Chi Sau vs Tui Shao conundrum

Cephalopod

Green Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
193
Reaction score
100
Location
Pacific NW
I should take a step back and note:
He may have been using a static position to illustrate what your tension should be at some given point in the chi-sao roll. Like analyzing a single frame of a movie spool.
But if he was suggesting that you should continually train by building up tension in the fictitious 'end-points' of the chi-sao roll, then my above rant applies...!

Also...is it possible that it felt like he was asking you to use too much force because your stucture/alignment was incorrect. For example, in tan-sao if your elbow lifts up and out a little, all the force goes up into your shoulder and it feels like you're lifting a truck.
Not assuming, just asking :)
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,833
Reaction score
6,360
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
In Taiji push hands, what will happen if you use your Peng Jin on your opponent's arm? Your opponent will either

- use his Peng Jin to against you, or
- yield into you.

In both cases, you can borrow his respond force, and take advantage on it. Of course it assumes that your opponent won't borrow your initial Peng Jin and take advantage on it first.

Do you prefer to:

- "wait" for something to happen? or
- "make" something to happen?


Different thing
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,833
Reaction score
6,360
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
I should take a step back and note:
He may have been using a static position to illustrate what your tension should be at some given point in the chi-sao roll. Like analyzing a single frame of a movie spool.
But if he was suggesting that you should continually train by building up tension in the fictitious 'end-points' of the chi-sao roll, then the above applies...!

It was static, no moment and his claim was it was necessary of him to feel that I was engaged, and that I too needed that to feel his intent (and I didn't). I do think it was a bit strange and there was another Wing Chun guy there who did not quite understand the concept either. Will check with the guy who is the teacher soon. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and it is a difference between Taiji and Wing Chun (also a difference between Xingyi and Wing Chun as well)

The whole not using muscles thing and yet telling me to use force was a point of contention. Basically I decided it was best to not continue the conversation and work on Chi Sau and then the whole tension thing popped up again.
 

Marnetmar

Black Belt
Joined
Oct 9, 2013
Messages
674
Reaction score
163
"I can't feel X" seems like an odd thing to say.

If you were doing something wrong, you would be getting hit.
 

Cephalopod

Green Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
193
Reaction score
100
Location
Pacific NW
If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and it is a difference between Taiji and Wing Chun (also a difference between Xingyi and Wing Chun as well)
:)
It's the difference between wing chun and wing chun that you gotta look out for!

If I were in your shoes I would simply ask him what is the purpose of this static tension that he is asking for.

Teaching tension for chi-sao (at least at a basic level) should be a simple process:
"give me more forward tension or I can hit you, see? Don't stiffen up or I will unbalance your structure and then hit you, see?"
And then after modelling the correct tension he should mimic your 'error' and let you exploit it so that you can see the difference for yourself.
I prefer someone who teaches with his or her hands, not by rambling on with fancy theories.
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,833
Reaction score
6,360
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
:)
It's the difference between wing chun and wing chun that you gotta look out for!

If I were in your shoes I would simply ask him what is the purpose of this static tension that he is asking for.

Teaching tension for chi-sao (at least at a basic level) should be a simple process:
"give me more forward tension or I can hit you, see? Don't stiffen up or I will unbalance your structure and then hit you, see?"
And then after modelling the correct tension he should mimic your 'error' and let you exploit it so that you can see the difference for yourself.
I prefer someone who teaches with his or her hands, not by rambling on with fancy theories.

TO be honest, since he was not the teacher or to be more correct not the one the overall sifu said could teach, I am not sure he knew what he was saying. Some of his other theories were, IMO, a bit off if you are talking IMA (and he was at one point). The person there who is the "teacher" has never talked to me about tension, as a mater of fact a few months ago another student there told him I was to tense and I kept saying I'm not tense at all. The teacher stepped in tried and said "he is not tense, that's taiji, those guys have heavy arms, but their relaxed"
 

Marnetmar

Black Belt
Joined
Oct 9, 2013
Messages
674
Reaction score
163
TO be honest, since he was not the teacher or to be more correct not the one the overall sifu said could teach, I am not sure he knew what he was saying. Some of his other theories were, IMO, a bit off if you are talking IMA (and he was at one point). The person there who is the "teacher" has never talked to me about tension, as a mater of fact a few months ago another student there told him I was to tense and I kept saying I'm not tense at all. The teacher stepped in tried and said "he is not tense, that's taiji, those guys have heavy arms, but their relaxed"

In that case I would discard what this other person was telling you as he seems to have a misunderstanding of what the word "relaxed" means.

