BY CURT JAMES
The Biu Jee contains emergency techniques,
Wing Chun's third and final hand set is known as Biu Jee or Shooting Fingers. The word Biu indicates Shooting or thrusting, Jee means Fingers. Biu Jee refers to a life-saving technique or emergency hand technique (Gow Gup Sau). Shooting Fingers are a deadly strike--a method taught to a select few. "Iron fingers can strike a vital point at once." Biu Jee is therefore reserved in Wing Chun Kuen for loyal students who may benefit from this instruction. In the past, many were turned away when knocking on this particular door. In modern times, an attitude of sharing has replaced the profound secrecy associated with this martial art. However, Biu Jee set remains obscure and rarely seen.
The basic sets Siu Lim Tau (Small Idea) and Chum Kiu (Searching for the Bridge) are well-known but Biu Jee continues to be elusive. "Biu Jee is not taught to outsiders." Perhpas due to this, Biu Jee set represents a goal for many Wing Chun exponents. A superior objective is competence in self-defense. Toward this end, basic training sets remain the source from which the fighter is sustained. Siu Lim Tau represents the basis for the complete system; Chum Kiu contains practical concepts and techniques. These ideas must be absorbed, Biu Jee practice depends upon them. The rudiments of Wing Chun should be mastered before approaching this training set. Only then can one unlock the secrets of Biu Jee.
Biu Jee introduces third level in this fighting art and is Wing Chun's advanced hand set. This aspect of Wing Chun promotes a synthesis of ideas; numerous concepts and techniques are harmonized. Flow techniques are fully expressed in Biu Jee, and this ability symbolizes the training set admirably. With Biu Jee, the fighter moves toward mastering continuity of movement. This fighting skill promotes more than hand development. Increased flow encourages the mastery of body mechanics. Body mechanics, as opposed to body unity, is a skill associated with greater hand opposition and body torque. This ability marks a practical expression of real combat skills. It is through increased body torque, hand flow and power that the Biu Jee fighter expresses himself.
Wing Chun Biu Jee includes basic stances presented thus far, as well as the formal Circle stance (Biu Jee Ma). This circular movement can be used as a step, a kick or sweep. As a basic stance, Biu Jee Ma is often introduced in Siu Lim Tau level, for this stance promotes centering skills and improved balance--especially as a prerequisite to general mobility. Used in a forward manner, the Circle step is known as Seung Ma (Forward/Circle Stance). Seung Ma allows the fighter to close while avoiding obstructions. Thus, Biu Jee Ma and Seung Ma are practical stances and receive critical attention.
Biu Jee set is reserved for advanced pupils but remains essential to the mastery of Wing Chun Kuen. The fighter completes Biu Jee and then graduates to advanced forms and applications such as Wooden Dummy set (Mok Yan Jong) and Wing Chun Weapons. Progressing too quickly without a solid foundation retards progress. Taught prematurely, advanced skills such as Dummy techniques may promote loss of balance, weak technique and incorrect use of lines. The three hand forms, Siu Lim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Jee, represent the basic foundation for Wing Chun Kuen. Biu Jee completes Wing Chun's basic training and prepares a fighter for advanced forms of application.
There are many prerequisites for learning Biu Jee, both physical and psychological. Foremost, Turning and body unity should be mastered. Shifting is applied with a central-axis movement. This develops stability, centering, and represents an economical method to generate and deflect power. Turning is used extensively in Biu Jee. As introduced in Chum Kiu, Half-turns are fully expressed in this set. Biu Jee uses many subtle, "explosive" Turning movements. As a psychological note the Wing Chun student approaching Biu Jee should demonstrate some consideration and compassion in relation to others. Pupils who are exceedingly ambitious or egocentric should rarely be taught Biu Jee. "Biu Jee does not go out the door." This indicates a rigid criteria for learning this set. "How many sifu pass on the proper heritage?"
Focus and precision are also key elements of Biu Jee practice. This training set promotes a type of pin-point accuracy few can appreciate. With Biu Jee mastered, the fighter discovers his Wing Chun technique is improved, refined and more powerful. This advancement in skill may explain a reason why Biu Jee set is withheld from many students. Wooden Dummy techniques are sometimes taught before Biu Jee. In this case, one acquires a degree mobility, but the exponent remains unfocused in the application of power and efficient combat skills. For this reason, Biu Jee is considered fundamental to success in Wing Chun Kuen.
An important skill associated with Biu Jee training is the ability to use explosive power. Explode power is enhanced through Biu Jee training and is used in many close fighting situations. A fighter must learn to generate power from only a short distance. Biu Jee's efficiency is discovered in a subtle, precise, and refined aspect of execution. Concise body motions and techniques promote superior focus and explosiveness. Biu Jee appears less mobile than Chum Kiu. However, only through concentrated body mechanics can explosive power be refined to reach its zenith. Thus, Biu Jee training represents a return to simplicity and completes an important cycle for the Wing Chun exponent.
