Hock Hochheim's Combat Talk Forum

General Category => Unarmed Combatives => Topic started by: Bryant on April 24, 2008, 03:07:08 PM

Title: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bryant on April 24, 2008, 03:07:08 PM
How many people out there have experience with this sensitivity drill?

used properly I think it's an excellent tool for developing attributes
that are useful for very close range fighting, however I think many wing chun
people get stuck on this exercise and thus miss the point
it is a means to an end , not an end in itself

I have not seen many people
who have a real method for putting the
skills learned in chi-sao into a practical context

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Milldog1776 on April 24, 2008, 05:02:24 PM
I feel that the Chi Sao drill has a very serious point of diminishing returns. The ammount of time necessary to develop the skills learned while doing the drill vastly outway the usefullness of the of the techniques in a real fight.

The problem I have found with certain drills like Chi Sao is that it is a very effective tool if utilized while fighting someone that fights like that. As soon as you leave the structure...it is somewhat less effective.

However...Chi Sao is very good for ground training. That may not be it's intended use, but grappling utilizes a lot more arm sensitivity than say...boxing or kickboxing.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: oz man on April 24, 2008, 06:23:26 PM
Good point KM, a ground situation is definintely more applicable. You can consider it in a leg and torso sense aswell, not just arms/hands. That capitalizing on force/momentum can be vital on the ground.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: seldomseen on April 24, 2008, 07:22:40 PM

       We use it to train in the standing clinch. It's very applicable in this situation as you are trying to go for underhooks, collar/elbow, etc., And as mentioned, we also use it in grappling training in the mount and guard.

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: loyalonehk on April 24, 2008, 11:02:47 PM
Taught a bit of it tonite in fact.   8) 

It is just another piece of the pie...  Great for in close fighting, sensitivity training and adhearing to your opponent (Sticky Hands).  I've found it best to have the students close their eyes as much as possible for best results.  We apply the concept using the whole body and add mobility as skill increases.  (ie Mobile Chi Sao).  With take downs, knees, leg kicks, sweeps, trips, off balancing, etc.... 

Add weapons into the play with anchoring and explosive shifting/transitions in and out of the Chi Sao mode per say...

I enjoy it...

I like to explain the applications as such: 

Blood in your eyes
Lights out

We used to train this in a tight, single car garage with lots of bodies moving about with the lights out.  You touch and engage at random...  Thinking of finger tips as razor blades.

out ;)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on April 25, 2008, 01:11:59 AM
After reading the posts  here I went to the web and u tube to read up on chi-sao-what is apparent to  me (IMHO only)  is that the drills used are good when working with another chi-sao partner but what happens when you step out of the box and the opponent charges right over you during your blocks? Am I wrong? When a student of chi-sao comes up against the preditor lurking in the shadows and is attacked I think it is all in  favor of the preditor-this is why i reolized that training for the 3  second knockout is a  better way than spending 3  minutes blocking wrists and forearms-hope i dont hurt anyones feelings here on the comments i am passing on. white (el lobo  blanco) wolf.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: gematriot on April 25, 2008, 03:31:00 AM
Hi Whitewolf...
IMHO Sifu Alan Orr says just about everything that needs to be said about chi sau. His tape series is excellent.
Check out the clips below (if you haven´t already).
If you would like a more detailed analysis of chi sao (sometimes boring  :(), let me know.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: grlaun on April 25, 2008, 07:13:53 AM
Well its too late El Lobo Blanco!  MY feelings are hurt and I don't even do much chi sau!

I would however be aware that Mr. Webster was in the Navy and anything to do with a bunch of guys with lights out in a small room, touching each other frightens me. 

Dean was this before or AFTER the Navy?

Seriously (or semi-seriously).  I would go somewhat with what The Mill said about diminishing returns.  I think its important to develop the sesativity that Dean speaks of but not to over do it.  I believe it helps in the clinch, which can be a tough range to fight, especially if you are suprised.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: loyalonehk on April 25, 2008, 08:23:13 AM
I would however be aware that Mr. Webster was in the Navy and anything to do with a bunch of guys with lights out in a small room, touching each other frightens me. 

Dean was this before or AFTER the Navy?


Im still AD Navy.