Even though you're relaxed in W.C, it's important to be able to sink your force and "lock everything in," so to speak. Sitting there playing around with the other guy's arms in the proverbial "I can FEEL when the hair on your left nipple moves!" manner gets you nowhere.
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,959
Reaction score
2,986
Location
Phoenix, AZ
@ Geezer - If this person was to be in your group, would he be classed as in the "lower level" student rank? While lacking the experience/skill and understanding of more (in-depth) than basic Chi Sao concepts, would he be allowed to instruct others?

This just my view ... but I'm more inclined to agree with Mook on his take.

I'm inclined to agree. He sounds like an irritating individual. I will say that in our group there is a lot a variation in the "feeling" of each person's chi-sau, even between the guys who just train with me. Chi-sau is like a fingerprint or signature. Everybody feels different even when they train the same way with the same instructor. God knows I tried to copy the "feel" of my old Sifu. I just never got it quite right. Some others did. I hate them.:p
 

Takai

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
2,189
Reaction score
73
Location
PNW
I have never had my sifu tell me to us "more force" It was always the opposite. Chi Sau is very relaxed. Not limp and unstructured just relaxed.
 

kung fu fighter

Green Belt
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
147
Reaction score
39
I have been working with a group of Wing Chun guys and the other day the guy who is the teacher was not there and the guy who wants to be the teacher was and I was doing Chi Sau with him and he continually told me I was not engaged when we started. It was a Fuk Sao/Tan Sao start

He continued to tell me to put more pressure in my fuk sao or my tan sao so he could feel that I was engaged. Now from a Taiji perspective as soon as I touched him I was engaged and he was asking for way too much pressure from me. His point was without that he could not feel my intent.

Is this what I am supposed to do in Chi Sau?

And I will be honest here; if this is how it is I can't do it. It would require me to tense up and use way to much force and I would not be able to flow, move, stick or follow. It would become a test of strength rather quickly or it gives me a rather large advantage because I would need to do is relax and then he is done and has no idea what my intent is.

I should also say I have never heard this from the guy who is the actual teacher there when I did Chi Sau with him. Doing Chi Sau with him I see a lot of similarities of underlying principles between Wing Chun Chi Sau and Taiji Tui Shao.



Note: See the top picture, that is the position I am talking about

564176_3946729911292_154000_med.jpeg

"All CMA should have forward intent - even Taiji. The best Wing Chun has forward intent, but this intent should not be discernable to the opponent when contact is made - the WC practictioners entire frame is a loaded gun on a hair trigger - the same with any fighting art. The lack of this intent speaks more of the practitioner (or how they learned). No forward intent = no intent to strike. The forward intent goes a long way towards making reactions/responses quick and automatic. When my teacher touched you in sticking hands you hardly felt his forearms - they were increadibly light - but if you tried to attack it was as if a spring steel had been released. I have felt this from one taiji teacher as well, also Jooklum Mantis, Lohan Shaolin, Tongbei and Xingyi teachers. When it is not there the opponents contact is "dead". On the other hand, when the "forward intent" is just someone trying to muscle in or jam forcefully, it is wooden and reduces fighting effectiveness.

Forward intent is there even as you deflect their incoming force - it is a constant (but not to be confused with peng, which is a mechanical force)"

If the WCk guy has the correct application of Forward intent,you would be forced to also apply forward intent or your body structure would fall apart and you could get struck by him.
 

KPM

Senior Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2014
Messages
3,642
Reaction score
990
If you have a tan-sao contacting his fuk-sao, nothing magical is going on, your arm has simply crossed with your opponents, with his on outside and yours on the inside. 3 things can happen (yes, a gross simplification):
1. If his structure or tension isn't there, your forward tension will cause your tan-sao hand to go sailing into his face. This is good.
2. If his fuk-sao hand explodes forward into a punch and you have no forward tension, your structure will collapse like a buckling bridge and you will get hit. This is bad.
3. If his fuk-sao hand explodes forward into a punch and you have do have good, alive forward tension, your tan will either divert the punch to your outside or the punch will cause your tan to roll into bong and divert the punch to your inside, depending on which side of your center the punch was coming. This is chi-sao.

.

