Chi Sau; Friend or Foe?

Si-Je

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Some styles favor chi sau, some do it but don't think of it as anything but a drill for building skill, some don't teach it at all. And some students have their own thoughts on chi sau.

Do you think that Chi Sau is really effective in teaching one to "fight"? In realistic terms?
yes, everyone pretty much knows how I feel on the subject, but I really want to know what you all think. and why?

Do you think it's realistic for WC or "fight" training? (and i don't mean the "cage" fight training. so please don't go...,, blah, blah.. I mean a real fight for your life, bleeding, biting, break your tooth and chip a nail ... FIGHTING! training)
Will Chi Sau help or hinder you?
 

bully

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It teaches you to react to movement/attack, gotta be a good thing imo.
 

mook jong man

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Some styles favor chi sau, some do it but don't think of it as anything but a drill for building skill, some don't teach it at all. And some students have their own thoughts on chi sau.

Do you think that Chi Sau is really effective in teaching one to "fight"? In realistic terms?
yes, everyone pretty much knows how I feel on the subject, but I really want to know what you all think. and why?

Do you think it's realistic for WC or "fight" training? (and i don't mean the "cage" fight training. so please don't go...,, blah, blah.. I mean a real fight for your life, bleeding, biting, break your tooth and chip a nail ... FIGHTING! training)
Will Chi Sau help or hinder you?

If it is trained correctly it is absolutely effective for realistic fighting.
The list of attributes that it develops in a fighter would probably fill a page , but just a few that it develops are aggression , stance , proper angles of arms , forward force and correct spontaneous reactions with out the need for conscious thought.
Remember if you have to think about it , its too late.

You can illustrate its usefulness in real fighting by this little experiment , get someone to throw a series of four corner punches at you.
Right then Left circular punches to the head , and then Right then Left uppercut punches to the gut.
Start off doing them slow and wide so they have plenty of time to do their simultaneous attack and deflections.

Then start doing them extremely fast and with ever tightening trajectories , bring your strikes in so tight that you are barely even leaving contact with their arms , watch as their simultaneous attack and deflections turn to crap as it just becomes a mess of arms .

You can see that what happens is a type of defence using Chi Sau.
What they will do is instinctively stick to the inside of your arms and try to roll from Tan Sau to Bong Sau so that they can control you , this forms a sort of cone shaped defence with the point of the cone focused at the opponent.

They have to do this because not only is the action too fast for them to simultaneous attack and counter , it is also too fast for them to see.
This is where Chi Sau comes into its own because at such short range and with such fast movement you cannot depend on your eyes , they are far too slow.

Your arms must now become your eyes or your ears and instead of deflecting with one arm and striking with the other , you must now be able to strike and control with both of your arms independently.
 

seasoned

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If it is trained correctly it is absolutely effective for realistic fighting.
The list of attributes that it develops in a fighter would probably fill a page , but just a few that it develops are aggression , stance , proper angles of arms , forward force and correct spontaneous reactions with out the need for conscious thought.
Remember if you have to think about it , its too late.

You can illustrate its usefulness in real fighting by this little experiment , get someone to throw a series of four corner punches at you.
Right then Left circular punches to the head , and then Right then Left uppercut punches to the gut.
Start off doing them slow and wide so they have plenty of time to do their simultaneous attack and deflections.

Then start doing them extremely fast and with ever tightening trajectories , bring your strikes in so tight that you are barely even leaving contact with their arms , watch as their simultaneous attack and deflections turn to crap as it just becomes a mess of arms .

You can see that what happens is a type of defence using Chi Sau.
What they will do is instinctively stick to the inside of your arms and try to roll from Tan Sau to Bong Sau so that they can control you , this forms a sort of cone shaped defence with the point of the cone focused at the opponent.

They have to do this because not only is the action too fast for them to simultaneous attack and counter , it is also too fast for them to see.
This is where Chi Sau comes into its own because at such short range and with such fast movement you cannot depend on your eyes , they are far too slow.

