An interesting article on Chi-Sau

KPM

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If the goal is to produce a good fighter, not to simply learn Wing Chun, then the drilling shown above is higher yield than Chi Sau. Otherwise most other fighting systems would have something like Chi Sau and less drills like those above.

As I already said, Chi Sau has its place. I just think it is over-emphasized at times, and sparring not emphasized enough. Of course, this is very school/instructor dependent, even within the same lineage.
 

KPM

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As for the article's standpoint, I respectively disagree. One who wants the prize will improvise. A judoka or jujutsuka doesn't simply quit their art on account of lack of partners. They find other ways hone their skills that don't involve abandonment. And perhaps that wasn't his intended point, but it's what I gathered. Just $0.02.

He didn't say he was going to quit his Wing Chun in that article, just that he was emphasizing Chi Sau less. His actual point was that it is hard to maintain high level Chi Sau skills without high level people to Chi Sau with.

My extension of his point (though he didn't say this) was that those high level Chi Sau skills aren't as important as a lot of people seem to think and that "finding other ways to hone their skills" as you say....would be doing more sparring than Chi Sau. And the nice thing is that you can find good guys from styles other than Wing Chun to spar with in order to do this when you can't find higher level people to Chi Sau with.
 

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If the goal is to produce a good fighter, not to simply learn Wing Chun, then the drilling shown above is higher yield than Chi Sau.

Doubt it. Nothing useful is being drilled there.

Otherwise most other fighting systems would have something like Chi Sau and less drills like those above.

This does not follow.

To become a good VT fighter, chi-sau is necessary.
This does not mean chi-sau is necessary to become a good fighter.

Sparring drills are good for all styles, so long as they are drilling useful things in a useful way.

As I already said, Chi Sau has its place. I just think it is over-emphasized at times, and sparring not emphasized enough.

I agree here.
 

KPM

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Doubt it. Nothing useful is being drilled there.



This does not follow.

To become a good VT fighter, chi-sau is necessary.
This does not mean chi-sau is necessary to become a good fighter.

.

Trying to start another argument? No thanks. And just so it is clear to people that are relatively new here....when LJF writes "VT" he is not referring to Wing Chun in general, he is referring specifically to WSLVT.
 

DanT

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Anyways, I think that Chi Sao is important to be a good WING CHUN fighter (so that you can learn to stick, trap, pin, etc.) but it's obviously not necessary to become a good fighter, although usually clinch work is taught as a sort of "Chi Sao" in most Boxing, MMA, Muay Thai gyms. Obviously without the Poon Sao and techniques.
 

LFJ

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Trying to start another argument?

Discussing things on a discussion forum is all.

I disagree that one side of a coin is higher yield than the other.

Some seem to think heads (chi-sau) is worth more, and you've come to say tails (sparring) is worth more.

I have agreed with your conclusion (more sparring needed), just not the premise (sparring higher yield).
 

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He didn't say he was going to quit his Wing Chun in that article, just that he was emphasizing Chi Sau less. His actual point was that it is hard to maintain high level Chi Sau skills without high level people to Chi Sau with.

My extension of his point (though he didn't say this) was that those high level Chi Sau skills aren't as important as a lot of people seem to think and that "finding other ways to hone their skills" as you say....would be doing more sparring than Chi Sau. And the nice thing is that you can find good guys from styles other than Wing Chun to spar with in order to do this when you can't find higher level people to Chi Sau with.
Fair enough. I am of the accord of LFJ in that i agree more sparring may be needed, but not that it's more important or higher yielding. In contrast to Muay Thai, most big gyms in Bangkok spend just as much time in clinch work as they do the sparring, which I would say is comparable to chi sau. Given that the skill does leave with lack of practice in both chi sau and clinch work, it's important to keep a healthy diet of them.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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practice in both chi sau and clinch work,
Unfortunately WC is still just a pure striking art. The WC sticky hand just doesn't get into the clinch work. When was the last time that you have seen a WC guy applied "under hook", "over hook", "arm wrap", "head lock", "bear hug", "double neck tie", ...
 

DanT

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Unfortunately WC is still just a pure striking art. The WC sticky hand just doesn't get into the clinch work. When was the last time that you have seen a WC guy applied "under hook", "over hook", "arm wrap", "head lock", "bear hug", "double neck tie", ...
Actually we apply these in my chi Sao. I don't know about other schools. We use these positions to assist in dominating the opponents center of balance.
 

