Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Chi Sau interlude

For the best part of twenty years now I've been disappearing to training several evenings a week. Not unreasonably people ask me - 'what do you actually do there ?' So as some sort of answer I've included this clip of a couple of my Wing Chun brothers playing chi-sau at our school. Apologies for the Blair Witch quality of the footage - and the squeaking is coming from rubber soles on a wooden floor, we don't really train in an aviary.

One very important point to make - when clips like this go up on YouTube or wherever it usually provokes a barrage of negative comments from Walter Mitty types who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag saying 'but that would never work in the real world'. In answer to that - this is a clip of chi-sau not fighting - it's two old friends playing an exercise which has been developed to condition body positioning and mechanics, techniques and reflexes.

Did I mention that it's also fun ?


Madam Miaow said...

It's not just about whether the actual moves work in real life (good kung-fu sifus teach moves that do), it's about developing sensitivity by feel and not just sight. Chi sau is amazing for doing this and I miss the practise.

Thanks for the interesting video post. These guys look good. My only query is that they separate quite a lot more than they should for the sensitivity aspect. But you can see these guys are going to be effective in a ruck, especially the one in the white T-shirt.

Journeyman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Journeyman said...

Thanks - you obviously understand what chi-sau is about - it is a much misunderstood concept.

At our school we do tend to be more mobile than some - and there is quite a lot of 'entries' going on in this clip. But we also spend a lot of time in more static lok-sau practice developing sensitivity.

Quite often in the course an evening working with a partner we will naturally build up from lok-sau into a freer play as you see here.

The guys in the clip are both friends that I touch hands with regularly so obviously I am biased - but I would vouch for the fact that they are both effective fighters.