Saving Wing Chun by Eliminating Chi Sau

Danny T

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@Kung Fu Wang from the remarks you make on wing chun I often feel; either you trained wing chun for a very short period or the people you trained with had a very limited knowledge of wing chun. The above drill you posted is but one of many we use for intercepting, creating a bridge, developing timing, counter attacking, re-countering, controlling range, as well as other tactics.
 

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Although to be fair.. a lot of the comments in the WT threads are clearly not WT people
 

Kung Fu Wang

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@Kung Fu Wang from the remarks you make on wing chun I often feel; either you trained wing chun for a very short period or the people you trained with had a very limited knowledge of wing chun. The above drill you posted is but one of many we use for intercepting, creating a bridge, developing timing, counter attacking, re-countering, controlling range, as well as other tactics.
Did Yip men ever taught this training in his class, or was this training added in by his students later on?

I have met 3 of Yip men's students when I was a student in UT Austin. They all learned WC directly from Yip Men in Hong Kong during 1968 - 1971.

- Jimmy Kao (I learned WC from him in 1973),
- Jeffrey Law,
- Albert Law (Jeffrey Law's young brother). I had sparred with him. He used Tan Shou to block my punch. That made me to have interested in the WC system.

None of them ever told me that the Lat Shou training existed in Yip Men's class. None of them had ever shown me the training in this clip.

We went from 3 forms -> single sticky hand -> double sticky hands -> wooden dummy training


This is also true that the Chang style Taiji that I have learned, this kind of training (deal with incoming punch) also doesn't exist.

 
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yak sao

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Lat sau means "free hand", not that I speak Cantonese but my Si-Fu does.

So it's not so much a series of drills as it is concepts of what to do if your hands are not in contact with your opponent's.

Whether they did these specific drills in his class or if his students took this knowledge and developed their own drills, or if it's a combination of the two, I see this as a good thing.
Taking something and making it your own rather than just being a Mindless robot mimicking their teacher.
 

Danny T

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Did Yip men ever taught this training in his class, or was this training added in by his students later on?

I have met 3 of Yip men's students when I was a student in UT Austin. They all learned WC directly from Yip Men in Hong Kong during 1968 - 1971.

- Jimmy Kao (I learned WC from him in 1973),
- Jeffrey Law,
- Albert Law (Jeffrey Law's young brother).

None of them ever told me that the Lat Shou training existed in Yip Men's class. None of them had ever shown me the training in this clip.

We went from 3 forms -> single sticky hand -> double sticky hands -> wooden dummy training


This is also true that the Chang style Taiji that I have learned, this kind of training (deal with incoming punch) also doesn't exist.
Sorry you didn't learn such.
I never trained under Yip Man so I have no direct knowledge of what he taught all his students. I am in the Jiu Wan lineage (who was a very good friend of Yip Man) and I have trained with 2 of his students and both had us doing such entry drills. I also have a few sessions with one of Wong Shun Leung's students Gary Lam and he had me doing such drills as well.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Sorry you didn't learn such.
I never trained under Yip Man so I have no direct knowledge of what he taught all his students. I am in the Jiu Wan lineage (who was a very good friend of Yip Man) and I have trained with 2 of his students and both had us doing such entry drills. I also have a few sessions with one of Wong Shun Leung's students Gary Lam and he had me doing such drills as well.
So we both agree that this is a good drill. Some WC schools may train it, some WC schools may not. Do you think this drill is more important than the WC single/double sticky hand drills?

IMO, if you want to be a wrestler, you may be interested in this WC sticky hand drill. But if you want to be a striker, you will be more interested in this kind of drill - dealing with incoming punch from distance.

 
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Danny T

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So we both agree that this is a good drill. Some WC schools may train it, some WC schools may not. Do you think this drill is more important than the WC single/double sticky hand drills?

IMO, if you want to be a wrestler, you may be interested in this WC sticky hand drill. But if you want to be a striker, you will be more interested in this kind of drill - dealing with incoming punch from distance.

They are good drills for what they are designed for.
What's more important a fork or a spoon?
 

Gerry Seymour

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Geezer this post is in your honor, happy belated birthday by the way!

