Some pointers on Gor Sau?

jimbo123

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Hi, I was wondering if I could get some pointers on Gor Sao and how to improve it? If you could just give me some things to think about that would be great.

Basically I get dominated far too easily when doing this drill. The only time I do a decent job is when it's done move by move

Problems I have:
- My partners palm always ends up in my face too quickly and this makes me panic.
- I find it difficult to have a strong but ready Mun Sao. With other drills my Mun Sao is more relaxed but I guess with Gor Sau, you never know what the partner will do.
- Over thinking which hand structure to do. 2 seconds spent thinking "Should I do a tan sao or jum sao? I did a tan sao already lets do a jum sao." Then BAM, palm to the face.
 

yak sao

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You should not be "doing a tan sau". When practicing gor sau/chi sau, your structures are dictated by the force your partner places on your arms.

You should spend ample time doing the forms, practicing various drills, etc, to build these structures into your body so that they don't have to be micromanaged during free style.
Practice numerous chi sau drills to help instill the "feeling of the force needed to place yourself into the various structures so that when you do practice it free style, your arms just go there.

Also, don't think defense so much. When training gor sau, think about keeping yourself in a balanced position. If a certain attack is causing you to tan sau for instance, don't think: "if I do this arm structure I can be safe", instead think: "how can I be in a balanced position, safe behind my arms and in a good position to attack"
At first you need to think about it, but if you practice your forms like you should, your body begins to seek these balanced structures naturally when various forces are placed on it.
 

wtxs

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Hi, I was wondering if I could get some pointers on Gor Sao and how to improve it? If you could just give me some things to think about that would be great.

Basically I get dominated far too easily when doing this drill. The only time I do a decent job is when it's done move by move

Problems I have:
- My partners palm always ends up in my face too quickly and this makes me panic.
- I find it difficult to have a strong but ready Mun Sao. With other drills my Mun Sao is more relaxed but I guess with Gor Sau, you never know what the partner will do.
- Over thinking which hand structure to do. 2 seconds spent thinking "Should I do a tan sao or jum sao? I did a tan sao already lets do a jum sao." Then BAM, palm to the face.


Learn to relax you mind and body.

Don't think/plan about what/how you should respond, "flow" from one movement to another will come with training and guidance.
 
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jimbo123

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Learn to relax you mind and body.

Don't think/plan about what/how you should respond, "flow" from one movement to another will come with training and guidance.
Yeah I definitely need to learn to relax. The fear of being hit in the face stiffens me.

I used to be really tense in the Lok Sau drill. Always lifting my shoulders and tiring them out. There was this girl I used to train with, her arm felt light as a feather but she was really fast and had explosive power. I learn a lot from her and became a lot better at Lok Sau but don't seem to be learning from anyone when doing Gor Sau.
 
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jimbo123

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You should not be "doing a tan sau". When practicing gor sau/chi sau, your structures are dictated by the force your partner places on your arms.

I guess it's because Tan Sao and Jam Sao are the movements which feel most natural to me, I tend to incorporate them more.

You should spend ample time doing the forms, practicing various drills, etc, to build these structures into your body so that they don't have to be micromanaged during free style.
Practice numerous chi sau drills to help instill the "feeling of the force needed to place yourself into the various structures so that when you do practice it free style, your arms just go there.
Normally we do single chi sau and a lot of Lok Sau, pivots and footwork with hand shapes. I started doing a lot more footwork at home.

Sometimes when I sit down and have food I think about rolling Lok Sau. I think, if I attack my partner this way, he/she will counter attack me this way and then I can counter-counter their move. It becomes like a game of chess in my head - and so when I practise in class I do quite well. I try doing the same with Gor Sau and it doesn't quite work. I imagine laaping someone at the very beginning or attacking their angle but it doesn't always execute very well.
 

geezer

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- and so when I practise in class I do quite well. I try doing the same with Gor Sau and it doesn't quite work. I imagine laaping someone at the very beginning or attacking their angle but it doesn't always execute very well.

Funny how working against a resisting opponnent screws up your "plans"! That's just reality messing with you.

