W.C.W. 17-09-2014

SUMMING UP THE ASPECTS OF CHI SAU.

A quick recap of what I term the 10 aspects of Chi Sau.

  1. Asking
  2. Running
  3. Intercepting
  4. Leaking
  5. Destabilising.
  6. Crushing.
  7. Engaging
  8. Evading
  9. Leading
  10. Expelling

The Big Question Mark over any Martial Art is….

“WILL IT WORK OUT THERE?

I get asked this about Wing Chun almost weekly, and my answer is always…

IF YOU LET IT.

Chi Sau is a fun game to play, but that is all it is, a Game.

If we allow it to be a Game it can teach us how to understand the concepts that drive Wing Chun, if we look at what I term the 10 Attributes of Chi Sau each and every one of them could apply to any given situation, they could all be demonstrated from the same example in Chi Sau, many of them happen simultaneously at contact if our shape is correct and our Stability is maintained.

Isolating these so called Attributes in Chi Sau play may just help you gain that missing  confidence in your “Basic Wing Chun Guard”, and from there everything is possible.

In my own experience the most valuable skills to trust are “Leading and Expelling”, they can be used for defence or attack and can easily be deployed in a real situation, even from a broken or compromised position. They are skills that are instinctive at any level, and as such easier to trust.

Very few Students put much time into “Leading and Expelling”  in Chi Sau, it is not what the “Kool Kids” do.

Do not get me wrong here I am as guilty as anyone for looking for the fancy “Jackie Chan” technique in Chi Sau playing, it is a way to show your understanding of the complexities of the game and often a lot of fun for both partners, it encourages Junior Students to try to learn it and creates a bond between the Senior Students that can pull it off, but we will never be in a position to use these “Favourites” if we are in the Brown and Stinky, and our Survival Instinct will not even allow us to try.

Wing Chun tends towards being an Insular Martial Art, we play Chi Sau with each other and very rarely play with other stylists, this can, and does lead us to think that our Chi Sau skills are pertinent, relevant and effective, and against a lesser skilled Wing Chun person they certainly are, but when we come up against someone that does not know what Chi Sau is how do we bring it into play?????

In case anyone thinks that I am knocking Chi Sau, trust me I am not, I personally think that it is a fantastic tool, the Jewel in the Crown of an amazing Fighting Style.

Something that I encourage my Guys to do is to isolate their favourite Technique / Manoeuvre / Chi Sau trick {we all have at least one}, and really make it their own.

Next I ask them to imagine the most likely scenario that they would be called upon to use their training {again we all have an imaginary situation that we think is more likely to occur than any other}.

The aim is to be able to use our Favourite Manoeuvre instantly in our most Unfavourable Scenario.

This is why we train.

If we are honest with ourselves this will not be achievable, at least not right here, right now.

Chi Sau is the Bridge, Chi Sau simulates contact, playing with the “Attributes” of Chi Sau {or something along these lines that makes sense to you} will allow you to find your own way to bring your own training into an “Operational Condition”.

It is very, very important that you are honest with your self about where and when you think you may be called upon to use your training.

This is easier said than done, because firstly you must admit that you have fear.

Personally I run all my training from the position of being attacked, there will always be some element of negative surprise, we will never be in the best place, we will always be “Under the Cosh” we will always be starting second.

If this is not what you think will happen then you are attacking, or engaged in some semblance of a Match Fight and that is a different story.

It is hard to take the “Front Foot” when you are on the “Back Foot” but this is exactly what I believe wing Chun is brilliant at, this is what I believe Chi Sau is all about and this is why I favour “Leading and Expelling”, getting yourself “Off Line” and using “Running body” ideas.

Y.M.M.V.

LEADING & EXPELLING.

RUNNING BODY.

GETTING OFF LINE or TAKING THE BLIND SIDE.

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WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

 

 

 

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LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE.

Lets Ruffle some Feathers.

Lets Ruffle some Feathers.

LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE.

CAUTION THERE IS A RANT AHEAD!!!

A “Pet Hate” of mine are Schools that claim to allow you to “Learn at your own Pace”!!!!

How can anyone that does not know what they are doing have “Their own Pace”?

I frequently get Students coming to see me from other Schools, some for just a few lessons to help them move forward past plateaus in their training, some are making a shift to join me.

The majority of these Students are significantly less skilful than my own students at a similar point on their Training Time Line.

This is not because I am a superior Teacher.

I am a very good Teacher but it is not the differentiating factor.

It is that the School they are with or used to be with had no real intention of taking them forwards, no real intention of teaching them what they needed to know, no real intention of providing the service the Student was paying for.

The School was “Protecting the Rice Bowl”.

