Saving Wing Chun by Eliminating Chi Sau

Danny T

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
2,292
Location
New Iberia, Louisiana USA
The use of chi sao is mainly to teach you what to do after you've defended against the incoming attacks and you've closed distance with the enemy, it trains positions that you can recognize when in an actual fight. If you cannot get into or keep chi sao distance with the enemy then you lose but that's true of all other martial arts and sports: if a boxer can't get close to a taekwondo practitioner then he loses, if a jiu jitsu guy cannot get into grappling range with a boxer then he will lose, etc.
First of all...welcome to the forum.
Second, what I got from your post is that your wing chun ONLY works in chi sau range. Is this accurate?
Thanks. The way i see it, wing chun was made for chi sao range, why else would the second form be called "closing the bridge" (getting close to the adversary)? Wing chun wasn't made for fighting at jabbing/kicking distance which is why you see so many videos online where the wing chun guy loses to such opponents because he fails to close the gap. Wing chun used at that distance becomes bad kickboxing
In my training and opinion good wing chun has an excellent distance game when utilized properly and using good timing for entries. Problem, as I see it, is most don't practice the outside game enough to gain the need skills to set up entries. Much of the drills associated with both the sword and pole learning give insight to required skills for playing the outside game into the inside close range and back out. Because of that what is more often than not seen is the WC person just rushing in with their arms extended out in front of them and getting punished for it.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
12,131
Reaction score
3,523
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
the WC person just rushing in with their arms extended out in front of them and getting punished for it.
What do you mean "getting punished for it"?

May be the "extended arm" has not been fully utilized in the WC system yet. The extended arm/arms can be used for:

1. Sense the environment.
2. Use it as a octopus arm that can wrap around anything it touches.
3. It can borrow any outside force, spin around with knock down power.
4. Drill a hole through your opponent's strong defense.
5. Separate your opponent's arms away from his head.
6. Occupy the attacking space and force your opponent's attack to go around.
7. It can be used as a bait.
8. ...

I can list at least 7 different usages of the extended arm/arms. I'm sure there are more that I have not listed here. It has more advantage than the boxing guard that you can only use it to protect your head.

In this clip (20.38 - 20.45), his extended arm rotated with his opponent's arm and ended with a strike (usage 3 from the above list).

 
Last edited:

Zeno Bokor

White Belt
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
In my training and opinion good wing chun has an excellent distance game when utilized properly and using good timing for entries. Problem, as I see it, is most don't practice the outside game enough to gain the need skills to set up entries. Much of the drills associated with both the sword and pole learning give insight to required skills for playing the outside game into the inside close range and back out. Because of that what is more often than not seen is the WC person just rushing in with their arms extended out in front of them and getting punished for it.

of course you need outside game, rushing headlong into close range usually ends in failure and also the opponent isn't comfortable with staying in chi sao range so he will back up very quickly.

My point is that the outside game of wing chun is based on getting to chi sao range. if you train for self defense then that's easy because you start from the idea that your opponent comes towards you, you just wait for your timing; tricky part comes when you train for fights.
 

skyeisonfire

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
246
Reaction score
96
Location
Vegas baby!
Everyone should have some Chi Sao in their life. lol. It's fun as bleep as long as you don't technique yourself to death or too long. Get around your opponent and strike with speed and authority.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
12,131
Reaction score
3,523
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
There is nothing wrong with the WC sticky hand training. But one should start with

- kick to the groin, punch to the face, or
- sweep the leading leg, jam the leading arm,
- ...

When your arm make contact with your opponent's arm, your WC sticky hand game then start after that.
 
OP
N

Nobody Important

2nd Black Belt
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
886
Reaction score
466
What if I were to suggest that Chi Sau wasn't originally part of the Wing Chun system?

Can your method of Wing Chun be effective without it, or has it been completely reformatted around Chi Sau to the point that it is integral and cannot be separated?
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,106
Reaction score
3,204
Location
Phoenix, AZ
What if I were to suggest that Chi Sau wasn't originally part of the Wing Chun system?

