So our first aim should be to understand how to compromise an attacker’s stability while dissipating incoming force without compromising our own stability.

This past Saturday we spent the whole session putting meat on the bones of the last post, All is One.

For any that have not met him yet, Rick is a fairly new member of the Tribe who usually trains with me one-on-one, having him join us on a Saturday was great because it gave us all an excuse to do some much-needed revision.

So that I do not need to cover the same ground twice we can substitute Chi Sau with the Dummy if you are at that level.

As I have mentioned my Sifu would say that Chi Sau is a ‘means to an end and not an end in itself’.

What this means, is that what we think we are doing and practising is not the learning objective.

So what is?

Firstly let us consider this…

…If we get attacked the problem we face comes from the Bad Guy’s thinking, not his actions because it is the thinking that drives the actions.

Shut down the thinking and we shut down the actions.

There are a few tried and tested ways to shut down an opponent’s capacity to think.

Knock them out.

Always successful but very difficult to pull off, especially in the first exchanges of an attack.

Causing them serious pain.

This one is in the ‘kind of’ category because if the attacker is highly adrenalised, drunk or on something like ‘meth’ their response to pain may not be what we need.

Compromising their balance.

An absolute winner, even drunks try to regain their stability if it is compromised, the brain simply turns all of its attention to righting the ship and stops everything else.

What we are studying in Chi Sau is the functionality of balance and stability in a dynamic situation.

Chi Sau simulates making contact with an incoming force.

Chi Sau’s practise teaches us how to turn that first contact into a destabilising event for the attacker.

Because contact is a two-way street this has the potential to destabilise us at the same time so Chi Sau also allows us to work on maintaining our own balance and stability in a chaotic situation.

After all, we do not want our own thinking to be ‘turned-off’.

Chi Sau is Chum Kiu, and Chum Kiu is the defensive logic of Wing Chun.

 So our first aim should be to understand how to compromise an attacker’s stability while dissipating incoming force without compromising our own stability.

Chi Sau training will teach us this even when we are unaware of what it is we are seeking, but we get there much quicker when we understand what we are looking for.

It is difficult, especially at the beginning, to not get lost in the ‘Arm Work’ of Chi Sau but these are really just smoke and mirrors that we use when playing the Chi Sau game, if we fall into this trap, even when we successfully dissipate incoming force, we fail to grasp that the important thing is the why and not the how.

Whether we are exploring Chum Kiu logic via Chi Sau or exploring Biu Gee logic through the Dummy, the ultimate learning objective, the real deal, is maintaining stability.

One extra spin-off of this is that now when we watch other people playing Chi Sau on Youtube or whatever we know what to look for before we make some ‘Foot in Mouth’ comments.



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