It is easy to mistaken the forms as of codes to solve certain imaginary fighting scenes but although such interpretations might be valid, the main purpose of the forms is something else.
In general, we can state that Tung Kong Chow Gar Tong Long forms help the practitioners to learn and practice how to use their bodies in order to be effective in any fighting situation.
It means that if the practitioner can apply the principles which are otherwise used in the foundation training, the form is useful in working out one’s own (supposed to represent a kind of freedom of movement) kung-fu. Then forms help to learn how to use our Chow Gar power. All in all, there are no beginner or advanced forms, only beginner or advanced practitioners.
Saam Bo Pai Kiu anticipates other forms which are usually taught later (that’s why they are mistakenly believed to be higher level or advanced forms). The naming technique can be practiced three ways out of which two are generally used in the form. Since these two ways depend on the direction of the Pai Kiu, the form can be executed in two (slightly) different ways too.
The Pai Kiu can be the meter of your power (or more exactly saying it can show of which extent you can use your power to). Therefore, the Pai Kiu technique or the form can be used for testing your level. The good Pai Kiu is very fast, short, powerful and heavy – a real shock power technique.
The belief that there are higher-level forms already fails here at the third form, because Pai Kiu is just as (or even more) difficult to do well as any other so-called advanced form technique. This form helps to start studying the short-range power, nicely applying the yarm – yerng (yin-yang) theory.
Saam Bo Pai Kiu also includes lighter techniques (eg. pic sao, diu sao) that represent the martial principle of distraction, which is a derivative of one possible way of using short-range power. It also features a very short and heavy pattern (tan sao) that requires very strong and sensitive power – a combination of two qualities that you can’t really imagine a higher level of.
The form introduces the “four-direction” principle (really referring to all directions) and if someone had not realized the importance of the chang dai geng (under elbow power), Saam Bo Pai Kiu would call his attention to it. This form also starts to refine the internal actions and also the body mechanics.
This form is a great addition to the second form that is why our Sifu many times makes us practice them in combination.
It is not our intention to analyze the Saam Bo Pai Kiu form in detail here, rather we just wanted to show the interested parties our approach from another aspect.