On some level this is certainly the case. the mid 20th Century, Hong Kong and mainland lineages all emphasize some form of chi-sau to the point that we assume that Wing Chun was always that way. But Wing Chun evolved from earlier fighting arts. Those old "proto-wing chun" systems (perhaps influenced by southern Hakka systems and/or Yongchun baihe) may have also had some "sticking" type drills, but probably not emphasized to the same degree. And even earlier, ancestral fighting forms likely had no chi-sau at all.

So yes, originally, chi-sau was probably not a part of the Wing Chun martial heritage. And perhaps, in many schools today, Chi-Sau has become so hyper-refined and over-emphasized that it actually detracts from the fighting functionality of the art.

With my little club, I admit that work entirely too much chi-sau, and not enough sparring and physical training to reach optimal functionality. As I tell my students, this is because it is what I enjoy. If they really want to fight well, they can (and should) seek out additional and more diverse training to address these deficits. They need to spar and work with diverse opponents and they need some foundation in grappling beyond what I address.

I've been told that such advice is "breaking my rice-bowl. I cal BS. Why not give honest advice?. After all, I don't teach this to make a living.

Still I have to be dicreet. Our WT-offshoot association preaches that this chi-sau heavy format is the secret to real and complete martial mastery. And they take Chi-sau way beyond what I can do, teaching dozens and dozens of complex "Chi-Sau Sections" or routines that solve all kinds of "energy puzzles". Practicing these endless, interwoven patterns has pretty much become the core of their intermediate to advanced curriculum. And frankly, although intricate and fascinating, I find that it has become a rabbit hole that ultimately leads away from realistic fighting skill. :cool:

Hey Yak Sau and all you other WT lineage guys, whattya say? As Dennis Hopper's character said to Christopher Walkin's mobster in True Romance, "Am I lying?"

maxresdefault.jpg
 
Last edited:

Zeno Bokor

White Belt
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
My problem with chi sao sections is that they have a habit of only working within the same school. We also have them but at a more basic level - recognize certain positions and what is the best way to deal with them. Multi step sections don't really work when practicing against other lineages because they won't react "the correct way" (don't even try them against somebody who hasn't learned wing chun). Our sigung preaches feeling above everything else during chi sao (and everything else) because you won't be able to predict what your opponent will do anyway.

I've been told that such advice is "breaking my rice-bowl. I cal BS. Why not give honest advice?. After all, I don't teach this to make a living
let me guess, the guys that told you that were making a living off of teaching wing chun, right? i also agree that it's better to teach what you like and not what most people want to learn because you won't be able to retain those guys long term anyway.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
12,131
Reaction score
3,523
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
If we look at both single sticky hand and double sticky hand, we can find something are missing in the training.

- power generation.
- establish clinch.
- disconnect.

The more that you have trained this, the less that you may think about "1 punch to kill".

The WC sticky hand is between clinch and disconnect. IMO, both extreme cases should be trained as well such as:

What will you do if

- clinch has happened?
- arm contact is disconnected?

 
Last edited:

yak sao

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
2,175
Reaction score
749
On some level this is certainly the case. the mid 20th Century, Hong Kong and mainland lineages all emphasize some form of chi-sau to the point that we assume that Wing Chun was always that way. But Wing Chun evolved from earlier fighting arts. Those old "proto-wing chun" systems (perhaps influenced by southern Hakka systems and/or Yongchun baihe) may have also had some "sticking" type drills, but probably not emphasized to the same degree. And even earlier, ancestral fighting forms likely had no chi-sau at all.

So yes, originally, chi-sau was probably not a part of the Wing Chun martial heritage. And perhaps, in many schools today, Chi-Sau has become so hyper-refined and over-emphasized that it actually detracts from the fighting functionality of the art.

With my little club, I admit that work entirely too much chi-sau, and not enough sparring and physical training to reach optimal functionality. As I tell my students, this is because it is what I enjoy. If they really want to fight well, they can (and should) seek out additional and more diverse training to address these deficits. They need to spar and work with diverse opponents and they need some foundation in grappling beyond what I address.

I've been told that such advice is "breaking my rice-bowl. I cal BS. Why not give honest advice?. After all, I don't teach this to make a living.

