Usual translation of Biu Gee is darting finger or shooting finger. Interpretation of this term is often goes so far that explains Wing Chun third form as some kind of magic tool which will give practitioner some superhuman powers. When we talk about Wing Chun terminology we have to aware of some things . For the most part of its history , wing chun was a style practiced by a handful of people . These people were members of the upper social class , rich and highly educated. They had their own way of using Chinese language which is quite different from modern Chinese and at same time different from Chinese language used by common people , just like today , highly educated people , especially in some fields of work ,use pretty different and very specific terminology , often hard to understand for others . To properly understand term Biu Gee , we have to understand it’s origin , time period when it was used for the first time , who used it and why . Wrong interpretation of kung fu terminology is quite common today , not only for “biu gee’” but for the most of wing chun terms and it is not specific only for wing chun , it is the same for the most of kung fu styles today.
Term ‘’ Biu Gee” originally comes from Ch’an Buddhist story where after years of practice nun Wu Jincang asked the Sixth Patriach Huineng for advice and explanation of some things regarding her spiritual practice .
The patriach responded, “I am illiterate. Please read out the characters to me and perhaps I will be able to explain the meaning.”
Said the nun, “You cannot even recognize the characters. How are you able then to understand the meaning?”
“Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?”
This story was wildly know to people of 19th century , it was part of their education and they took it to describe the true meaning of Wing Chun third form. Of course , instead of telling the whole story all the time they just used “Biu Gee”, where “Biu” has nothing to do with shooting or darting but actually means pointing .
So what “Biu Gee” actually means in wing chun terms. The form is the finger . Finger is actually the path , a set of tools for a practitioner . These tools are not only technical , but also intellectual and ethical . The form\”finger” will give models and concepts for future growth and advancement of the practitioner.
Once mastered and adopted , models, principles , techniques will help practitioner to fully understand the art , to continue his own path , to grow , to finally make the art his own ,to personalize it and to be able to use it not only in any given fighting situation , but also In everyday life .This is the part about seeing the whole beauty of the moon. So , the form is important , the finger is there to point the practitioner into the right direction , without it , we could not find the right way , but once we find the path , we have to take it , to walk on it as far as we can and leave the finger behind. It is wrong to stay concentrated on the finger as much as it is wrong to take a path without the right pointer (finger). Both are necessary and important .
There is a deeper meaning of “Biu Gee” term ,or perhaps not deeper , it is a meaning wildly know the people of 19th century but hidden from modern people , especially from people whose culture has no connection to Buddhism.
There are eight aspects of life , aspects important for personal growth and development defined by Buddhist practice . These aspects were part of wing chun practice as well as everyday life of old masters , but today not known to the majority of wing chun people .These aspects are also referred as a steps on the path of development .These aspects or steps are: Right Understanding, Right Intent, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.
- Right Understanding: The first step of the path is Right Understanding . I think there is no need to elaborate this any further. Without right understanding it is impossible to reach any higher level of anything
- Right Intent: The second step is Right Intent. Right Understanding shows us the essence of things , Right Intent helps us to decide what to do , helps us to take a step on the path , whether is learning the art or simply a fighting technique in a fight.
- Right Speech: Right Speech is the next step of the Path. Right speech involves recognition of the truth, and also an awareness of the impact of the spoken word. There is no other way to pass and explain the art but through words. It is extremely important to use right words and pass the art correctly .
- Right Action: In a terms of fight Right Action , closely connected to the right intent represent an appropriate response to the fighting situation and condition we are in . Right Action also encompasses the five precepts which were given by the Buddha, not to kill, steal, lie, to avoid sexual misconduct, and not to take drugs or other intoxicants.
- Right Livelihood: It means that someone who manage to reach level of Biu Gee form must uphold the highest moral and ethical standards and be what is called a “ Pillar of the society” , ,like many of kung fu masters of the past were , and some of the masters today are.
- Right Effort: Right Effort means cultivating an enthusiasm, a positive attitude in a balanced way
- Right Mindfulness: Right Mindfulness means being aware of the moment, and being focused in that moment. This is the way of achieving the best possible results in any given activity
- Right Concentration: . Right Concentration is turning the mind to focus on an desired object or a goal. It is one of the most important things in wing chun training .
As you can see, there is much more behind two simple words , “Biu Gee”, than darting or shooting .