testing that knowledge. In this video Sifu Meng goes over three main drills taught at the Sil Nim Tao Level; Pak Sau, Lap Sau, and Dan Chi Sau. Each drill is taught in a progressive manner, but with a heavy focus on the underlining concepts taken from the Sil Nim Tao. I remember reading an interview with Ip Ching (Grandmaster Ip Man’s son) in Black Belt magazine years ago. When asked which aspects of Wing Chun his father practiced the most, he said it was the Sil Nim Tao and punching, verifying that mastery of Wing Chun lay in perfecting the basic concepts. Without adhering to these concepts you will fall far short in your execution of the techniques and your fighting application with be ineffective. The video concludes with Sifu Meng doing a blindfolded demonstration. It is very obvious that he has reached a very high level of understanding in this art, which is a testament to his dedicated training and the men that taught him.On one last note; I would like to say that it was nice to get a video with so much quality info packed into one DVD. Being that Sil Nim Tao Part One and Part Two are on the same disc at a combined running time of 110 minutes. You are getting two lessons for the price of one. Now who can complain about that?

Technical Review:

  • DVD Length: 110 Minutes
  • Display: NTSC
  • Region: 0
  • Type: DVD
  • Language: English (No Subtitles)
  • Video Quality: High (Professional Production)
  • Audio Quality: High (Professional Production)

Content Review:
Part 1

  • Introduction
    • Opening the DVD is a very nice short historical segment introducing Sifu Meng, detailing his journey in the art of Wing Chun and paying homage to the many great masters under whom he studied.
  • Wing Chun’s Fundamental Stance and Striking Techniques
    • Goat Gripping Stance
    • Sun Character Stance
    • Palm Strikes
    • Chopping Strikes
  • Fundamental Techniques (SNT Section One)
    • Tan Sau (Dispersing Hand)
    • Huen Sau (Encircling Hand)
    • Wu Sau (Protecting Hand)
    • Fook Sau (Covering Hand)
    • Pak Sau (Slapping Hand)
  • Fundamental Techniques (SNT Section Two)
    • Gum Sau (Pressing Hand)
    • Jum Sau (Resting Hand)
    • Jut Sau (Stopping Hand)
    • Biu Sau (Thrusting Hand)
  • Fundamental Techniques (SNT Section Three)
    • Gan Sau (Make Space)
    • Bon Sau (Wing Hand)
  • Sil Nim Tao Form Demonstrated by Sifu Benny Meng (Multiple Angles);
    • Sifu Meng first demonstrates the entire Sil Nim Tao form then slowly breaks it down one technique at a time, naming each individual movement.
  • Attributes Developed by Practicing the Sil Nim Tao Form
    • Balance
    • Relaxation
  • Fighting Concepts
    • Facing
    • Centerline
    • Straight Line
    • Two Hands Work as One
    • Six Gates
    • Hard and Soft Energy
  • Applications
    • Section One
    • Section Two
    • Section Three
  • Conclusion

Part 2:

  • Sil Nim Tao Form Demonstrated by Sifu Benny Meng (Multiple Angles)
  • Slapping Hand Drills (Pak Sau)
    • Basic Sequence Stationary
    • Partner Applies Pressing Energy
    • Putting It All Together
  • Grabbing Hand Drills
    • Basic Sequence
    • Applying the Chopping Hand
    • Applying the Low Palm Strike
    • Harmonizing Energy
    • Variations
  • Single Sticky Hands Drill (Dan Chi Sau)
    • Basic Sequence
    • Using the Centerline Concept
    • Common Positioning Mistakes
  • Foundation Hands Drill (Poon Sau)
    • Basic Sequence #1: Two Hands Inside and Two Outside
    • Basic Sequence #2: One Hand Inside and One Outside
  • Blindfolded Demonstration of the Drills on this Video
    • Sifu Meng demonstrates all of the drills that he teaches on this video while blindfolded against one of his top students.
  • Conclusion

Review by: Todd Taganashi
DVD Bought on: Everything Wing Chun
This DVD is also available for download on Everything Wing Chun Instant Access

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