The question has been asked "What does Wing Chun need in the 21st century?" My answer, eliminate Chi Sau or at least minimize its "importance" as a litmus into the efficacy of martial prowess. My questions to Chunners everywhere is:

1. Do you truly believe that Chi Sau is the "Key" to making Wing Chun work?

2. If Chi Sau is really such an effective training process why don't arts like Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling or Jujutsu (all arts that have proven themselves effective in sport and street fighting) adopt the method?

3. For all those that say "Chi Sau isn't fighting", then why act like it is and put such emphasis on it as to make it integral to the functionality of the art?

Let the sh!t show begin! Geezer you're welcome, lol.
Thanks for posting this. I'm enjoying the view as an outsider, and have an observation (then some input that mirrors what some others have said). The vigor of some of the early responses in this thread suggest this is a sore spot for some. There's probably a reason for that, and it's probably worth some exploration within the WC community. I think it's an interesting question/proposition.

Whenever I see chi sau videos, I'm immediately reminded of some practices common in the aiki arts, and I think some of the issues are similar. There are drills/exercises that show up to varying degrees in different styles and different schools, which have some of the same focus (a bit internal, develop "feel", mimic specific movements that may or may not be used in combat, etc.). Where those drills are used "properly" (the definition of which can vary based on the needs and purpose of each group), they are beneficial. Where those drills become the focus, they actually become detrimental.

When a drill is detrimental, removing it is beneficial - even if it's part of the recognizable identity of the style. Aikido schools that over-emphasize light-touch drills (I don't know the name they use for the drill I have in mind, so can't search up a video for it) develop students who depend upon light touch and can't work with heavy touch (meaning what they do only works when the input is a gentle, flowing attack). In those schools, eliminating the drill would actually be useful, because it would be likely to force them to give more time to other aspects of their training. In schools where the light-touch drill is used as a way to soften beginners so they aren't dependent upon muscular exertion, or for advanced students to polish technique, the drill can be highly beneficial.

I wouldn't argue that drill should be removed from Aikido, in general. I would argue it should be removed from some schools, because it doesn't do what they think it is doing, and actually does the opposite.
 

Gerry Seymour

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There is nothing wrong with seldom sparring and doing a lot of chi-sau because that is what you enjoy doing ...if you are being honest with yourself.
I meant to include this in my prior post...

This is a key point. In those Aikido schools where that drill is highly emphasized, that's actually fine for some of them. Because they like it, aren't focused on developing fighting skills (part of later philosophy in Aikido), and are aware of the limitations. So, if a WC school/group just likes developing the movement chi sau develops, they enjoy the practice, and understand the limitations, they are okay doing exactly as much chi sau as they want.
 

Gerry Seymour

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What's missing in the WC sticky hand training is

- you try to make your arm to touch my arm, but
- I try not to let your arm to touch my arm.

This is why I always like to use a

- clockwise downward parry followed by
- counter-clockwise upward arm wrap.

When my opponent tries to rotate his arm the same direction as my arm and try to avoid contact, if I reverse my arm rotation, I can contact his arm easily.
This is a common problem when training drills, because both people are the same style (in this case, WC). When two WC people clash, they both want (I think - going from what I've seen and heard here) that arm-to-arm contact. So nobody is avoiding it, since both want to use it.

For your suggested drill to have much effect, there's going to have to be some "avoidance" training. Otherwise, it's like learning to defend against a takedown delivered by someone who doesn't really know how to do that takedown. Then we have to ask if there's enough benefit to the new drill to divert time into this new training, as well. Or is there another way that takes less diversion?
 

Gerry Seymour

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If you learn

- a technique, you learn how to counter it, and also how to counter those counters.
- WC sticky hand, you learn how to avoid counter, and also how to solve the avoiding issue.
True, where the technique is detrimental to you. If I want your arm connected to mine, then I'll learn how to connect our arms. But if I want it connected, I may not care to learn how to avoid that connection, since I wanted it in the first place - I'll just learn to use the connection once you initiate it.

Whether that applies to WC or not, I obviously don't know.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If the "grabbing" principle can also be included and emphasized in the WC sticky hand training, the WC sticky hand can be an excellent bridge between the striking art and the wrestling art.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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But if I want it connected, I may not care to learn how to avoid that connection, since I wanted it in the first place - I'll just learn to use the connection once you initiate it.

Whether that applies to WC or not, I obviously don't know.
When you teach your student how to make arm contact, if you student asks you, "How can I avoid it?"

What will be your respond?
 
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