+1 I would add that one way to think about this is that the position is not "neutral." The position is actually a "stalemate." Both partners should have the intention of going forward with a punch, but because they are meeting each other's forward pressure, a stalement results and they are in the static position. If one partner is not countering the other's forward pressure, then he will just go forward with a punch. So what your junior instructor may be telling you is that you are not countering his pressure well and he recognizes that he could just hit you. If he is using a lot of forward pressure, it requires you to match it or get hit. That simple. Secondly, this is a basic and somewhat mechanical drill. It is teaching you position and structure as much as it is teaching you any kind of sensitivity or responsiveness. It is a blend of both. This is why it is important to balance the energies between the two partners.

You could think of the energy of Tai Chi being the circle and that of Wing Chun being a straight line, if that helps. If you are thinking "light & circular" while your partner is thinking "strike the center" in this drill, then that may be part of the problem!
 

Eric_H

Black Belt
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
562
Reaction score
104
Location
San Francisco
Forgive me if I have the terminology wrong but I will try and explain this as best I can

I have been working with a group of Wing Chun guys and the other day the guy who is the teacher was not there and the guy who wants to be the teacher was and I was doing Chi Sau with him and he continually told me I was not engaged when we started. It was a Fuk Sao/Tan Sao start

He continued to tell me to put more pressure in my fuk sao or my tan sao so he could feel that I was engaged. Now from a Taiji perspective as soon as I touched him I was engaged and he was asking for way too much pressure from me. His point was without that he could not feel my intent.

Is this what I am supposed to do in Chi Sau?

And I will be honest here; if this is how it is I can't do it. It would require me to tense up and use way to much force and I would not be able to flow, move, stick or follow. It would become a test of strength rather quickly or it gives me a rather large advantage because I would need to do is relax and then he is done and has no idea what my intent is.

I should also say I have never heard this from the guy who is the actual teacher there when I did Chi Sau with him. Doing Chi Sau with him I see a lot of similarities of underlying principles between Wing Chun Chi Sau and Taiji Tui Shao.



Note: See the top picture, that is the position I am talking about

564176_3946729911292_154000_med.jpeg


In Wing Chun, you need to be able to feel the energy balance between the wrist and the elbow. If he can't feel your structure that means either 1) his sensitivity isn't there yet or 2) you're not responding the way that he feels your structure is secure. We do use muscle in WC (and yes you use it in taiji as well, but that's a whole 'nother argument) but the idea is "smart energy" using minimum muscle to counteract large muscle, eventually giving us the idea of "Ying Lik" or structural power.

So since you never covered this (or my poor reading comprehension missed it) - what were you training in chi sao that day? Could have a big impact on why and instructor might try to get you to act out of the ordinary.
 

wingchun100

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
3,300
Reaction score
522
Location
Troy NY
He probably meant forward intention, meaning if his tan sao weren't in the way of your fook sao, you would be punching him. If I had been there, "force" would have meant tensing up to me too. Sifu has dialed his teaching back a LOT, and his main focus now is on getting every to have good "elbow energy." (This is known as "jarn di lik." Sorry if the spelling is wrong.) Anyway, you are right in that chi sao should NOT involve being tense. However, there should always be that feeling of forward intention. meaning you INTEND on hitting once the path is clear.
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,833
Reaction score
6,360
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
There is a feeling of intent, does not matter forward, backward up or down, it is there in Taiji. It is just not tense as I was being told to do, and still do not agree with.

However I have not been able to talk with the actual teacher yet. This is all done outside and they may be done in my area for the season and only meeting in his school which is a bit far for me to travel and is absolutely not possible based on my weekly schedule.

But then I will be going back and training Chen style very soon, still keeping my Yang, but found a rather impressive Chen teacher in my area, kind of like my Yang shifu (does not advertise) and if I pursue Chen there is no time for Wing Chun.

But as soon as I am able to talk to the sifu (he is also a personal friend) I will post here what he has to say about it.
 

Vajramusti

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Messages
1,283
Reaction score
312
Who is the Chen teacher in your area who you will work with-Ren?
 

wingchun100

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
3,300
Reaction score
522
Location
Troy NY
The direction of the intent DOES matter. When you are in fook sao, your intention should be forward. However, there should be NO use of strength, like you said. Wing chun is not about muscle, so that instructor seems to be way off.
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,833
Reaction score
6,360
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
The direction of the intent DOES matter. When you are in fook sao, your intention should be forward. However, there should be NO use of strength, like you said. Wing chun is not about muscle, so that instructor seems to be way off.

He was not the instructor, the instructor was not there that day, but he has been at it a long time and he "wants" to be the instructor
 
Top