Saving Wing Chun by Eliminating Chi Sau

geezer

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I disagree with most everything here. Front kick is not hard on the knee. Straight punch is not hard on the elbow.

It really depends on how you do what you do. Our lineage of wing chun punches to full extension, letting the elbow lock out (if we are "air punching" or, perhaps if we miss our target).

If you use the classical WC vertical fist and keep the elbow pointed down, and are very relaxed, it doesn't seem to cause any problems. But if people are stiff and use force,jamming against the joint, they may cause problems for themselves.
 
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Flying Crane

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It really depends on how you do what you do. Our lineage of wing chun punches to full extension, letting the elbow lock out (if we are "air punching" or, perhaps if we miss our target).

If you use the classical WC vertical fist and keep the elbow pointed down, and are very relaxed, it doesn't seem to cause any problems. But if people are stiff and use force,jamming against the joint, they may cause problems for themselves.
Thats easy to fix: train smart.
 

pdg

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I disagree with most everything here. Front kick is not hard on the knee. Straight punch is not hard on the elbow.

A full extension front kick and full extension straight punch to no resistance at all can be hard on the knee/elbow.

Into resistance, that's the direction the joints are designed to accept force so are not hard at all.

Conversely, a sweep to nothing is really easy on the knee, a sweep to a planted foot (or even a bag/pad) puts sideways pressure on the knee and can cause significant pain/injury (unless it's a hook sweep, where you're bending your leg the way it's designed to go).


Waving in the air and letting your joints hyperextend, I agree with KFW - putting realistic resistance into it, I agree with you ;)
 

Flying Crane

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A full extension front kick and full extension straight punch to no resistance at all can be hard on the knee/elbow.

Into resistance, that's the direction the joints are designed to accept force so are not hard at all.

Conversely, a sweep to nothing is really easy on the knee, a sweep to a planted foot (or even a bag/pad) puts sideways pressure on the knee and can cause significant pain/injury (unless it's a hook sweep, where you're bending your leg the way it's designed to go).


Waving in the air and letting your joints hyperextend, I agree with KFW - putting realistic resistance into it, I agree with you ;)
You dont snap you knees and elbows when you practice punches and kicks. You always protect your joints. Ive never seen it suggested that practicing these things are hard on these joints. Ive been training since 1984, never had a whiff of a problem in this way. People need to take responsibility for training smart. Seriously, this is a real surprise to me that this is suggested as a general problem. I could see where some individuals who have problematic joints might experience difficulties, but not most people; if this is a problem, it should be rare.
 

Buka

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In my professional opinion, full extension front kicks and full extension punches really have no place in fighting arts. Besides not being the best thing for the joints if done repeatedly with force against air - look at it in an application sense....you never try to hit somebody with the very end of your kick or the very end of your punch. When it's at full extension and touches something, the power is already over.

One might argue that "I'm going to hit you in the midst of my extension and follow through to full extension".
While somewhat viable in training for power, in application it doesn't usually work that way, especially for the punches. And if it hits a fighter and you try to keep extending it, you are going to get countered so quickly you won't even see it.
 

Eric_H

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To the original question, I think that there are versions of chi sao that probably are due to be downplayed. I can't remember how many times I've heard the phrase: "Chi sao isn't for fighting". Some people come from the school of thought that it's a sensitivity drill and if you try and add fighty bits to it, you're doing it wrong. I used to think this way too, to a degree.

When I transitioned to HFY in the early 2000s, one of the differences that came up very early is how HFY looks at chi sao and bridging in general. Everything is for fighting, we don't do purely attribute development drills outside of some chi-gung. If you perform a move with the wrong structure or energy and a punch/kick/grab is open, we're expected to take it (though obviously being controlled with the amount of force applied). If your structure can't last for at least a "one thousand and one" count - it's not considered very good.

It's not a perfect method, but it got me closer to fluency under pressure compared to the YM chi sao method.
 

geezer

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...It's not a perfect method, but it got me closer to fluency under pressure compared to the YM chi sao method.

The statement above is very well put. There織s no judgement about what others do, just an honest statement about your own experience. I wish everybody in WC could discuss their experience so objectively.

What was it about the YP method that did not work for you, Eric ...I believe you trained in the Yip Man -Moy Yat Lineage?
 

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What was it about the YP method that did not work for you, Eric ...I believe you trained in the Yip Man -Moy Yat Lineage?

My first teacher had something of a blend with a strong Moy Yat base, afaik he also workshop studied with Ip Ching and a number of the other Senior YM folks here and there (the name Mak Po is coming to mind). His official credentials were a Sifu title, Chops given by his Sigung Moy Yat, and a 7th degree from the VTAA, so for that method, he was clearly very good.

Some of the flaws I found in the method mostly related to range control (How would I even get to Chi Sao in the first place?), deficient structure in a vertical sense (though strong forward to back and just ok side-to-side), a heavy (over?)reliance on bursting power, and a misalignment of focus. Also I think the YM bong sao is largely garbage, but that's a debate for another day.

