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Sil Lum Tao - "A Little Imagination" or "The Little Idea"  

Proper practice of Sil Lum Tao helps the student ingrain specific physiokinetic principles into the neuromuscular system so they are ultimately applied without conscious thought during the execution of techniques in combat. The ability to execute techniques supported by physiokinetic principles allows the student to maximize effectiveness while minimizing effort. Combined with good strategy, these principles allow a person to overpower and defeat a physically superior opponent. Through diligent practice, the student reinforces his/her own techniques with these principles while learning how to find and take advantage of his opponent's physiokinetic weaknesses.

These principles are fundamental laws ('truths') involving the natural way the human body operates (body mechanics) and physics. These principles are universal, and are not unique to Jeet Kune Do.

While not all of the physiokinetic principles of combat are found within Sil Lum Tao, the form does reveal at least a dozen such principles, as well as teaching the simultaneous application of several together. As a result, Sil Lum Tao proves to be an excellent tool for their practice and reinforcement.

Some of these include (in no particular order):

Breathing- properly, from the abdomen, using the bottom of the lungs


Fa Ging- short distance energy/power

Spinal Alignment

Relaxation- the minimization of physical exertion in the execution of technique

Posture- the minimization of tension when in motion or at rest

Sinking or 'heaviness'- applying body weight to techniques

Triangular Strength- application of structural foundation principles

Transition (energy)

Hip Power

Rooting- attachment to/from the ground

Structure- body unity to maximize the physiokinetic advantages

Convergence- the combining of sinking and hip power

Centredness- application of principles relating to weight, center of gravity and sinking

These physiokinetic principles are not all easily found. You must be patient and practice attentively, just listening to your body and they will find you. Impatient students and those who do not immediately feel physiokinetic principles in Sil Lum Tao usually give up the form. Unfortunately many of these principles prove elusive and more difficult to find outside of Sil Lum Tao. This results in some fighters never achieving their true potential.


Tips for Sil Lum Tao

1)      Breathe from your abdomen, filling the bottom of your lungs. Draw your breath from your dan tien.

2)      Be smooth. Do not make the movements jerky.

3)      Take your time; do not go too quickly. Listen to your body, feel what it tells you.

4)      When performing with one hand, keep the back hand high.

5)      Chest should be soft, and shoulders rounded.

6)      Keep your shoulders at the same level all the time. Do not lean or turn into your movements with your shoulder.

7)      Keep the techniques on the line of attack.

8)      Keep the hips forward.

9)      Rest your weight on the heels, with your toes gripping the ground.

10)  Relax, and let Sil Lum Tao find you.



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This page was last updated on 07/06/07. © David Shostal 2006-2010