Nobody Important

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Anyways, I think that Chi Sao is important to be a good WING CHUN fighter (so that you can learn to stick, trap, pin, etc.) but it's obviously not necessary to become a good fighter, although usually clinch work is taught as a sort of "Chi Sao" in most Boxing, MMA, Muay Thai gyms. Obviously without the Poon Sao and techniques.
To an extent I agree, where I diverge is in the belief in lack of techniques being employed. The "Chi Sau" like exercises employed by other styles, while less structured, still use style specific techniques when utilizing their method. The biggest difference in things like Chi Sau or Pummeling is in the platform used.

Wing Chun is very structured in its exercise, other styles using a similar concept, not so much. I'd argue that the restrictions and rules placed on the platform employed is more counter productive to practical usage than the action of the exercise itself.

Rolling Hands is a relatively new platform, having only been around for about 80 years, whereas the Double Circling Hands method of Chi Sau has been around for a couple hundred years. Rolling Hands was either introduced to Yip Man via Yuan Kay San or was a collaborated development of the two. There is no mention of its existence prior to these two lineages exposing it. Most southern TCMAs and older versions of Wing Chun use the Double Circling Hands method calling it Sticking Hands, Grinding Hands, Feeling Hands etc. Different permutations came into existence after Tai Chi was introduced to the south.
 

KPM

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To an extent I agree, where I diverge is in the belief in lack of techniques being employed. The "Chi Sau" like exercises employed by other styles, while less structured, still use style specific techniques when utilizing their method. The biggest difference in things like Chi Sau or Pummeling is in the platform used.

.

That and the fact that clinching does show up when Boxers or Muay Thai guys fight, and pummeling does show up when wrestlers compete. When was the last time you saw anything that looked like Chi Sau show up in a sparring match??? And I know! I know! The response is going to be "Chi Sau is not fighting. Chi Sau is for developing attributes used in fighting. Why would you expect fighting to look like Chi Sau?" My answer......people have tried to make a direct comparison between Chi Sau and things done in other fighting systems. However, as NI suggests, the platform used for clinch work is the clinch! And the clinch is something that happens in Boxing, Kickboxing, and MMA. The platform used for pummeling is the "tie up" position, which is something that happens in grappling. The rolling Poon Sau platform for Chi Sau is very artificial and doesn't show up in sparring. So it is not really directly comparable to clinch-work or pummeling as suggested.

However, it can be trained more realistically. DanT's school seems to do so. I know Rick Spain's guys in Australia do so. And using the Poon Sau rolling platform as a transition to these close-in grappling kinds of applications doesn't take a "high level" training in playing the Chi Sau game that so many work on. It just serves as a good "jumping off point" when contact is made with the opponent.

Another factor to consider, you can take it or leave it, is that JKD schools have never emphasized Chi Sau to the extent that Wing Chun schools do, and many of the JKD schools today don't seem to do much of it at all. Some have dropped it completely. Why is that? Because using a practical mindset they came to the conclusion that it isn't a high yield exercise to spend time on when it comes to being able to fight effectively. And every JKD school I have seen seems to spend far more time on actually sparring than on doing Chi Sau. Take that for what it's worth. Just another data point in the discussion.
 

DanT

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That and the fact that clinching does show up when Boxers or Muay Thai guys fight, and pummeling does show up when wrestlers compete. When was the last time you saw anything that looked like Chi Sau show up in a sparring match??? And I know! I know! The response is going to be "Chi Sau is not fighting. Chi Sau is for developing attributes used in fighting. Why would you expect fighting to look like Chi Sau?" My answer......people have tried to make a direct comparison between Chi Sau and things done in other fighting systems. However, as NI suggests, the platform used for clinch work is the clinch! And the clinch is something that happens in Boxing, Kickboxing, and MMA. The platform used for pummeling is the "tie up" position, which is something that happens in grappling. The rolling Poon Sau platform for Chi Sau is very artificial and doesn't show up in sparring. So it is not really directly comparable to clinch-work or pummeling as suggested.