Try more guo-sau and sparring and less thinking or "planning". WC has to work automatically without thought.
 

mook jong man

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It doesn't really do any good to think in terms of if my partner does this , then I will do that.
By the time your brain goes through it's catalogue of techniques and selects the right one , the moment has already passed and you have a fist staring you in the face.

The reactions have to become automatic , this will come from many hours of practicing single and double hand chi sau , and lap sau.
When you get in your car to go to the supermarket , you don't think right I have to put my foot on the accelerator , then turn the steering wheel left at Maple st then put my foot on the brake when I get to the stop sign etc.

You just have the intention in your mind of getting to the supermarket.
All of these steps happen automatically without much conscious thought from you , otherwise you would be pretty much in a state of paralysis as your conscious mind went through each and every step needed to drive your car to the supermarket.

Wing Chun is exactly the same , it works best when you can stop your mind interfering.

It's more effective to concentrate on focusing your "forward force" to his center line , one thing that works quite well is to think that both your hands just want to touch a spot on the center of his shirt.

One thing I used to do is pretend both my arms were hoses with water rushing out the ends at high pressure , and that water was going to find any gap to get through and hit my partners center line.

You are still at what we call "The copying stage" in my lineage , you can copy the techniques from your instructor and do them semi competently , but you don't really understand exactly how they work and where they are , and are not applicable , this will come with more experience.

As far as technical tips go , just having "forward force" focused properly to the center line is a major one , let the opponent make the mistakes and create his own gaps in his defence and let your hands "spring" through.

Let him try and trap you and you just keep your hands focused forward and keep moving forward from your stance , generally speaking unless the other person is top notch you will feel a slight rise in tension before they execute their attack and at that instant will be your chance to attack and move in upsetting his balance.

Without seeing a video of you in action it is very hard to diagnose exactly what is wrong.
But as wtx said , you have to relax , if you are tense you are just giving your partner more to work with and a direct conduit to your body to disrupt your balance and posture.

Work on relaxing the shoulder joint in particular , so that when your partner tries to pull your arm down you just let it pivot in the shoulder joint , still keep your intention focused forward but just let him pull your wrist down as your elbow goes up.

One thing that may be happening is you might be using a Bong Sau and keeping it up there to long and providing a handle for them to pull your arm down , if that is the case , then soon as you feel downward pressure change back to Tan Sau and drive it slightly upwards as you step in , this should counter the downward pull and off balance / create a gap you can hit through.

This is the only thing I can think of as to why you are getting hit so much , either that or it's a really basic error of not having your hands in the right position to protect your face.
 

wtxs

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One thing that may be happening is you might be using a Bong Sau and keeping it up there to long and providing a handle for them to pull your arm down , if that is the case , then soon as you feel downward pressure change back to Tan Sau and drive it slightly upwards as you step in , this should counter the downward pull and off balance / create a gap you can hit through.

jimbo, maybe you're not at that level yet ... but try fold/collapse the Bong and drive the elbow forward, soon as you feel he let go of the Lop, open the elbow into a Lan Sao, make sure your Wu Sao is in position .... or you get poke in the eyes like the Three Stooges. :p:p:p

By the way, that's call "flow", as stringing one movement to another, another, and ... without thinking, that's what Mook is talking about.
 
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jimbo123

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It's more effective to concentrate on focusing your "forward force" to his center line , one thing that works quite well is to think that both your hands just want to touch a spot on the center of his shirt.

One thing I used to do is pretend both my arms were hoses with water rushing out the ends at high pressure , and that water was going to find any gap to get through and hit my partners center line.
Nice concept, I'll try that tomorrow!

Work on relaxing the shoulder joint in particular , so that when your partner tries to pull your arm down you just let it pivot in the shoulder joint , still keep your intention focused forward but just let him pull your wrist down as your elbow goes up.
When you say this do you mean, not resist the laap but "move into it"? I do this sometimes.

One thing that may be happening is you might be using a Bong Sau and keeping it up there to long and providing a handle for them to pull your arm down , if that is the case , then soon as you feel downward pressure change back to Tan Sau and drive it slightly upwards as you step in , this should counter the downward pull and off balance / create a gap you can hit through.
To be honest, in my recollection I rarely use a Bong Sau in Gor Sau. I can use it in some other more basic drills but it doesn't come as naturally to me in Gor Sau. But I'll try to remember this Bong Sau/Tan Sau switch.

