South Florida Wing Chun
Kung Fu Academy

A Lesson In Chi Sao

Chi Sao is an instrumental tool in the development of Wing Chun. The intent during the practice of chi sao is not to see how many times you can whack your opponent in the face or the chest. The intent is to try and learn to produce and dispel energy through the utilization of proper technique, while maintaining the mindset of simultaneous block and defense through continuous attack and defense. 

Competitive Chi Sao has a tendency to develop a few sets of "favorite" attacking patterns, and spends little time on developing new strategies or working on defense.  This goes completely against the true purpose of Wing Chun which is to free the student of predetermined patterns and techniques.  A good Wing Chun fighter is to react only to what he feels and sees, not enter with prearranged attacks. 

Chi Sao is about developing the mind of the fighter through utilization of reflex movements of the body.  The real test of chi sao is about what happens after the first 5 to 10 minutes. During that time both Chi Sao practitioners have had time to feel out each others energy, techniques, etc. This is when real Chi Sao begins, because the remaining session will be about exploiting your opponent's energy. The true ability of the practitioners will be realized by the end of a session when one easily dominates the other and will do so again and again each subsequent time they touch hands. Once you learn to control someone's energy, they can't touch you again until they improve their own.

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