Fellow Wing Chun fanatic, what’s up!

It’s Rob from WingChunLife.com and as I write this I just finished off a week of Chi Sau at the kwoon. This was a special treat sifu gave all of us students because it was like a week long seminar on sticky hands. You gotta love that!

By devoting the extra time on the subject we had the opportunity to look at chi sau from different angles. I’ll touch a little on this with you today.



Beginning Chi Sau Observations…


On Friday’s class we had some new people try out the school. They were lucky to show up on chi sau week because it’s usually reserved for intermediate and advanced students at our school.

Sifu kept it easy for them. Instead of learning chi sau drills he let them experience some basic touch sensitivity.

For instance, standing in a neutral stance, hands in front, palms forward, they would push against their partner (who was in the same stance), palm to palm.

There isn’t supposed to be much force in this drill. The partners simply move the hands back and forth in a give and take dance. Both sets of palms touching each other (no feet), and keep the hands connected (sticky).

What’s interesting is this basic practice gave the beginners trouble. They would disconnect or get too forceful or swing their arms way off to the sides (far away from the centerline).

In another basic drill, sifu had them protect the centerline and move forward when their partner didn’t offer any resistance.

They start in the same position as before. But this time, instead of a blissful dance, the partners would either take away their hand (representing a lack of resistance) or launch an attack down the open center (between the two sets of touching hands). Still no footwork.

The drill had two parts:


    1. If your partner took away his hand, you moved your same hand forward because there was no resistance holding you back.



  1. If your partner released the pressure and tried to attack down the center (between the two sets of touching hands), you would use your same hand and do a pak sau (on the outside of the attacking hand) to deflect the attack off the center.


This simple drill gave the guests even more trouble. And it looked like it upset them.

The real lesson here is EVERYONE who learns chi sau has trouble. It’s normal. However, everyone who sticks with it improves.

Question, how would you like to improve faster?


The Most Common Chi Sau Mistake and The Fix…


What tends to slow most people down in their chi sau practice, especially in the early days, is the basic arm rotation.

The main reason is that most students try to jump past this step and right into chi sau attacks. I don’t blame them because that’s more fun.

But it’s a mistake.

Without the proper core rotation structure, you’re the one who will get hit… often and with ease.

If you don’t do the rotation well, you create too many openings on yourself by either leaving your centerline exposed or by dropping your hands out of position.

The structure of the rotation is the foundation for all other double-hand chi sau drills. If you don’t have this down, it’ll be little use to learn the attacks or add in footwork because they won’t be effective.


The Trick that Made all the Difference in My Chi Sau Training…


Here’s the one trick that made all the difference in my chi sau training, and it’s helped other students at my kwoon, too.

I did the chi sau rotation alone and in front of the mirror.

This simple fix helped me get unstuck and accelerated my learning.


It’s Easy to do Anywhere


You can do this at home in the bathroom mirror, or even on the road in a hotel bathroom mirror. So there shouldn’t be any excuses for not trying it.

Why does this work?

Keeping the rotation structure is difficult for most people because you don’t have good feedback on what you’re doing right or wrong. You don’t realize when your centerline is exposed (except when you get hit).

When you’re new to chi sau, you can’t ‘feel’ any of this. You haven’t built up your kinesthetic (feeling) reference points.

But practicing in front of a mirror gives you visual feedback.

You can see when your arms, hands, and wrists occupy the centerline, or not. You can see if your elbows are in (pointing down). You can see when your shoulders are too tense and which gates are covered or open.

You can easily see your structure in the mirror, adjust it, and self-correct quickly. A lot faster than trying to feel your way through chi sau with a partner.


2 Extra Benefits to Practicing Chi Sau Like This…


Another benefit to doing chi sau in front of a mirror is it allows you to calmly practice the basic rotation structure.

Practicing chi sau with a partner is information overload, especially for someone new or intermediate.

You have to deal with your energy, your partner’s energy, footwork, attacks, counters, etc. It’s confusing. And confusion slows down learning. But calm practice leads to success.

Conditioning your arms is another benefit to practicing alone. Many people’s structure, mine included, gets sloppy because the arms get tired. Personally, my shoulders start to burn and lock up.

When the arms get tired during chi sau they get heavy and tend to drop. If you get real lazy, you’ll subconsciously rest your arms on your partner’s arms. As you can imagine, this is a big mistake that your opponent will exploit.

You can’t cheat like this in front of your mirror. And the extra training time outside of class improves and conditions your chi sau muscles faster.

Once you perfect the rotation, you’ll find that all other aspects of chi sau starts to take-off and accelerate. So use it and tell me how you like it.


P.S. Take advantage of the special chi sau sale going on right now!

Learn chi sau from the masters, improve your skill at home, and sample chi sau from different lineages.

Pick up chi sau DVDs, books, and training hardware, all at discount prices.

Hurry, this sale ends soon – June 30, 2013. That’s just a few days away.

Details are right here