This is the only thing I can think of as to why you are getting hit so much , either that or it's a really basic error of not having your hands in the right position to protect your face.
I think this might be closer to the mark
 
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jimbo123

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jimbo, maybe you're not at that level yet ... but try fold/collapse the Bong and drive the elbow forward, soon as you feel he let go of the Lop, open the elbow into a Lan Sao, make sure your Wu Sao is in position .... or you get poke in the eyes like the Three Stooges. :p:p:p

By the way, that's call "flow", as stringing one movement to another, another, and ... without thinking, that's what Mook is talking about.
Yeah I'm at a stage where I'm trying to flow moves together but over thinking it!
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Problems I have:
- My partners palm always ends up in my face too quickly and this makes me panic.

You can try the following:

- use your left hand to grab on your opponent's right wrist,
- use your right hand to grab on his left wrist,
- wait for his respond, and
- react on it.
 

mook jong man

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Yes , absolutely do not resist the laap , let your wrist go down and your elbow go up so that it disperses the opponents force and also helps defend your face against the incoming punch.
But still keep forward force in your arm and have it focused forward and move in , often it will totally crush the angles in your opponents arms and leave him trapped and vulnerable to an elbow strike.

In regards to the positioning of your Wu Sau , if a hand isn't doing anything then it must be in front of your face guarding , the only explanation must be that it is too low , or off center and that is why you are getting hit , either that or the opponent is managing to trap both your hands at once.

Watch the video down below of Sigung Tsui explaining the various permutations of Lap Sau as used in our lineage , it may or may not be applicable to your lineage's way of doing things , but it will illustrate better what I was trying to explain earlier.
Let us all know how you get on.

[video=youtube_share;YWjsr7Yr5tY]http://youtu.be/YWjsr7Yr5tY[/video]
 

wtxs

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You can try the following:

- use your left hand to grab on your opponent's right wrist,
- use your right hand to grab on his left wrist,
- wait for his respond, and
- react on it.

Gor/Guo Sau/Sao loosely translate to "talking hand". Communication is an smooth flow of ideas. When "talking" with your hands, what you had suggested above is akin to an speech impediment ... interrupting the train of thought.

Outside of the Chi Sao setting, those actions equates to "chasing hands", not an good habit to get into ...JMHO.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Gor/Guo Sau/Sao loosely translate to "talking hand". Communication is an smooth flow of ideas. When "talking" with your hands, what you had suggested above is akin to an speech impediment ... interrupting the train of thought.

Outside of the Chi Sao setting, those actions equates to "chasing hands", not an good habit to get into ...JMHO.

You may not use this strategy but you can't assume that your opponent won't use it on you. You will need to be familiar with this strategy and have ability to deal with it. What if your opponent plays "chasing hands" game with you. His hands just move next to your wrists. When you try to punch him, since his hands are so close to your wrists, he can deflect your arm before your fist has a chance to reach to his face. Your opponent tries to play the striking game in your territory and not in his territory.

IMO, this kind of training is missing in the WC "talking hand". You can't always assume that your opponent will speak the same language as you do.
 

Vajramusti

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Gor/Guo Sau/Sao loosely translate to "talking hand". Communication is an smooth flow of ideas. When "talking" with your hands, what you had suggested above is akin to an speech impediment ... interrupting the train of thought.

Outside of the Chi Sao setting, those actions equates to "chasing hands", not an good habit to get into ...JMHO.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Basically correct.
 
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jimbo123

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Isn't Gor Sau about controlling your space as well? Was practising it today but the emphasis was on footwork. I am getting better I guess, I tried to be more relaxed.

In regards to the positioning of your Wu Sau , if a hand isn't doing anything then it must be in front of your face guarding , the only explanation must be that it is too low , or off center and that is why you are getting hit , either that or the opponent is managing to trap both your hands at once.