Got a couple females in class also  ;)

But hey...  I'll try anything twice  :-*

IMO...  Take Chi Sao concepts, do your own research and play with it.  As mentioned before, "It's just another piece of the pie". 

To me it seems to aid with reaction(s) and the Trapping applications (ie Trapping, hooking  elbows to expose the V-spot and such.

I try not over kill the "Ranges" talk...  If your making contact, you're in FIGHTING RANGE.


Just a thought...  but if you commit yourself to this life style, then it would behoove you to check out all the tools of the trade.  To what depth is a personal choice. 

Traditional Chi Sao... Not for me, but add your flavor and spice it up!

websterkajupit.blogspot.com (http://websterkajupit.blogspot.com)

(the other white meat)  LOL
"Semper Fortis"
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on April 25, 2008, 08:39:12 AM
OK-some say  good  some say add to  it-some dont want to  go in a dark  room and touch heheheheh-so ill just keep reading the posts and add it as a piece of the pie-white wolf (el  lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Martin25 on April 25, 2008, 09:59:13 AM
Once you have the basic structure then go at it with the two training partners trying to hit each other and so on. Then its a fun and useful way of developing sensitivity,trapping and other skills. With a bit of protective equipment harder contact may brought in and good learning achieved. Try to avoid letting a senior beat up a less able student.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bryant on April 25, 2008, 11:18:58 AM
I don't know how other systems use chi-sao
or drills inspired by chi-sao
in the method I teach
chi sao uses three basic hand positions
Tan Sao - a palm up block / deflection
Bong Sao - a rotating elbow out deflection
Fook sao - a palm down cover
the participants alternate between these
three hand positions as they apply forward energy
and attempt to control the optimum line of attack
while simultaneously guarding their center line
as time goes by and skills improve
certain things are added or modified
depending on what the training focus is
if you play just to play then you eventually
get lost and reach a point of diminishing returns
it's important to know what you are doing and why you are doing it
so you can honestly measure if you are reaching your goals or not

many people train in a certain way without knowing why
simply because their teacher told them to do XYZ
if you ask them to explain what they are doing they are clueless

another thing to consider as a teacher is the fact that
people vary in level of intelligence and types of intelligence (ways of learning)
how do you teach in a way that allows the students
to realize his/her potential regardless of level of intelligence and or style of learning

there is a story of a old wing chun master named leung jan
who developed what is called the 40 points system
which was basically 40 specific application/techniques based on wing chun principles
I wonder how students progressed in this method as opposed  to the
more theoretical/technical styles of teaching that are very common in wing chun

then again it may have been a business decision
I think he may have charged a large fee for each point

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: loyalonehk on April 25, 2008, 12:03:04 PM
Good "point" Bryant.

We limit ourselves by imagination alone...

Chi Sao
Mobile Chi Sao with "Sticky Legs"
Add trapping, small joint manipulations, off balancing, throws, sweeps, trips, transition to weapons (knife, palm stick, side arm)....   then we must realize that we are no longer doing "Chi Sao" but expanding the borders of ancient concepts to modern applicable infighting.   

Now head butt, knee the balls and bite the SOB>

Where was I going with this??? 

Back to work  ??? :D

Oh yeah,

Good point B 8)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on April 25, 2008, 06:49:56 PM
OK-so what we are saying is use chi-sao and add to  it-i can go  for that-my question is how long does one train in chi-sao to use it effectively without saying "shit which hand goes  where and  when and dam it i screwed up lets start again partner?? Ok-maybe i am being a little silly about this-ill start over-my question is would you recommend that a instructor teach chi-sao to a civilian who  comes in to  learn self  defense tactics twice a week at your school or would you concentrate on reality tactics that would go into muscle memory and get them into a alert mode and proact when attack is emment.
After watching some vidios of Chi-sao practise and then watching for example Mr John Perkins method it appears that Mr Perkins method is more suited to the street.
I am not knocking the method only raising the question to get some thoughts on the subject-by discussing pros and cons it would seem like we learn more-

I just  looked at the clock its 347am here in camel  country and i  got to get a few more hours sleep before hitting the road and dodging the local drivers-Chi-sao wont help you on the highways here only thinking like a  kuwaite will save ones  ass-hehehheh-you all take  care-whitewolf (el lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: JimH on April 25, 2008, 09:08:43 PM
Chi Sao and Contact flow are DRILLS.
The reality of application is dependent upon how much the two,or more fighters,stay in arm to arm Contact.