Learn at your own Pace.

No pressure.

No instruction.

Wing Chun by Osmosis.

The School I began my training with was very much like this, one day I approached my Sifu and expressed my dissatisfaction with the quality and quantity of the Instruction that I was receiving {and paying for} I was informed that when I came to training I should not be coming to be Spoon Fed but should be coming too get my Homework marked.

“Then you should begin to give me homework and not expect me to guess” I answered, in fairness he did just that and took a much more active role in my development, but it was a case of the Squeaky Wheel getting the Grease, others where less lucky.

Not so long ago I was asked to assist a group of Guys that had all been training for over 10 years, some much more, and yet none of them had any understanding of the Second Form, their time had been spent on the First Form and on Chi Sau, the School they had trained with used the “ learn at your own pace” model and the much overused cliche´that it is “only Siu Nim Tao that matters”.

Deep inside most Students stuck in the Quicksand of a devious Sifu will use the “There is only Siu Nim Tao” as a means to shield themselves from the truth that they are being exploited, quite recently I spoke to a Student that had progressed to “Level 2″ with a devious bunch, and THAT STUDENT PROUDLY ANNOUNCED  that they would be between 5 and 10 years before they reach “Level 3″.

“Pass me the Key to my Cell and let me throw it out the Window for you”!

Unknown

I am thirsty, pass me the Kool – Aid.

I have a close Wing Chun Brother that has been training for over 20 years and yet thinks he will never become a Master.

W.T.F.

There is “Absolutely no reason” why you cannot Master Wing Chun inside of 10 years, if you go training, you pay attention and you apply yourself, if you are not improving every day then either you are a useless Student of you are being ripped off.

If you are at this moment scoffing at this remark you should ask yourself “WHY”.

What is it about “YOU” that is so substandard that you cannot learn all there is about one of the worlds most Simple {least complicated} Martial Arts in less time than it takes a boy to train to be a Brain Surgeon?

If you still think that it takes a lifetime to become a Master you are a lost cause and would not become a Master in 5 lifetimes, because for some unknown reason you do not wish to be one.

If you are “Training at your own pace” why not put a wiggle on and pick up the pace?

 

YOU CANNOT MASTER SOMETHING BY FIRST BECOMING ITS SLAVE.

RANT OVER.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

 

 

 

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WING CHUN WEDNESDAY 10-09-2014

A Map is not a Country.

A Map is not a Country.

A FINGER POINTING AT THE MOON.

The parable of the finger pointing at the moon has 2 popular interpretations, one is that if you spend your time looking at the finger instead of the Moon you will miss what it is pointing at, namely the Moon. The second is that the finger is not the Moon, it is just a device, or a hint to show you where the Moon actually is.

In the Martial Arts, Forms and Katas are a prime example of the “Finger pointing at the Moon”, of themselves Forms, Kata and such are of little use except for pointing you in the correct direction, but to be honest, for this they are exceptional.

Wing Chun has 6 Forms for a reason, and they should be looked upon as 6 volumes of the same Work, the complete understanding is spread among these 6 volumes, each volume enlarges the idea from the previous volume, makes it more accessible, clearer and easier to understand.

There is an overview and a level of understanding that cannot be experienced until you have a rudimentary understanding of all 6 Forms.

There are aspects of the First Form that you cannot hope to understand unless you approach them from the perspective of the Third Form.

THE 30,000 Ft. VIEW.

When I talk about a rudimentary understanding of all 6 forms I mean just that, a BASE LEVEL understanding of what is to be gleaned from each Form.

The First Form, SIU NIM TAO.

From 30,000 ft. the First Form teaches us how recognise Balance and how to move our Arms.

You can spend the next 50 years on the minutiae of how and where to move your Arms, and you would be well advised to do so, but whether your study is deep or shallow it is just about moving your Arms.

Gaining self awareness of what it feels like to be a “Body in Balance”, and preparing the Body to be able to operate in a manner that could be expected to do the Work that we will engage in later on.

Understanding what it means to operate without tension, to be relaxed.

The First Form is Chi Kung, exercises to prepare the Body to do the Work, it is not the Work itself, it is the Finger and not the Moon.

The Second Form, CHUM KIU

From 30,000 ft. the Chum Kiu teaches you how to support your Arms with your Body, how to develop “Waist Torque, Waist Rotation” how to maintain your Balance through Basic Human movement and how to coordinate this movement with the movement of your Arms from the First Form. Chum Kiu shows you how to enlist Multi Vector Force.

Chum Kiu teaches how to engage an opponent, if you are making contact with anything at any time in any place you are using Chum Kiu, if you are presenting Tarn Sau and someone is offering resistance it is Chum Kiu and not Siu Nim Tao. 