Biu Jee set introduces Shooting Finger techniques and contains many emergency boxing skills. These fighting techniques should be reserved by the exponent and used only at the proper time. When necessary, these skills are employed either offensively or defensively. "The situation is different when preventing from defeat in an emergency." This may suggest that attacking a vital point or using ruthless techniques should be a final, last resort. Biu Jee Sau (Shooting Hand) is also an important blocking skill. Shooting through emergency situations is a concept overlooked by many exponents. Blocking and attacking can also be executed in a single motion. Thus, Shooting Fingers can be realized in various ways.
Wing Chun's finger strikes are rarely utilized to openly strike an opponent. The fist and palm techniques taught in Siu Lim Tau and Chum Kiu are effective for normal circumstances. Biu Jee is a method reserved for dangerous moments. Finger strikes can be employed when trapped, controlled, or in any life threatening situation. For attacking, the fingers are sure to find their mark. In defensive techniques such as Gaan Jaam Sau (Cutting Hand) and Fak Sau (Whisking Hand), a fighter can recover the center thereby saving oneself. Biu Jee techniques are reserved but are effective whenever necessary.
Biu Jee techniques are most useful in close fighting situations. "Springy power and extended arm are applied to close range." This signifies that flexible energy and extended arm movements are often used in close quarters. The ability to generate explosive power from only a short distance can sometimes be accomplished through an elastic or whipping blow. Many Biu Jee skills are connected with small, circular methods. For instance, the Vertical Elbow (Gwai Jong) is an effective, circular blow used in close fighting.
Wing Chun Kuen is based on the concept: "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line." To the beginning pupil, the maintenance of the inside line is of paramount importance. However, at an advanced level, the shortest distance between two points is also a circle! In some situations, circular strikes are quicker and more effective than straight line attacks. These movements are still based upon a centerline principle. "Circular and straight accompany each other."
A vital aspect of Biu Jee practice is thus concerned with regaining the inside line from an outside position. Biu Jee set introduces and uses (near) circular motions and extended hand movements. This explains how an extended arm is applied to close range. Unlike the basic centerline principle, Biu Jee teaches one to regain the centerline from an outside or losing position. This may be accomplished by cutting back to the centerline (Jaam Jone). This ability completes an important cycle for a Wing Chun exponent. Circular methods and outside, long-hand techniques complement the straight, inside approach.
Numerous opposing methods and techniques are harmonized within the context of Biu Jee. At this level the fighter may be introduced to various evasive maneuvers. These methods are known as Glass Body techniques (Bow Lay Ying Faat). Such fighting skills introduce the method of "blocking without blocking," and are studied in connection with advanced footwork and movement. Although evasive, Glass Body techniques are not entirely defensive. Bow Lay Ying Faat often consists in slipping dangerous blows while simultaneously attacking .
Biu Jee set introduces many practical, lethal fighting skills. "Why not first learn this set?" The answer lies in the mastery of the Wing Chun pryamid foundation. Without this basic posture and method for focusing and releasing power, Biu Jee techniques remain ineffective. Biu Jee presents and corrects many structural qualities and skills, which augments or adds to the boxing foundation developed. Biu Jee training accents the ability attained by an exponent. When approaching this set, one should have something to work with. In this way, Biu Jee training delivers the Wing Chun fighter to a new world.
Studying Biu Jee is recommended for the acquisition and completion of crucial fighting skills. While the nature of these techniques prove Biu Jee is not for beginners, this set also completes the basic training for the Wing Chun fighter. While Biu Jee techniques can be lethal, it should be remembered that a technique is only as effective as the fighter himself. All movements within Wing Chun's hand sets are equally effective depending upon the fighter. Good basics and a solid foundation remain a primary concern.
Biu Jee training develops progressive skills such as accurate striking and additional power. Hand flow, continuity, and body mechanics remain the pinnacle of Biu Jee practice. When practicing Biu Jee set, "The eyes should follow the technique." This promotes body torque. Biu Jee set also completes an important cycle for the fighter by integrating boxing skills such as circular strikes and evasive Glass Body maneuvers. Biu Jee represents a final piece to the Wing Chun puzzle. Executing the three sets together, one senses balance and completion. The return to Siu Lim Tau and simplicity initiates a new cycle of development. As a pupil energizes and solidifies his fighting skills, improvement is constant and can not be predicted.
Biu Jee is an advanced set, but upon learning these skills one has progressed only halfway through the complete system. Wooden Dummy skills, Leg maneuvers and Wing Chun Weapons represent advanced training. As Biu Jee training is cycling toward precision, Wooden Dummy skills promotes greater mobility and power. With a return to simplicity, greater application and movement await the practitioner. Biu Jee and Mok Yan Jong skills represent a vital intermediate stage when combined. Like Siu Lim Tau training, Biu Jee promotes solid fundamentals. Wooden Dummy techniques, like Chum Kiu, reveal advanced application.
Wing Chun's Biu Jee is a practical and efficient training set. "The stepping in elbow strike has sufficient threatening power." "The phoenix eye punch has no compassion." As we can see, there is minimal philosophy discovered within the framework of Biu Jee training. However, Wing Chun Shooting Fingers still beckon toward greater achievements. Biu Jee set and its thrusting hand leads to a realm where there is no philosophy--only pure spontaneity. Biu Jee is a finger pointing, but where? One thing is certain, Biu Jee directs the fighter to absolute clarity and simplicity of purpose. Biu Jee set is Wing Chun's jewel in the crown.