Your arms must now become your eyes or your ears and instead of deflecting with one arm and striking with the other , you must now be able to strike and control with both of your arms independently.
Absolutely necessary, we call it pushing hands, it may not be the best name for it. It developers intuitiveness and sensitivity in our body, in relationship to our opponent. This is one of my sayings in my signature. "For in battle, to think, is to die". It helps you to feel your opponents intentions before he himself knows, what he is about to do.
:asian:
 

Domino

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For me, chi sao shows me how to apply and feel the techniques I have learned in my form properly and how to continue applying or moving if needs be.
 

zepedawingchun

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Chi sao is to Wing Chun as the lead jab is to boxing. Without chi sao, it would be impossible to build the sensitivity needed to counter an opponent when they attempt to tie you up. Without the lead jab in boxing, your opponent wold basically pummel you at will without regard to your defense.

Chi sao may not teach you to fight, but it sure helps to understand what you opponent is trying to do to you at the time of contact (sensitivity). That to me is important. When contact it make, sensitivity helps in reading the attackers mind or intentions during the time of an attack.
 

zepedawingchun

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. . . Do you think that Chi Sau is really effective in teaching one to "fight"? In realistic terms?
yes, everyone pretty much knows how I feel on the subject, but I really want to know what you all think. and why?

Do you think it's realistic for WC or "fight" training? (and i don't mean the "cage" fight training. so please don't go...,, blah, blah.. I mean a real fight for your life, bleeding, biting, break your tooth and chip a nail ... FIGHTING! training)
Will Chi Sau help or hinder you?

Chi sau is the sensitivity drill that sets Wing Chun apart from almost all other arts. Most arts have forms, katas, or what they call imaginary fights (we use them to teach proper hand positions). But they are used to teach the blocks, punches, kicks, or hand positions of each art. Then, just about every art has drills which teach applications to the punches, blocks, kicks, or hand positions. Afterwards, most of the other arts tell you to go out and spar or learn how to use the punches, kicks, and blocks in a fight. But they don't tell you or train you in how to use the punches, blocks, and kicks that you learn in the forms and the applications.

Chi sau helps you to use those hand positions that you learn through forms and drills, allows you to find the use of them through sensitivity (attack and defend, or contact and pressure) which gives to a chance to find points of reference to aid in executing those hand postions through familiarity of contact. Without chi sau, we would be like all the other arts, guessing at when to use this block or punch, this step or kick, that counter or attack, and getting it wrong (like they do) a majority of the time.

So an art that teaches sensitivity training (Wing Chun, Tai chi, Kali/Escrima, others?) has a distinct advantage over other arts when training students to effectively use the art for combat.
 
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Si-Je

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To me Chi Sau IS combat. It teaches you to stay relaxed and calm while under pressure and how to respond correctly to the energy directed towards you while always sending your forward intention into the opponent.
The beginning of real combat happens when contact is made. Whether someone's getting hit, blocked, kicked or grabbed. Many styles of fighting work the outside to keep distance from the opponent, even breaking away after a strike is connected. This obviously gives the "other guy" a chance to read you and respond with their own attack.
The skills learned from Chi Sau takes this element away and for me, teaches one how to be effective in real combat. Everytime I spar I feel where chi sau begins even in spontaneous sparring. I can feel when I've missed my window to engage and keep engaged the opponent in chi sau range. (wing chun range) Without chi sau there just wouldn't be wing chun.

But, many seem to dislike it these days, or say that it isn't helpful for learning how to fight for real. Or that you don't use chi sau movements when defending against spontaneous real attack.
I disagree, but it seems to be an idea that is spreading.

We had a pretty squirrly teenage student that used to take football. He liked to "test" us out in fun alot and man, I had to watch that kiddo. lol!
I was sitting in a chair one night watching Sifu and him talk about football and how to use WC with football techniques. (don't ask me how you do this, all I heard was "blah, blah blah.")

So he wanted to see how WC would defend against a football tackle. By this time I just totally "spaced" out and was in girl la la land. lol! Sifu said to him something about trying that on Si-Je and he jumped at the chance to "tackle" Si-Je while she's sitting in the chair all nice and spaced out. Almost before I even saw him run at me I found myself doing some weird chi sau thing with my arms on his head. Since the body follows the head, his tackle turned into fall down and go boom.
I was still sitting there in the chair. (don't ask me what I did, I have no Earthly idea! That's just not something you can reproduce artificially)

So, Chi sau in a chair defeats teenage football linebacker running tackle. lol! Is this not the heart and soul of combat?
 

zepedawingchun

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. . . . The skills learned from Chi Sau . . . . . teaches one how to be effective in real combat. Everytime I spar I feel where chi sau begins even in spontaneous sparring. I can feel when I've missed my window to engage and keep engaged the opponent in chi sau range. (wing chun range) Without chi sau there just wouldn't be wing chun.