Still I have to be dicreet. Our WT-offshoot association preaches that this chi-sau heavy format is the secret to real and complete martial mastery. And they take Chi-sau way beyond what I can do, teaching dozens and dozens of complex "Chi-Sau Sections" or routines that solve all kinds of "energy puzzles". Practicing these endless, interwoven patterns has pretty much become the core of their intermediate to advanced curriculum. And frankly, although intricate and fascinating, I find that it has become a rabbit hole that ultimately leads away from realistic fighting skill. :cool:

Hey Yak Sau and all you other WT lineage guys, whattya say? As Dennis Hopper's character said to Christopher Walkin's mobster in True Romance, "Am I lying?"

maxresdefault.jpg

No, thou speakest the truth.

The goal of the sections is not to get good at doing the section.The goal is to learn what the sections are teaching and then move on.

I think LT was brilliant in developing them as a way to pass along chi sao skills and concepts, but they have taken on a life all their own. Too many WT people see them as the end rather than the means to an end.
 

yak sao

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
2,175
Reaction score
749
My problem with chi sao sections is that they have a habit of only working within the same school. We also have them but at a more basic level - recognize certain positions and what is the best way to deal with them. Multi step sections don't really work when practicing against other lineages because they won't react "the correct way" (don't even try them against somebody who hasn't learned wing chun). Our sigung preaches feeling above everything else during chi sao (and everything else) because you won't be able to predict what your opponent will do anyway.


let me guess, the guys that told you that were making a living off of teaching wing chun, right? i also agree that it's better to teach what you like and not what most people want to learn because you won't be able to retain those guys long term anyway.

When I see people try to perform a pre arranged chi sau sequence/ section on someone, it tells me they've missed the point.
You wouldn't do that any more than you would try to use a sequence verbatim from one of the forms.
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,106
Reaction score
3,204
Location
Phoenix, AZ
If we look at both single sticky hand and double sticky hand, we can find something are missing in the training.
- power generation.
- establish clinch.
- disconnect.

All these can be trained in a Chi-Sau format. Power generation is a bit tricky since you need to stay soft and flexible, and you don't want the drill to degenerate into force on force brawling. Still, you should always be working on good position, structure and kinetic linkages that can translate into good power generation, and you should discount useless slaps and taps that devolve into a pointless game of "I gotcha".



The WC sticky hand is between clinch and disconnect. IMO, both extreme cases should be trained as well such as: What will you do if
- clinch has happened?
- arm contact is disconnected?

Agreed, IMO all the above should be included in the Chi-Sau training. It is advantageous to have advanced students or training partners with solid experience in these areas so you can legitimately test and improve your responses. More often sifus badly imitate grappling, boxing, kicking systems, etc. creating a mere straw man for their students to play against, building flawed defenses and a false sense of security.
 

wckf92

Master of Arts
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
1,500
Reaction score
481
If we look at both single sticky hand and double sticky hand, we can find something are missing in the training.

- power generation.

I disagree. Nothing is "missing". You may be viewing it differently is all. Big different between drilling and applying. Chi sau isn't about power generation. It's just a training drill used in a training environment to internalize certain attributes which should be ingrained in the body to eventually be used in life...i.e. a "fight" or altercation.

- establish clinch.

See above. Attributes learned during the drilling of chi sau can be utilized during the clinch. If you think about it, it's all the same stuff, just different body geometry perhaps.

- disconnect.

If you disconnect during the drill then your limb moves forward to strike. If you and your training partner are constantly disconnecting during chi sau then something may be wrong and you need further guidance from an instructor; or you are being asked to practice a drill that is beyond your current skill. If you and your training partner are at the chi sau / rolling level and disconnect often then perhaps you are working a specific skillset? I think some call it gor sau? or Lat sau? Or _____ ?

What will you do if - clinch has happened?

Use the learned/internalized body mechanics trained during chi sau to deal with it. You can use these attributes whether you are standing clinch or horizontally on the ground (whether in mount or guard).

- arm contact is disconnected?

If arm contact is disconnected, then punch the mofo! :)

The goal is to learn what the sections are teaching and then move on.

Heck yeah!
 

FinalStreet

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
1
When I see people try to perform a pre arranged chi sau sequence/ section on someone, it tells me they've missed the point.
You wouldn't do that any more than you would try to use a sequence verbatim from one of the forms.

It's true. You can't learn any type of fighting, through repetition, because the practice is too isolated. And not organic. :):watching::peeking::poto::spam:
 
Top