10 ASPECTS OF CHI SAU .
Sigung Tsui and Sifu Fung, sadly reunited.
When my Students and I are playing in the laboratory that is Chi Sau, I find it helpful to have some specific IDEA’S that we are trying to gain further insight to, small pieces of the puzzle to work on independently, often these pieces fit into more than one class or place, have more than open function and that itself is a fruitful area of contemplation, I see them as 10 aspects that we look to identify. Most of these aspects are covered by everyday Chi Sau practice, often though Students do not realise the multi faceted potentials of BASIC moves and tend to put them in little boxes, most people do not look beyond the first best answer to a problem, they have the attitude that now that the problem is fixed lets move on to the next problem. Job Done.
Separating the component parts of Chi Sau and treating them as unique exercises can greatly extend your all around understanding of Wing Chun and not just Chi Sau.
Many of the Actions could easily be placed in a different category, and I encourage you to do just that, the value of any CONCEPT is found in how you interpret it.
Man Sau, the “Asking Hand”, is a way to gather information from our Partner, we can find out the level of our Partners awareness or readiness, we can gauge their “Ability” even their “Intention” simply by connecting to them in such a way that prompts them to react, to answer us. This “Asking” can be done with the Body moving the Arms. A perfect example is the presented Palm in Dan Chi Sau. The first intention is to “ask” if the partner is aware of what you are attempting, to gauge his level of readiness to intercept you et. The aim is to increase your awareness of your Partners actions, by adopting the Mind Set of ASKING you will automatically pay a lot more attention to what is happening, “you will be actively awaiting an answer”.
After presenting Man Sau if you are aware of your Partners Intention, or in Lok Sau if you identify the direction of your Partners force then “Running” is the act of taking yourself off the line of your Partner. In Dan Chi Sau this is often done by simply moving the Arm to avoid the pressure, but it can also be done by completely removing yourself, allowing your Partners force to slip into emptiness.
If you become aware of your Partners Intention before it is fully realised, for instance again using Dan Chi Sau as an example you feel your Partners Man Sau begin to transition into a Palm Strike, you can prevent it from coming into being, “Intercept the Idea and neutralise the Action”.
Leaking occurs only once the alignment of your Arms is correct, simple movements just seem to fall through your Partners defence, small rotations of the Body cause your Partner to fall away from your structure. You can LEAK through on the inside, or cause your Partner to LEAK through on the outside.
Taking your Partners Balance by shifting his Centre of Gravity, uprooting, twisting or jerking. At first learn how to do this with very small Arm only movements such as Tok Sau, Huen Sau, Kwan Sau, Jut Sau or any favourite, then to really make these aspects dynamic introduce shifting, pivoting even stepping. Disturb with your Arms then Destabilise with your Body.
Destroying your Partners Structure by applying your own Centre of Gravity in an aggressive manner, dropping your weight into your Arms or simply dropping your weight directly into your partners Centre of Gravity , this is almost the opposite of Destabilising as we use our Partners own Stability to crush him against. Arms in and down, Body drops, shifts or steps inwards / forwards.
Gwoh Sau, Pak Sau and Lap Sau techniques whereby you take the initiative to attack, first from a more or less neutral position, later in free play you can Neutralise your Partners attack and Counter Attack.
Using Body movement to redirect your Partner, Pivoting, shifting or stepping without changing your Arm shapes. Allow your Partners effort to push you off the line of attack, this will help you understand the nature of Force Vectors, through repeated practice and close observation this can develop the skill of being able to move to the correct place even before contact.
A combination of Intercepting, Running and Evading with the intention of deliberately taking your Partners Body Mass away, usually by latching or pressing Physically leading them into an Obstruction or into Emptiness.
A combination of Engaging, Destabilising and Evading, after LEADING once the Partners Balance is broken Throw him or shove him away VIOLENTLY, preferably into something hard.
Many of these “IDEA’S” are present simultaneously in our example techniques and usual practice, breaking them down into separate actions allows us to gain greater control and variety in their use.
I teach Wing Chun from the premise that we have been attacked and are in a disadvantaged position from the onset, EVADING, LEADING, EXPELLING and DESTABILISING are aspects that can allow you to regain the position to bring all the other aspects into play.
Ideas like LEADING and EXPELLING can be viewed as different levels of intensity, having the ability to shift from one to the other on the fly can really keep your Partner / Opponent in a spin making it impossible for them to offer any kind of realistic defence.
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