One example of focus misalignment is that we would punch to the center of the chest, using the logic "if I can hit there, his most defended point, then I can hit him anywhere." I have found that statement to be untrue. The chest is a low value target, and often you open up your own vertical leverage by lunging for it. It's similar to how in saber fighting, going for the legs at range is a risky move - it exposes the head to be taken clean off.
 

geezer

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... Also I think the YM bong sao is largely garbage, but that's a debate for another day...

Dang, Eric, this is just the kind of debate that has been missing from this forum for long time now. I am very interested in hearing honest opinions about what has worked for you and what hasn't. How about starting a new thread on the topic?
 

geezer

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Many people may not know the term "wrong Bong" that you use right Bong Shou to block a right punch.

"Wrong bong" isn't always wrong. Sometimes you have to use a cross-bong or "wrong bong" (right vs. right or left vs. left). You just can't stay there, or you are very vulnerable. Instead you immediately continue into offense. "Bong never stays".
 

Danny T

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Wrong bong isn't that it's wrong but more that your execution of bong has a much smaller window of precision and the length of time one can afford to be in bong is significantly reduced. We say, "never get caught in bong sao".
 

Kung Fu Wang

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"Wrong bong" isn't always wrong. Sometimes you have to use a cross-bong or "wrong bong" (right vs. right or left vs. left). You just can't stay there, or you are very vulnerable. Instead you immediately continue into offense. "Bong never stays".
When you use right Bong against your opponent's

- left punch, his right hand can't reach to your right elbow joint.
- right punch, his left hand can reach to your right elbow joint.

Old CMA saying said, "Never expose your elbow to your opponent." Wrong Bong violates that guideline.

"Bong never stays".
When you punch with right, if you detect that your opponent will use right Bong, your left hand also move toward his raising right elbow. How do you allow your opponent's Bong Shou to change? Your opponent tries to raise his right elbow. All you need is to help his elbow to raise a bit higher than he really wants to.

In the following picture, he can use his left hand to push up his opponent's right elbow joint.

Bong-Shou-1.jpg
 
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geezer

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In the following picture, he can use his left hand to push up his opponent's right elbow joint.

Bong-Shou-1.jpg

In the picture above, Sam Kwok is doing a typical "Lap Sau" drill. It is a drill, mind you, designed to train certain attributes, so it does not translate exactly to sparring and fighting. However, what you say is very true. As pictured, Sifu Kwok could use his forearm (or could have used his hand) to force his partner's elbow upward while pulling down on his partner's wrist leading into a "chicken wing", "hammerlock", or similar elbow lock.

In our lineage, we do not do Lap Sau exactly this way leaving two arms on one as Sifu Kwok is demonstrating above. We prefer a "Jut-Chuen-Da" variation which avoids this. Furthermore we do practice exactly the locking technique you suggested, as well as several very effective counters, ...the simplest and best being a very fast front punch under the bridge (kiu dai chung kuen) delivered the instant our opponent attempts to lift our elbow.
 

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Geezer this post is in your honor, happy belated birthday by the way!
INTERESTING, I PRACTICE Yuen Kay San Wing chun. In our system we have several things we practice.
1. Strength and conditioning
2. Chi Sau
3. Gor sau
4. Free Sparring
5. We also have San Shou drills you perform with partners
6. AS well as solo training

San Shou drills can be defensive drills where you practice intercepting or deflecting attacks while punching or kicking simultaneously, It also includes practicing joint locking and manipulation, sweeps,throws, from a grab, kick or punch from your opponent. Its also lively free defending attacks while cornered. As well as set drills like Lop Sau, Jut da, tan da, bil da, and many others where you work on receiving a strike and them reacting to it. Learning timing etc. Now all of this is not free sparring. But with out conditioning and strength training you won't have bullets to put in your gun same goes for chi sau. Chi Sau is an integral part of WC. Now not all fighters have sensitivity but some do. We train Both touch sensitivity and sight sensitivity being able from a distance or not touching to defend attacks.



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.

Chi sau is just a drill for building sensitivity while maintaining contact. As an MMA guy with deep roots in WC, I can definitely say it's helped my clinch and ground game.

Have you even done it for ten seconds of your life?

American Wrestling has form of chi sau. too most arts practice bridge work. Chi sau is just bridge work thats all.

I don't understand why the WC system doesn't emphasize on this training. IMO, this training has much more value than the WC sticky hand training.


WC has partner drills both like the video you posting which works from the bridge and also partner training when there is no bridge. Before chi sau we learn how to defend against punches and kicks from long range and medium range when there is no bridge. We learn how to enter first before training chi sau. But Chi sau just trains your ability to fight in close, and feel your opponent.

WC and art, But its a fighting art. ie Martial(war) Art. But the Art can be studied and theorized alone. But the fighting part takes practice too. ONE must fight Non-chunners to be able to utilize and truly understand WC. Some training will help. But when you begin to attack and hit people you will learn what certain parts of WC is for.
 

Yoshiyahu

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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.

YKS WC has Grabbing and Jerking techiques and locking techniques as well.

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?

Simple fight on the outside. WC should have both outside and inside fighting. You should know how to feign attacks and how to keep your opponent at bay or how to bridge if you so choose. Some people by denying them a bridge use have an advantage. The key is to spar and when you spar use both inside and outside fighting strategies.
 

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