All this exchange looks good in Demo but in a Real Conflict is sensitivity and movement or direction of flow that dicernible?

Me ,I do not want to exchange.
I Do Not want to maintain close in arm to arm contact,nor do I care which way his energy is going to flow next.

Close the gap ,move to an outside (close in) angle ,control the limb ,take the balance and destroy things.(elbows,knees,attack the head,neck,eyes ,nose groin and other targets)

Look at the clips on Youtube for combat Chi Sao,or Contact Flow with Perkins and look at what is being demonstarted in all the clips.
Now picture being that close and taking your foot and deliver a low angle side kick ,front kick or scoop kick down and through the knee.
The drill and training to ATTEMPT to use it for Real are Great if you have a person who just throws arms and hands.
Get a person who will take your knees,groin ,bladderwith feet ,legs or knees and the drill is useless.

Having trained in Wing Chun and having learned and done the drills,then having been in real altercations I never felt,nor tried to spend the time to feel, the attackers energy flow.

I agree with Loyalonehk once it is not a drill then "we are No Longer doing Chi Sao,we are In fighting".
"Now head butt, knee the balls and bite the SOB"

Just my opinion,based on my likes and dislikes of applicaton.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on April 25, 2008, 09:37:36 PM
Hey JimH- i knew it i knew  it  i  knew it-thank u  sir-whitewolf (el  lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bryant on April 28, 2008, 02:32:03 PM
Jim H,

That thing you mentioned about kicking
that is an excellent field of study within the context of chi-sao
is it possible to kick while in contact with someone who is applying
pressure and upsetting your balance, it can be difficult if not impossible

think about the charging counter to the clinching knee
that hock demonstrates in one of the UC modules as an example

if your balance is constantly being compromised you will not
be able to lift a leg to kick, at least not without
making your situation worse...

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Hock on April 28, 2008, 02:45:07 PM
and remember my age old motto...

"When you fell the sticky?.....KICKY!"

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: JimH on April 28, 2008, 03:57:30 PM
In Chi sao ,the Drill,one more or less wants to stay in contact so the center lines are kept more or less facing each other.
The movement off line is a quarter turn left or right with feet more or less planted,but this shift disrupts energy flow enough that the opponent is not longer at our center line,no forward pressure, and we can take their knee/legs then.

Forward pressure is taken,given and shifted,while arm contact is more or less maintained,as per the Drill.

With in the confines of the drill,shifting balance to kick is hard because of the center line being assaulted and pushed back,causing balance disruption.

If one takes the Rapid Assault/straight blast attack,and instead of trying to go into an arm contact drill,one steps off line to an outside angle and closes the gap,then one can take the attackers legs and displace them simultaneously.

In a straight line attack,if we redirect one of the first strikes launched by the attacker,we have affected their balance already and  we can launch a straight in knee /shin attack,further displacing them.

If we have an attack on the street,why would we wait for the opponent to make /launch an attack/
If the threat is recognized then we should be preempting and taking their legs to cause balance disruption before they even get close enough to attempt a rapid assault down the center line.

If we watch Mr Perkins ,and many Wing Chun instructors they do throw low line kicks during the chi sao/contact flow.
(and these are done during the forward pressure with in the drill,not even moving off line)




In the last one we see two Wing Chun Grand Masters Really Fighting.
No chi sao
No Straight blast
No verticle fist
No blocks
No parries
Nothing that looks any thing like wing chun from either man

We see off hand srikes,attempted throws,stand up grappling and take down to the floor
(The only principle of wing chun is center line to center line,NO One moved off it to any extent)

I am in an art that has throwing,so if  by happenstance,I have some one forward pushing/striking if I Cannot move off line,for what ever reason,why not grab them (hands,arms,clothing(pull them in while simultaneously scoop kicking their shin or knee sacrice throw them face first  or head into the ground)

One does not need to accept the forward pressure/strikes in reality,only in the drill.

