Do you have a Chi-Sau "Form"?

geezer

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At a recent seminar. a master-level practitioner in my branch of WT was talking about the way we train Chi-Sau. In our lineage we have an established series of choreographed chi-sau exchanges that integrate and teach the correct application of movements from the forms. In actual practice, or free Chi-Sau, each movement could lead into many possible directions, attacks, counters and so forth. But, for training purposes, each section is applied in a specific situation and against a specific type of energy. As the instructor pointed out, if someone changes their energy, they change your response, and so lead into something entirely different from the movement being trained. Therefore, we must train cooperatively with each partner, feeding the correct energy to complete the sequence.

The end result is that in addition to the three empty handed forms, the dummy set and two weapons sets, we also build up a complex series of Chi-Sau cycles that is essentially like a two-man form. Of course, we also train free-form Chi Sau which ranges from randomized, but semi-cooperative movements, to being more competitive, and finally merging into outright sparring.

My question is, do other lineages also build up such a "Chi Sau Form" or do you have some other method for systematically integrating the myriad techniques and the footwork of the system into Chi Sau?
 

profesormental

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Greetings.

Many employ this method for training Chi Sao. I do so in short responses that can link together dynamically instead of in a form. I do so by teaching the optimal options available after each step.

For example, start with a Tan da to open up an over-under poon sao. YOu have to defend the punch with your Wu sao or any other response (that requires footwork). From there examine the options, depending on what you want to accomplish (certain kind of trap or position or strike or control) and the responses of the training partner.

That that day we work with several options and drill that. Then we try it live and examine the learnings from that.

Many times while doing Chi Sao, I tell my students that I will end with a certain endgame, for example, a cross arm trap with punch to face or arm bar (using torso) with fak sao to face or so on. Then no matter what, I will find a way to manipulate the situation for that to happen.

I create a position of Sun-Tsu Victory (Position of maximal advantage and control where resistance is futile. From here I can CHOOSE to finish, maim, etc.)

A form is an organized way to teach, yet I refrain from making one and teaching it since it has the tendency to limit responses (although it makes the ones that it contains very effective) and doesn't grow with the instructor, except if it is improved periodically.

This happens because the strategic plans change with maturity and experience.

Hope that helps.

Juan M. Mercado
 

mook jong man

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Yes we did used to do that type of thing especially when executing traps and counters to traps. Because the best defence against trapping is perfect rolling , so in order to train the trap your partner has to cooperate in deliberately making a mistake such as bringing their Bong Sau across too far and crossing their hands etc so they can be trapped .

The partners would go through the rolling cycle a few times and then make the mistake so the other partner could do the trap and then it would be the other partners turn , so to an onlooker it would look a little bit like a two man form.

All the attacks , traps and counters to traps were done this way , once the person was competent and could do the traps at speed and with out telegraphing , then they tried them out in chi sau sparring with a non compliant partner.

I do practice the dummy form in the air occasionally but I find it most unsatisfying not to hear the clunking of the wooden arms and the sound of the body springing back on the support rails.

But I do believe it is like riding a bike and I remember that I hadn't used a wooden dummy for years and I was in a martial arts shop once and they had one set up .

I couldn't resist having a go on it and everything just flowed perfectly like I had never stopped using one , probably due to the fact that when I did have access to the school's wooden dummy I would train on it for hours.
 

graychuan

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This forum always has the best topics...


In the Woo system we start of by having the right structure and finer points on the basic chi-sao roll which we call Luk Sao. When we start throwing techniques off of the rolling we call it Phoon-Sao(some lineages may call them the exact opposite).

As far as developing a Chi Sao form...we dont go that far but we start off by having a basic 'primary' attack off of each corner of the Luk-Sao cycle(roll). So, we do an attack off of the Tan Sao, the Bong, high Fook and low Fook. Then we progress to challenging the partner to neutralize or stop those basic 4 with structure and the smallest possible idea (sound familiar?). Once both have developed enough timing, sensitivity and structure to attack and defend spontaneously(but just with the basic 4) then we work on other types of attack/counters with the same idea.

If you can't stop the basic & simple attacks with timing and sensitivity you won't be able to stop anything else. Also, it makes no sense to 'slap hands' and make it up as you go because you will develope to many bad habits and not rely on the purity of the sensitivity you are trying to develope.

ALL of our guys have to progress this way as they are learning chi-sao. Once this is done....intermediate or advanced students can pair and get a lot of rolling in and develope thier arsenal.

This is a very methodical way of training which tends to suit me well.
Training methodically is good all around but can wear out the patience of some. However, it will fix all the kinks in technique of the 'gifted' who do not take advantage of repetitive training and it will ingrain reflexive,good habits for all who do it... especially for beginners who are not yet informed or aware of the significance of the 'small idea'.

From what I have read...we all seem to be close to the same type of ideas about how this works. Thanks for the input fellas.

Professormental...we have a footwork drill with our Luk-sao that is close to what you describe but yours in interesting. You got ma 'Light Bulbs' going off. :idea:
 

profesormental

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Greetings.

Graychuan:

The methodical way you describe to teach Chi Sao is similar to our approach, since as you said, sensitivity (specially proprioceptive) is the key of Chi sao.

I consistently (as was done to me) correct my students lok sao (read: scream at them "PULL THAT DAMN ELBOW IN AND PROTECT!!!AARGH!!! %$#@$%^^%"), since that is the key to effective close combat trapping. Without it, there is no structure to effectively trap someone.

I guess I should spend some more time with them on the lok sao (we spend a while there every time we train it), yet I think it will not stop the screaming! :)

I will let them know that their shoulders burning next time is your fault! hehe!

Juan M. Mercado
 

futsaowingchun

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In Fut Sao Wing Chun we don't have a " Chi-Sao form" We do have some basic drills but our Chi Sao is never I do this he does that. It's more like free sparring.
 

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