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Chi Sau Basics 
by Michel Boulet

Once a student has a certain understanding of Wing Chun’s basics, he can commence his practice of Chi Sau. Dan Chi Sau, the single sticky hands exercise will develop the proper sense of sticking and reacting on an incoming force. This exercise is routine and the focus should be on the proper positioning of the few hand techniques.

The fun begins with the “double hands” Chi Sau. There, there are no more predetermined sequences apart from the rolling motion. Once this basic rolling motion and it’s implications are well understood, practitioners are free to attack at will the instant they feel a hole or weakness in the training partner’s defensive structure. Timing and a sense of opportunity will gradually emerge from good practice but be aware of some common mistakes.

Many people use too much muscle in Chi Sau. They try to force in the attack without having first defeated the training partner’s defense. All attacks should be the result of a clear line to the target. Even a partial defense will rob a punch of a great deal of it’s power. Remember that you are not playing tag!…Be sure that the hits could be real hard shots….Just in case you need them someday on the street. So, the principle who would fit this advice could be: Hit when you should…Don’t hit when you should not. One other important detail is the distance. The proper distance should always allow you to punch trough your opponent. A straight arm punch at a few inches from a face only means that you were too far away to deliver a good attack. Wing Chun is a close fighting system.

Learn to be flexible in the mind also. Thinking too much about the next trick to be tried on the training partner is one of the best ways to end up with a fist looking at our nose. There should be no thoughts or planning ahead during Chi Sau practice. Think about it. What are you going to think about if somebody attack you on the street?…At nothing because there will be no times to think. That’s it. Chi Sau’s function is to train you to react and act in a natural way, using a few simple techniques based on some also simple principles. Calculating and predetermining moves is a waste of times (IMHO)

Also, a thought is exactly the same as a stiff arm. It produces the same bad result. If a fast attack comes ,you have to disengage an arm’s stiffness if you want it to act fast and relaxed. You have also to disengage a stiff mind to allow it to command the proper action from the body. It is that simple.

Have fun and do your best to learn from your mistakes.

Michel Boulet 

Yip Man -> Ho Kam Ming -> Augustine Fong -> Patrick Gordon -> Michael Boulet
About the Author:   Michel Boulet believes that the real mastery of Wing Chun is a life long endeavor, he maintains a humble and open attitude toward his art and does his best in giving his students as much personal attentions as possible, keeping nothing for himself.

Copyright (c) 2006 the Wing Chun Archive and Michel Boulet 2/21/06 

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