Wing Chun Wednesday



Sifu jim Fung {R} Bong Sau over 90.
My Sifu {R} and his Sifu {L}

I think we all know that most of what we do in Chi Sau is just Chi Sau Playing, and in case you are wondering I include my self in this, there is something about Chi Sau that is just so Social {but sadly it is also a place for Ego to run amok}, but overall I actually think that there is nothing seriously wrong with Chi Sau Play as long as we mix it with some more thoughtful training.

A common problem that I have noticed for many years is that Chi Sau is usually 2 Students simultaneously trying to do their own thing, for instance both trying to find {usually Force} gaps so that they can strike their Partner.

I have mentioned that I look at Chi Sau as a Laboratory where we test out our Theories, if we hope to approach Chi Sau as a true test, and attempt to use the Scientific Method then we need to have as much control on what is happening as possible, this is just not going to happen if both Partners are trying to do something different, both Students need to understand what is being tested with one Student acting as just the “Passive Force” and the other acting out the Chi Sau Study.

Rinse, change sides and repeat!


Just having an idea is not enough, Chi Sau is Dynamic, what we should be doing is testing the validity of the things we believe inside and through this Dynamic Environment.

For instance let us take the “IDEA” that Chi Sau is a “Sensitivity Exercise” that allows us to feel the DIRECTION, the ORIGIN and the INTENTION behind an incoming Arm.

If we consider the adage,

Lui Lao Hui Soong; Lat Sau Jik Chung

As my opponent comes, I receive him; As they leave, I escort them; Upon loss of contact, I charge straight forward.

The overall idea is one of accepting Force, not repelling or resisting.

A good warm up exercise is to get 2 mates to hold your Elbows with the intention of keeping them stationary, your Job is to simply just focus on rotating your Shoulder Joints, if you relax and do not try to make BIG moves you cannot be stopped from moving your Elbows. The relevance of this is that no body {except perhaps a young Iron Mike Tyson} can hit you with the same amount of Force as they can hold you, if you can manoeuvre your Mates via your Elbows you can redirect any Strike.

In the Drill I am introducing here we aim to understand how to move our own Arm Structure to any place in any way we think fit irrespective of our partners pressure {and most importantly not the ability to move my opponents Arms somewhere away from me} I am trying to understand how to receive my opponent.


My partner adopts a Double Fook Sau position and applies constant Pressure to my own Arm Structure, I simply rotate through Bong Sau without loosing my Shape or Position {my Body remains still}.  My Partner leans on me more than pushes, so that the force is constant.  In this Drill I am creating all of the movement, my partner is passive.


This Drill teaches me how to continually absorb Force into my Body while using my Arm Structure to deal with incoming pressure from any and many directions, I develop the confidence to “Roll” away attacks without overtly trying to counter them, I am also able to understand the path I need to take to avoid lifting my Partners Arm.  This leads on naturally to…..

The Ability to allow my Body to support my Arms so that there is no need for my Arms to carry the weight of any interception.


If my alignment is correct and I am not using any Muscular force then their will be no tension in my Arm Structure, this will allow my partners force to pass down my Arms and into my Body, if my Body alignment is correct then this incoming force will push me into the Floor making me more Stable. Their weight has quite literally entered into my Body and I am now a heavier Human Being.


Force operates in two directions, from and to myself, if I am actively  pushing my Partner away from me instead of absorbing his weight I will be pushing both of us with equal Force, if I am holding muscular tension the incoming force will accumulate in the tension and I will simply push myself away from my Partner, or at least become aware that I need to actively use strength to hold my position, which is obviously a fault, it is important that our Partner is only leaning in his body Weight which will be constant and not pushing which is difficult to regulate.  This leads to…..


The Ability to be able to discern the direction of the Vector my opponent is using against  me, and the Ability to be able to identify where my opponents Centre of Gravity is at the first touch.


Because my Partners Weight / Force is constant it soon becomes obvious where his weight is contacting me and where it is coming from this is the “Line of Attack” from his Centre of Gravity to the Contact Point, his Force Vector, to redirect his Force Vector I make this Line point somewhere else other than at me.


When people throw strikes, skilled or otherwise their Body Mass usually follows the direction of the Strike, if I can make someones Strike go somewhere else then their Body will follow it leading them into a weakened position. 



If you are honest with yourself you will find that that what you thought you were doing is nothing like what you are actually doing, this is the whole idea, to find out about your own Wing Chun and not to add a few tricks. Like most Scientific Tests you will need to run the same test numerous times and get the same results before you can form any solid opinion.




This first Drill will help you identify the direction your Partner / Opponents Body is travelling when he makes contact with you, understanding this will allow you to lead him into a position where he cannot generate significant power and in most cases not be able to prevent your attack.

Some of my early Instructors would tell me to try to identify when my Partners / Opponents Force was or was not pointing at me, the idea being that I could safely disengage if it was pointing somewhere else than at me, I always found this idea quite stupid, I would tell them “The Guy is trying to hit me, I know where his Force is going”, the type of ideas these Instructors were talking about only live in a place where you “Play Chi Sau” and are useless in self defence, in a defence situation I only need to know where his Force is coming from, then I can make it go anywhere I want, and I will achieve that by moving my whole Body, this is of course the reason we have Chum Kiu.

Something to consider is that in my opinion the vast majority of the Traps that we study in Chi Sau are nothing more than the positions you will encounter once you let the Bad Guy fall of your Arms by moving your Body.

Check it out next time you are playing Chi Sau.

We will look at this at a later date, in the mean time mess about with this “IDEA” and see if it leads you anywhere.














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