But, many seem to dislike it these days, or say that it isn't helpful for learning how to fight for real. Or that you don't use chi sau movements when defending against spontaneous real attack.
I disagree, but it seems to be an idea that is spreading.

. . . .So he wanted to see how WC would defend against a football tackle. By this time I just totally "spaced" out and was in girl la la land. lol! Sifu said to him something about trying that on Si-Je and he jumped at the chance to "tackle" Si-Je while she's sitting in the chair all nice and spaced out. Almost before I even saw him run at me I found myself doing some weird chi sau thing with my arms on his head. Since the body follows the head, his tackle turned into fall down and go boom.
I was still sitting there in the chair. (don't ask me what I did, I have no Earthly idea! That's just not something you can reproduce artificially)

So, Chi sau in a chair defeats teenage football linebacker running tackle. lol! Is this not the heart and soul of combat?

You said it yourself, skills learned from Chi Sau. . . . teaches one how to be effective in real combat. But it is not fighting or combat itself. Chi sau is a sensitivity drill that aids in developing the skill to handle contact in combat, be it offensive or defensive.

I've seen chi sau taught like fighting between to people, which it shouldn't be. It then becomes a mish-mash of trading blows between two people, with neither having or getting the upper hand on one another. That is not the idea of what chi sau is all about. The 6 stages of chi sau are about helping you and your training partner learn, understand, and handle contact when fighting or in combat at an in-close situation. How can one gain sensitivity and learn to deal with a combat situation when two people are constantly fighting for the upper hand or control over the other? Or trying to one up the other?

Yes, what was done with the football tackle while seated is the essense of what chi sau helps develop, to be able to defend ones self without thought in a combat situation.
 

geezer

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...The 6 stages of chi sau are about helping you and your training partner learn, understand, and handle contact when fighting or in combat at an in-close situation...

I haven't heard "the 6 stages of chi-sau" referenced before. Could be just a difference of terminology, but still, could you expand a bit on this?
 

zepedawingchun

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I haven't heard "the 6 stages of chi-sau" referenced before. Could be just a difference of terminology, but still, could you expand a bit on this?

1. Don chi sau practice . . . beginning stage of chi sau where students train using one hand at a time in the use of the 3 major hands of chi sau, bong, tan, and fook sau. Also called single hand chi sau.

2. Luk sau or double hand chi sau . . where students now use 2 hands and rotate or roll the hands from tan sau to bong sau and the fook sau riding, maintaining contact while hands change from postion to position.

3. Jow sau jip sau or running hand catching hand . . . where students push anothers tan, bong, or fook sau out of position forcing the other student to run to find another position to cover. The student forcing the run must also catch the other students running positon or risk getting hit by the runners hand or strike. In this stage you learn to disengage to attack, stick or cut off to prevent an attack, or find engagement to stop an attack. It teaches student to maintain their position if the energy they receive is weak or yield and redirect if the incoming energy is too much.

4. Poon Sau. . . rolling with intent of forward or backward pressure, screwing inwards with springy energy, and moving your opponent off their horse. Testing of proper position is done by each and also light contact or striking is made when proper position is lost. Very similar to jow sau jip sau.

5. Mai san jong . . . chi sau using the hand positions from the muk yan jong form (dummy). Taking bits and pieces of the jong sets and using them in chi sau with a partner to tie up, counter, or work how to strike your partner.

6. Gor sau . . . free form chi sau with intent to forward energy, pressure, trapping, up-rooting, light striking, and tieing up your partner. Many people think of this as fighting but it truth, it is just drilling or testing your skills.
 

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Thanks for the explanation. I'd appreciate it if you could clarify what you mean by "running" in the following drill. Are you refering to actual retreating footwork, a withdrawing or repositioning of the hand, or something else?

3. Jow sau jip sau or running hand catching hand . . . where students push anothers tan, bong, or fook sau out of position forcing the other student to run to find another position to cover.


Incidentally, we have no term like "running" in the WT system. Our intent is to always maintain forward pressure. So we only retreat or turn aside when actually pressed back by our opponent's force. Then, as we "dissolve" or dissipate his force, we try to use forward "spring" to follow as he withdraws his technique.

