Siu Lim Tao is the first of three open-hand forms of the Wing Chun kung fu system. The name is a loose translation of the Cantonese, meaning Little idea.
All the basic hand movements used in Wing Chun are contained in Siu Lim Tao. There is minimal leg movement in the form; the feet only move to set up the stance in the initial movements.
Siu Nim Tao practice:
- defines the centreline and teaches students where their hands should be relative to it
- teaches students how to execute Wing Chun strikes correctly
- reinforces the correct elbow position
- instills correct breathing patterns
- facilitates force generation in short range Wing Chun strikes
Great emphasis is put on relaxation while performing Siu Nim Tao. This facilitates efficiency of movement and hand speed. Some teachers, notably Chu Shong Tin, place enormous emphasis on relaxation during Siu Nim Tao practice.