A traditional training apparatus that has roots in many Chinese Gung Fu styles is the Saam Sing Jong, translated as “Three Star Dummy,” is broken down, explored, and worked with Sifu Ian Protheroe at the helm of this instalment. Bringing over two decades of practising and teaching this scarcely practiced method of developing an aspect of one’s footwork and kicking capacities, this live-seminar presentation is straight and to the three points. For a short and sweet continuous 33-minute runtime, the audience is provided information that covers the necessities for practical understanding and application from post-to-post.
Sifu Protheroe opens the floor with an introduction to the origins of the Saam Sing Jong’s origins, “mainly used in Mainland China although… used in some schools in Hong Kong,” as a device for expanding, “footwork, dynamic balance, and as a kicking tool,” enhancing the capacities that the legs can offer the practitioner. Furtherance to the origins of the device’s history is the complement of Buddhist ideologies and parables, which provide traditional context to an, “enlightened,” understanding. With the platform set equilaterally, the seminar moves forward from the ground up to work the legs as weapons, trapping, advancing and evading tools.
“There are two basic footwork patterns: one circular and one linear,” imparts the instructor, preceding a simple array of how the lower limbs are employed to play front and side kicks, jamming, as well as front and back sweeps. Fundamental Wing Chun concepts are reinforced, such as Centreline Theory and Facing, to continue to guide the viewer cohesively through navigating the “Three Star Dummy” with the complementary hand positions serving as further guidelines of engagement.
Mobility and agility are imperative to having effective skills in any fighting system, so the audience is given the essential footwork patterns that navigate the perimeter of the three triangulated posts; first in a diligent then dynamic fashion from points of origin through to efficient practice. Range and angles are well managed and illustrate, without mention, the importance of maintaining one’s personal structures and positions when engaging an opponent at close range in a variety of sequences that are then combined for fluid drilling patterns. The ability to engage, disengage, slip, and evade with balance and self-control of one’s faculties are all covered.
Individual and combinations of kicks are left to the imagination of the practising individual to devise what works best, and the potential applications that one can visualise through interaction with the training implement. From ankle, to knee, to thigh, to pelvic height, the kicks find their way to the mark with the explicit intent of disabling the threatening behaviours of the attacker.
Sifu Protheroe’s instalment is an interesting volume spanning the traditional origins of the “Three Star Dummy” to modern day applications, bridging the gap from heel to hurt to balance one’s arsenal of Wing Chun weapons between hands and feet. Circular and linear modes keep the skill set straight and to the point.
Ian Protheroe – Wing Chun Saam Sing Jong (Three Star Dummy)
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Running Time: Approx. 33 min.
Number of Discs: 1
Availability: DVD or EWC Instant Access Download
Review by: Dwight Hennings