Our basic methods of training chi-sau are:

1. Dan Chi Sau= Single handed chi sau done across, to the same side, then high middle and low levels, and finally with forward, backward and turning steps in response to the pressure received.

2. Poon sau= Rolling arms with hand changes or wun sau.

3. Seven Sections of Luk Sau= Each section involves several cycles of attacking techniques and counters, applying movements from the first two forms.

4. Kuo-Sau= Free form application of the sections, sometimes called chi-sau sparring.

5. Advanced Chi-Sau Sections= additional movement cycles of attacks and counters applying movements from Biu Tze and the Mook Yang Jong.

Arranging the movements into "sections" of repeating cycles, assures that a student learns a complete range of attacks and counters, rather than becoming overly dependent upon a handful of favorite techniques. Footwork is a huge part of this training, since the various cycles often involve pushing, pulling and turning forces that must dissolved and exploited with the steps as well as arm movements. As soon as each section is learned, the movements may then be applied randomly in Kuo Sau against varying degress of resistance.
 

mook jong man

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Thanks for the explanation. I'd appreciate it if you could clarify what you mean by "running" in the following drill. Are you refering to actual retreating footwork, a withdrawing or repositioning of the hand, or something else?

I'm not sure Geezer but I think Zep maybe talking about what we called running palms.
I know , it sounds like something teenage boys do in the bathroom with the door locked lol.
Essentially it is used when the opponent tries to force your arm out or down.

Instead of trying to resist the force you just let your hand relax at the wrist so it bends and the force goes straight past your palm.

Once disengaged the opponent can't recover fast enough from his out ward or downward movement and using our spring energy our arm goes straight in for the strike while the other dudes arm is still out of position.
 
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Si-Je

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Your so bad Mook. lol! But, wouldn't that be "slapping hands?" :p

Could you explain that particular drill in more detail? I think this other teacher showed me something like that, but I'm not sure. Basically, I found my centerline being "pushed" totally off my partner and in a position where I had to "scramble" to get set right to defend and attack. I didn't want to step backwards, but found it very difficult to pivot my way out of the "jam" without stepping back or straight to the side.
They showed me more of what to do, because I just froze trying to figure a way out without stepping back. And yes, you do end up kinda "running" to get your centerline back.

I liked it but was only shown it once. Never learned that in training before with WC/WT mix style teaching. I think he taught me way more Wing Tzun than WC. Which is good stuff! But, I really liked alot of the GM Fung stuff better.
 

mook jong man

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Your so bad Mook. lol! But, wouldn't that be "slapping hands?" :p

Could you explain that particular drill in more detail? I think this other teacher showed me something like that, but I'm not sure. Basically, I found my centerline being "pushed" totally off my partner and in a position where I had to "scramble" to get set right to defend and attack. I didn't want to step backwards, but found it very difficult to pivot my way out of the "jam" without stepping back or straight to the side.
They showed me more of what to do, because I just froze trying to figure a way out without stepping back. And yes, you do end up kinda "running" to get your centerline back.

I liked it but was only shown it once. Never learned that in training before with WC/WT mix style teaching. I think he taught me way more Wing Tzun than WC. Which is good stuff! But, I really liked alot of the GM Fung stuff better.

Here you go madame , here's one I prepared earlier.

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70316
 
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Si-Je

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Here you go madame , here's one I prepared earlier.

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70316

Awesome! But, if someone "pulls" me down(I usually heel kick and that works. even with the new teacher and his student. lol! he kept trying to latch me which worked, but I could always still kick them in the knee.)
or pushes forward I usually just wrist roll out of it and go forward with attack.
Love those wrist rolls... Men should do them more. lol!

But, what new teacher did was all that and then pak sau'ed my shoulder (and my rib/hip) turning my body so much I had to "run off" to regain centerline. (that sucked because I didn't know what elese to do. so contra to WC)

Maybe because it was totally new to me, or that I just didn't know how to deal with that...(never was taught how to deal with that)
But, yeah,. when your centerline is compromised, what do you do?
Your off balance, turned around, and "pushed" to where your opponent is in the side of your ear. off balance and they're pressing you. (oddly I can deal with wrestlers, or whatever, just not really excellent strikers in that manner!) ouch@! not good...

