RESPONSE TO A COMMENT.
Jamie from Ving Chun Kuen Waihopai in New Zealand commented on a Post.
How to avoid chi sau turning into wrestling match ?,I’ve seen a lot of hard chi sau this way, where its ego verses ego, until the weakest submits or the more experience prevails by way of walk over tactics.
Instead of just answering the comment I thought I would make it a post and perhaps other people would care to give their opinions as well.
For my Money the problem is caused by a misunderstanding from the very first time they practice Single Sticking Hands.
It starts to fall apart from the first Projected Palm.
The Projected Palm is never meant to succeed in striking your Partner, it is simply projected forward so that your Partner can learn how to “Absorb what comes in” and redirect it away, as everyone improves the Palm can become more realistic, but even when everyone is good it should never be used to try to defeat the defending Partner as its roll is to teach your Partner how to defend against and incoming Strike.
In many ways the Palm is not an active part of the Drill, just a support action.
The only way to try to repair this problem is by developing a really good understanding of the Theory behind Chi Sau, to try to see where Chi Sau fits in the “Big Picture” of Wing Chun training, to understand what we should hope to learn from the Practice of Chi Sau.
Understand the meaning of the saying “Absorb what comes in, Follow what goes out, and when the Hands are free Strike” and understand that when it says “When the Hands are free Strike” it means absolutely Free, no contact at all, and not just decreased resistance that you can Muscle through.
My own Sifu, Jim Fung made it very clear to all of his Students that Chi Sau was a Drill that taught us how to use our Structure, how to use our Body to support our Arms, that it was a means to an end and that attacking was not part of Chi Sau, setting up the opportunity and realising it is there is what we should look for.
GrandMaster Tsui Sheung Tin, during a Seminar on Chi Sau in Sydney told us all that you can use Chi Sau Skills without making contact with your opponent.
Just spending some time thinking about what this statement could mean is beneficial, do not worry about agreeing or disagreeing just let it grow and see where it takes you.
Chi Sau is simulated contact with an incoming Strike, learning how to absorb the Force so it cannot adversely affect me, how can I Absorb what comes in if I am doing my best to hit it and push it out?
But what do we do when our training Partners are not trying to improve themselves?
Sifu jim would say “If people are pushing or using strength in Chi Sau do not get sucked in, tell them they are too good for you and stop rolling with them, you are here to learn Wing Chun and what they are doing is not Wing Chun”.
Often Students do not really see how much they are pushing and of how little use what they are doing would be in a real defensive situation, and even when they eventually get it they do not know how to stop using Force, it is all they have ever trained.
For many this problem can never be fixed.
There was one Guy that I was trying to get to stop pushing in Chi Sau, he thought he was doing really well because he reduced his Strength by about 50%, he really had no concept of what not using Force meant.
I once said to him “imagine that you smoke 60 Cigarettes a Day and your Doctor tells you that you need to stop smoking or it will kill you, do you think that reducing it to 20 a Day will keep you alive”?
No Cigarettes = 0
No Force = 0
I invite everyone to give their ideas on this, especially some of the Guys in Hong Kong that read this Blog, between us we may just find a way to save some of our Brothers from a lifetime of practicing NOT Wing Chun.
If we can help just one person regain the Path it is a Big Win.