MightyBands, home gym system

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Is Chi-Sao?

What is Chi-Sao? Commonly translated as "sticky-hands", chi-sao is a two partnered activity, in which contact is always maintained and from that, partner A tries to hit partner B and vice versa. It's pretty much the soul of wing chun and, of its many benefits, the primary one would be the development of tactile reflexes.

I'm sure most of you know this. So let me tell you what chi-sao isn't:
  • It isn't fighting
  • It isn't a measure of one's fighting skill
  • It isn't required (to be a good fighter)
Many wing chun'ers get caught up in chi-sao and focus their entire time practicing it. Easily, the other variables such as bridging distance, endurance, no-contact and peripheral vision are left on the back burner.

I always find it interesting that when someone with wing chun experience wants to check out another school, for some reason, they do a 'pseudo-chi-sao challenge fight." Why don't they just fight instead? I don't understand that.

Sure, maybe the other guy is not so good at chi-sao, but if he can tackle the chi-sao expert...hey, you tell me who's got good kung fu?

Take this video, for example. It's called "Superior Blocking"..which i think should be revised to "Superior Waste of Time". There's nothing behind the hits...just 'Tapping"..maybe they're just being nice. But, you can still be nice and controlled but really have a good, nicely placed fist that's ready to hit. It's just tap-tap-tap and it really looks like even if the hits get to its targeted, it really has no effect.

What's the point of tapping? if you had the choice to have one knock out right punch or a plethora of tactile reflexes for superior blocking and different angles of attack..which would you have? I'd opt for the knock out punch.

So what is chi-sao to you?

Until then.

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