How do you regain centerline without going backwards?
So many questions, Si-Hing
 

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I wish I had more people to train with!!! all these lovely tales just get me more and more amped up! I'm about to explodeeee-ah!
 

mook jong man

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Awesome! But, if someone "pulls" me down(I usually heel kick and that works. even with the new teacher and his student. lol! he kept trying to latch me which worked, but I could always still kick them in the knee.)
or pushes forward I usually just wrist roll out of it and go forward with attack.
Love those wrist rolls... Men should do them more. lol!

But, what new teacher did was all that and then pak sau'ed my shoulder (and my rib/hip) turning my body so much I had to "run off" to regain centerline. (that sucked because I didn't know what elese to do. so contra to WC)

Maybe because it was totally new to me, or that I just didn't know how to deal with that...(never was taught how to deal with that)
But, yeah,. when your centerline is compromised, what do you do?
Your off balance, turned around, and "pushed" to where your opponent is in the side of your ear. off balance and they're pressing you. (oddly I can deal with wrestlers, or whatever, just not really excellent strikers in that manner!) ouch@! not good...

How do you regain centerline without going backwards?
So many questions, Si-Hing

I think you use a stance with one leg forward don't you , so this might be different for you.
But it sounds like you might be too high up in your stance and/or not projecting your force to the centreline accurately . Which might be making it easier for him to turn you .


But if you are pushed or pivoted to the side I would try and recover by pivoting back towards him and side slashing him in the side or back of his neck depending on his position.

Practice getting someone to pull on your arm and trying to wrench you off to the side.
Get in your stance with guard up , partner stands in front and uses two hands to grab your right arm and tries to drag you over to his right .

You physically and mentally project towards the centreline and when he pulls , you maintain your angles in your arms and you just walk into the centre.

Do the same thing with your left arm , and then have him do it on random sides with your eyes closed.
In my experience it seems to be mostly a mental thing , you will find that if you are not mentally beaming your force forward into the centre it is a lot easier for you to be pulled or pushed off to the side.

Of course stance has a great deal to do with it also , but I have found that it is very difficult to drag or push someone off centre when they are single mindedly focused on going towards the centreline.
 

zepedawingchun

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Thanks for the explanation. I'd appreciate it if you could clarify what you mean by "running" in the following drill. Are you refering to actual retreating footwork, a withdrawing or repositioning of the hand, or something else?

No, not retreating. The term is running hand. If one of your hands is in a tan sau position, you use that hand to oi jut sau (sideways snapping hand) your partners fook sau outward, out of position so you can immediately move your tan/oi jut sau into a palm strike or punch. Because you push or snap your partners fook sau out of a protective or sensing position, it is best for them to run their hand underneath (or huen sau over) your arm and regain the center with something like tan sau to prevent or stop your forward strike. And of course, if I run my hand faster than they can strike, they have to catch my hand (stop) with a fook, or jop sau or something, to keep from getting hit. You do this for all the major hands, tan, bong, and fook. Push or move the hand out of position and go forward or threaten with a strike. One person play offense and the other defense. Then after awhile you switch tasks in the drill. Thus the drill name jow sau jip (jeep) sau, or running hand catching hand.


Incidentally, we have no term like "running" in the WT system. Our intent is to always maintain forward pressure. So we only retreat or turn aside when actually pressed back by our opponent's force. Then, as we "dissolve" or dissipate his force, we try to use forward "spring" to follow as he withdraws his technique.

We don't retreat either, we recover and go forward if pressed and lose our position. We maintain forward pressure too. But sometimes, in chi sau, your partner is good at taking your hands off the line enough to move forward with 1 or both hands faster than you can move aside. And remember, there's nothing saying they can shift to your direction, when you move aside, and cut you off too. You have to regain a hand(s) in the center somehow, and running in or under their arms, with a relaxed hand at first, to take the line back, can be used. You don't have the term jow sau or running hand?
 

zepedawingchun

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I'm not sure Geezer but I think Zep maybe talking about what we called running palms.
I know , it sounds like something teenage boys do in the bathroom with the door locked lol.
Essentially it is used when the opponent tries to force your arm out or down.

Instead of trying to resist the force you just let your hand relax at the wrist so it bends and the force goes straight past your palm.

Once disengaged the opponent can't recover fast enough from his out ward or downward movement and using our spring energy our arm goes straight in for the strike while the other dudes arm is still out of position.

Correct!
 

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