History of the Wooden Dummy
The earliest form of the Wooden Dummy was a simple stake stuck in the ground around which the Kung Fu practitioner would perform his Wing Chung skills. A pattern of 140 movements was originally practised using the Wooden Dummy. It takes the place of an imagined partner or opponent of the Kung Fu system. The Wooden Dummy is a man sized post with three arms (two upper and one middle arm) and one Dummy leg. The Dummy Leg was originally a short bent branch off a tree thicker than the three arms and located directly below the middle arm (Finding a naturally born branch of the correct dimensions was a task within itself) Grand Master Yip Man rearranged the original 140 movements into a more comprehensive 108 movements (The number 108 has specific significance in Chinese Lunar Mathematics, religion and superstition.) Later he added the 8 'families' of kicks as well as rearranging the original 108 movements to make it a much more comprehensive pattern. These 116 movements called Mook Yan Joang Fot Yut Ling Bot are divided into eight sections.
Much can be learnt with constant practice using the Mook Yan Joang. A diligent student will learn to direct power properly, keeping the body at the correct distance from the dummy and the correct angle in relation to the centreline. Chee Ging or Sticking Energy, body unity and Gan Jeep Gin or connecting energy is developed further while moving the stance in and out as the hands flow up and down from one side of the Dummy to the other. Ngon Ging or Eye focusing power, learned at Chum Kiu level (Second hand form) is put into play as the eyes remain constantly fixed on the centreline throughout the many subtle and radical changes that take place during the form.