Chi Sau is Chum Kiu, If you do not know how to approach contact with an opponent from the perspective of Chum Kiu you are doing nothing.

The movements of Chum Kiu are a means to develop the ability to maintain Balance while in Motion, Stillness inside of Motion.

The Third form, BILL GEE.

From 30,000 ft. Bill Gee teaches how to send your awareness and or energy to any place on the Body, even up to the Tips of the Fingers.

Bill Gee introduces “Shoulder Torque, Shoulder Rotation”, it teaches how to use the upper and lower Body separately but together, to create multi rotation or vortices.

The rotating of the Arms in Chi Sau is shallow and empty until it is approached from the perspective of Bill Gee, the double opening Side Slash from the First Form is feeble and almost pointless without some understanding of Shoulder Torque.

The movements of Bill Gee are more complex and more aggressive than the movements of Chum Kiu and as such provide a greater test to maintaining Balance and Stability.

The Forth Form, WOODEN DUMMY.

From 30,000 ft. the Wooden Dummy is a training partner that will let you perform the same move on him for hours on end without complaint.  It allows you to explore the options of the Chi Sau shapes and it helps change the “How to Move Knowledge” of the second and third forms into a “Where to Move Knowledge” engaging timing and distance, Time and Space.

The Fifth Form, BUTTERFLY KNIVES.

From 30,000 ft. the Butterfly Knives are an extension of the Arm that creates greater difficulty in remaining Stable, Balanced and Relaxed.  All of the Knife moves are the Arm moves from the First Form, the weight of the Knives challenges your ability to remain without tension.The Footwork of the Knives is larger and more dynamic than the Chum Kiu or Bill Gee, a much greater challenge to your Stability and Balance, a lot closer to the type of movement needed in combat.

The Sixth Form, LONG POLE.

From 30,000 ft. the extra weight and length of the Long Pole greatly multiply the challenges encountered with the Knives, the Pole movements are, just like the Knives are the Arm movements from the First Form.

THERE IS ONLY SIU NIM TAO.

This is often cited as the reason for not being instructed in the later Forms, but this is either a misunderstanding or an attempt to deliberately misinform.

The Jut Sau used in the Fourth Form {Dummy} is the same movement as the Jut Sau in the First Form.

The Huen Bart {Knives} from the Fifth form is the same movement as the Huen Sau from the first Form.

The Fook Gwan {Pole} movement in the Sixth Form is the same as the Fook Sau movement from the First Form.

Fook Gwan will teach you how to understand Fook Sau, Fook Gwan is the Moon, Fook Sau is the Finger.

Wing Chun has 6 Forms for a reason, and they should be looked upon as 6 volumes of the same Work, the complete understanding is spread among these 6 volumes, each volume enlarges the idea from the previous volume, makes it more accessible, clearer and easier to understand.

Y.M.M.V.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

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W.C.W. 03 – 09 – 2014

It’s Wednesday, it’s the Whitsundays and I’m chillin’ in the Tropics.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The “D” Man is on Hamilton Island.

Someone has to do it, it may as well be me.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

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W.C.W. 27 – 08 – 2014

 ASPECTS OF CHI SAU, LEADING AND EXPELLING.

A quick recap of what I term the 10 aspects of Chi Sau.

  1. Asking
  2. Running
  3. Intercepting
  4. Leaking
  5. Destabilising.
  6. Crushing.
  7. Engaging
  8. Evading
  9. Leading
  10. Expelling

Leading and Expelling are pretty much two sides of the same coin, it could be viewed as one pulls while the other pushes.

The main idea behind the Aspects is to try to see the potential that any of our moves can contain, it would be possible to explore most of these ideas with just the one technique, it is Wing Chun so more than anything we are trying to explore CONCEPTS.

Due to its very nature Chi Sau can become very stale, everyone at some time or another develops a favourite trick that their training partners cannot deal with, and of course this soon becomes the go to move every time they roll, that is all well and good in the training hall, but it could lead to ruin in the Street.

The key to really exciting Chi Sau play {and never ever forget that Chi Sau is just a Game} is to keep an “Open mind, to maintain your curiosity and to employ fluid thinking.

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Leading and Expeling from WC INCa's on Vimeo.

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In my 20 + years of Wing Chun I have known quite a few guys that have been really proficient Chi Sau players who themselves had admitted to not being to sure of how it would all go down if the going got nasty out there in Clubland of wherever they imagined using their skills.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

If you do not believe you will always fail.

Wing Chun will not fail, but people’s Courage might.

Play some of these games and understand the power and wonder of what you are training.

Kick Ass and take names.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

 

 

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