Many Wing Chun people say that Chi Sau is nothing like Tai Chi ‘Push Hands’, they say ‘Push Hands’ is not real and Chi Sau is, but of course they are the same, if not brothers close cousins.


This is just some free-thinking that I have come to from studying W.C. for many years.

Reading in between the lines and using comparisons I have always had the feeling that something was possibly missing in Wing Chun when compared to other styles I have studied.

As any Wing Chun person will tell you Wing Chun is a ‘Counter Attacking’ Fist Style of Kung Fu, keeping this description front and centre we find that several sequences in our Forms do not fit with the image of a ‘Counter Attacking’ Fist Style, especially in the Biu Giu.

The standard explanation that these BiuGee anomalies is that they are ‘Emergency Techniques’ makes no sense at all, this sounds like a lame excuse for not having a suitable answer.

In my more than 25 years in Wing Chun I have had the help and advice of some of my lineages top masters, my own Sifu Jim Fung, his Sifu Chu Shong Tin, C.S.Ts senior students Mo Chiu Po and Peter Wong, on many occasions my questions about the impracticality of certain aspects fo the Forms were met with the response that these are just exercises, or preliminary movements leading to the next Form.

But this flies in the face of Wing Chun’s innate Fist Logic, Wing Chun is supposed to be all business, nothing unnecessary, practical and direct, a true fighting art.

I have heard many senior people scoff at styles like Tai Chi and Ba Gua saying they are all flowery movement and no substance, claiming that Wing Chun has nothing like this.

But it appears we may after all.

The only possible alternative is that something has been either lost or removed.

Why does Wing Chun have no grappling concepts?

If we are honest Chi Sau has very little to do with fist fighting and a lot to do with grappling.

It is easy to imagine that someone like Yip Man, a gentleman of particularly small stature and minimum body mass would lean away from an aspect of the style that did not favour him, and develop only the stand-up fist fighting aspect.

Being a wealthy young man from a wealthy Foshan family I very much doubt Yip Man foresaw the need to teach his fighting style before the Chinese Civil War of 1927, so he would not have felt any requirement to learn an aspect he would never master.

Foshan was a melting pot of Chinese Kung Fu and as such styles would frequently test each other in public exhibition bouts, styles such as {Southern} Praying Mantis, Hung Gar, Tiger Claw, Leung Ying {Southern Dragon Kung Fu}, Bak Mei, Fujian White Crane, Choy Li Fut these were all popular styles and they all contain elements of grappling from joint locking {Qin Na} to takedowns/throws {Shuai Jiao}, it is hard to imagine any style existing in this environment without some grappling.

Although I cannot be sure I am pretty certain that there would have been some northern Kung Fu in Foshan, some Shaolin or Tong Bei and of course some Tai Chi, and with that ‘Push Hands’ would have come south.

If we explore the Biu Gee Form from the perspective of the moves being to help grappling, most if not all of the ill-fitting IDEAS begin to make sense and come to life.

Many Wing Chun people say that Chi Sau is nothing like Tai Chi ‘Push Hands’, they say ‘Push Hands’ is not real and Chi Sau is, but of course they are the same, if not brothers close cousins.

‘Push Hands is all about body manipulation and issuing of force. If you have ever played ‘Push Hands’ with someone that has the skill you would never doubt its functionality, Chi Sau with force issuing instead of force redirection is a subtle yet powerful form of grappling that does not require great physical strength.

Why would Leung Jan have created Chi Sau to be so one dimensional when ‘Push Hands’ was well known to Chinese people from the 17th Century, 200 years before Leung Jan and 300 years before Yip Man?





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