However, it can be trained more realistically. DanT's school seems to do so. I know Rick Spain's guys in Australia do so. And using the Poon Sau rolling platform as a transition to these close-in grappling kinds of applications doesn't take a "high level" training in playing the Chi Sau game that so many work on. It just serves as a good "jumping off point" when contact is made with the opponent.

Another factor to consider, you can take it or leave it, is that JKD schools have never emphasized Chi Sau to the extent that Wing Chun schools do, and many of the JKD schools today don't seem to do much of it at all. Some have dropped it completely. Why is that? Because using a practical mindset they came to the conclusion that it isn't a high yield exercise to spend time on when it comes to being able to fight effectively. And every JKD school I have seen seems to spend far more time on actually sparring than on doing Chi Sau. Take that for what it's worth. Just another data point in the discussion.
I can't speak for any one else, but we apply the techniques we practice in both chi sao and two person drills into our sparring, such as lap da, tan da, gum da, etc. We use chi sao as a platform to build timing, speed, power, and proper execution of the technique. The poon sau is not there in sparring, but the moment you bridge, our chi sao techniques and reactions come into play.

Also our chi sao doesnt look like a lot of schools. We roll and excecute a single technique to pin or move to the outside while striking, and then use one or two follow up techniques to continue the pin and strike, or move in and work on the clinch to control. We don't usually continue after two or three exchanges of techniques because for us, the primary purpose is to make the first technique and the follow up perfect.

The poon sao for us also focuses more on developing both the heun sao skill (as we usually switch sides every two or three rolls), and to me the heun sao is a very effective combat technique.

I find in too many schools the emphasis is placed on poon sao, but in my school, the emphasis is on the execution of the first and second technique, and the switching with heun sao, and the clinch work with neck control, elbows, knees etc).

At least thats what Im FORCED to work on, because I am 5 9' 170 LBS, while most of my training partners are over 6 2', 210 LBS, and are all mostly muscle. I love chi saoing people who are stronger than me tho, as it forces me to have perfect technique and timing.
 

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If the goal is to produce a good fighter, not to simply learn Wing Chun, then the drilling shown above is higher yield than Chi Sau. Otherwise most other fighting systems would have something like Chi Sau and less drills like those above.

As I already said, Chi Sau has its place. I just think it is over-emphasized at times, and sparring not emphasized enough. Of course, this is very school/instructor dependent, even within the same lineage.
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Chi sau and good wing chun are completely interdependent.
 

KPM

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Chi sau and good wing chun are completely interdependent.

I didn't say they weren't! Unfortunately, being "good Wing Chun" and being "good fighter" aren't always the same thing! ;)

And I would say that "high level" Chi Sau....as in the elaborate Chi Sau game people play that is a thing unto itself...is not necessary for "good Wing Chun." As NI noted above, that level of Chi Sau hasn't really been part of Wing Chun except for the last 80 years or so.
 
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Juany118

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Well you can design an experiment and take a control group and an experimental group of brand new students, all with zero prior martial arts experience, and all with exactly the same physical attributes and natural ability, and train each group identically with the exception that one group does chi sau and the other spends an equal time doing free sparring, and make sure their training experience does not cross and is not otherwise contaminated. If you can do that with a large enough sample size in each group and do it long enough to see some real results, then you might have an argument. Otherwise, it is pure conjecture.

If you prefer sparring, then spar. And don't worry about those who do chi sau.


I really don't think there is a comparison. Chi sau does indeed teach useful skills and provides a deeper understanding of how to move. However it is controlled. In chi sau I am never afraid of getting my bell rung, injured etc. The heightened awareness of straight up sparring, the intensity of it, is already proven to be more useful. Why do I say this?

Wing Chun is a fighting art. We know from every other fighting art in history; whether empty hand, melee weapon or firearm, that pressure testing is the most efficient way to turn taught technique into actual skill.

Because of this I think it is relatively safe to say that a WC practitioner who both spars and does chi sau a fair bit would be better than one who does only one or the other BUT the practitioner who spars would be better than the one who simply does chi sau.

I would also agree with KPM. The better you chi sau the better, cleaner, more proper you will be at WC BUT in real combat, especially against different styles of combat, the actual tactical value of chi sau ends up being on a sliding scale. The value of pressure testing however is far more consistent.
 
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