I also made a more conscious effort to defend myself with the Wu Sau. The position of my Wu Sau is okay I think but when somebody suddenly circle steps into me, I spend too much time repositioning my feet.
 

mook jong man

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Isn't Gor Sau about controlling your space as well?

Ultimately it's about knocking the other guys's block off , without getting your own knocked off in the process.
But yes you are correct it is about controlling your own space , as well as controlling many other things.

The position of my Wu Sau is okay I think but when somebody suddenly circle steps into me, I spend too much time repositioning my feet.

Without knowing the ins and outs of your particular lineages way of footwork I can't offer much help I'm afraid , except to say that it appears obvious to me that you are feeling a bit overwhelmed at combining the handwork and the footwork together.
It seems like a bit of an overload on your senses.

So I would say the best way to work on that would be to isolate the skills required , by only working on one at a time at this stage.
There are any number of ways to do this , practice your mobility by moving to either side of a pole , chair etc.
Just do hand sparring without any footwork , or do hand sparring with both partners using only one hand and with footwork.

Use footwork only and no hands , this drill was told to me by one of the esteemed members of this forum , Geezer.
My student and I performed it with both hands pulled back , and used a lot of leg jamming and attempted sweeps.
But you best ask Geezer exactly how it is supposed to be done in his lineage.

It's basically just sparring with your stance , a very enjoyable exercise and quite taxing aerobically I might add.
Both me and my student were quite wrecked at the end of that one.
 

wtxs

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Please allow me to modify what you'd wrote ...

You can try the following:

- use your left hand to grab on your opponent's right wrist,
- use your right hand to grab on his left wrist,
- Use your third imaginary hand to strike
- see how your opponent react to it.


You may not use this strategy but you can't assume that your opponent won't use it on you. You will need to be familiar with this strategy and have ability to deal with it. What if your opponent plays "chasing hands" game with you. His hands just move next to your wrists. When you try to punch him, since his hands are so close to your wrists, he can deflect your arm before your fist has a chance to reach to his face. Your opponent tries to play the striking game in your territory and not in his territory.

IMO, this kind of training is missing in the WC "talking hand". You can't always assume that your opponent will speak the same language as you do.

The WC goal is to end an confrontation quickly, efficiently, with least amount of moves. What you had outlined before is not "missing" in WC, just one of the many basic training drill/step towards that end goal.

When one/both of you engages in the so called "chasing hand" game, I'm not sure what strategy you are using ... cause neither one of you could strike or counter attack at the moment where both of your limbs are essentially "dead".

Guo Sao is about learning to use WC concepts and not get stuck in the drilling stage like lots of folks with Chi Sao, concepts which would apply later in "sparring" ... I don't think what you had suggested will be possible in an dynamic setting without getting clocked. This JMHO and you are entitled to yours.

May I suggest you go back and recap on posts #8 and #12?
 

mook jong man

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You can try the following:

- use your left hand to grab on your opponent's right wrist,
- use your right hand to grab on his left wrist,
- wait for his respond, and
- react on it.

Yeah , probably a big elbow strike straight into your sternum will be his response to it I imagine.
I don't know of any Wing Chun lineage that would immobilise both their hands like that by grabbing the opponents wrists.

The aim is to trap and strike through , not trap their hands and your own as well.
 

mook jong man

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You may not use this strategy but you can't assume that your opponent won't use it on you. You will need to be familiar with this strategy and have ability to deal with it. What if your opponent plays "chasing hands" game with you. His hands just move next to your wrists. When you try to punch him, since his hands are so close to your wrists, he can deflect your arm before your fist has a chance to reach to his face. Your opponent tries to play the striking game in your territory and not in his territory.

IMO, this kind of training is missing in the WC "talking hand". You can't always assume that your opponent will speak the same language as you do.

If his hands are close to our wrists , then he is speaking our language as you put it.
Because we are used to wrist contact in Chi Sau.

He maybe able to deflect our punch by controlling our wrist , but we can also flow around that that resistance and strike with the elbow , again there are any number of counters for this in Chi Sau.

If he is chasing our hands , then he is already on the defensive and not trying to execute his own attacks , meaning it will only be a matter of time before he is trapped and hit
The last one I suppose , would be an example of him trying to speak our language very badly
 
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