If we watch these drill either by Wing Chun,JKD or Attack Proof/Guided chaos:
if we do not see either party bend,twist or more their spine,(spine stays errect) then a kick can be delivered by either party as balance disruption comes when the spine is shifted at the head,shoulders,hips,knees or a leg pushed or pulled,arm pushed or pulled.

Reality is not a Drill

Contact and directional intent are not held long enough  in reality for the Feeling/sensitivity to be perceived as in the Drill.

These are just my opinions and I mean not to seem an expert in these arts,nor what various people can and or cannot do in a Real Fight.
I would be foolish to tell people that you absolutely cannot kick a man in the head with a side kick if standing next to him,when I have seen Bill Wallace do just that,but I could say the majority will not be able to pull such a move off in reality.

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bryant on April 28, 2008, 04:11:02 PM
great post JimH!
I'll have to watch those clips when I get home
no video capability here at work
I'm assuming that last clip is cheung vs boztepe
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Hock on April 28, 2008, 04:19:24 PM
Yes, that last clip is the ambush/surprise fight. (lots of people have many opinions about that event, but in truth, it never would have happened if Chun wasn't such a grandoise, arrogant, over-bearing, loud mouth.)

(What happened to the famous wing chun battle punch that I see EVERY wing chun guy simulate as a ground finish? ;D ) Works really well against...a man with no arms. Those arms just get in the way!


Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bryant on April 28, 2008, 04:55:25 PM
Haven't you heard
the streets of America are overrun with armless miscreants
I enjoy Wing Chun
but Wing Chun does have it's issues , like all arts it has weaknesses
I think in learning Wing Chun I learned a way of thinking
that lead me to the SFC
1. define the problem
2. find the solutions
3. internalize solutions to make it natural and spontaneous
that's what they did 400/500 years ago(in creating Wing Chun), then some of us got stuck on 400/500 year old solutions
the problem with many Wing Chun people
is they are very arrogant and believe Wing Chun
has the solution to every self defense scenario
I can go on and on
but that's enough for now

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bri Thai on April 29, 2008, 03:56:57 PM
I remember the British martial arts magazines back in the 80's when Cheung was always prattling on about how he would take on all comers to prove his modified Wing Chun was the best thing out there.

I also remember the first reports of the Boztepe incident.  The article, supported by photos, shows a young Boztepe initially talking to Cheung, pointing to a magazine article where Cheung was issuing his challenges.  Then Boztepe informed him that he would, indeed, like a piece of that particular pie.... then they square off and fight.

Now the Cheung camp went pretty quiet for quite a while, and the official excuse was that Cheung's Kung Fu slippers were to, well.... slippery!  The Cheung camp only resurfaced a considerable time later with an amazing array of excuses, many of which contradicted each other, including:-

*   slippery slippers

*   Cheung had to lose on purpose as Boztepe's friends were holding a knife to the throat of some of Cheung's students

*   Cheung was playing with him, being careful not to hurt him

*   Cheung actually won the fight, and the film was edited....

*   Cheung was jumped on from behind

etc. etc.

My view?  A very flawed art was considered the bees knees back then.  I did it for 12 months too!  But these flaws were exposed when two so called "Masters" rolled around like to girlies in a bitch fight.  Pathetic.

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: oz man on April 29, 2008, 05:05:49 PM
Yeah i remember the old wrong shoe excuse going around. The others i hadn't heard but they don't suprise me. What a laugh!
I remember when hock had started coming to australia and then all of a sudden up pops William Cheung in a blitz magazine wearing military camo's and trying to sell his reality military style, unbeatable never seen before combat techniques.

That pretty much summed it up over here. I hope his camo slippers had some serious unbeatable never seen before grip on them.......!?
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on April 29, 2008, 05:15:36 PM
speaking of slippers-there is a add for slippers to  wear on mats for the karate kids-it will never cease ::) ::) whitewolf (el  lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: cfadeftac on April 29, 2008, 05:56:39 PM
I remember when I first started to learn Wing Chun my instructor warned me that there was something in the drills and structure of the art that made the practicioner believe they were unbeatable. Since he also also taught Judo and  Aikido, as well as attending as many Modern Arnis camps as he could, he wanted to make sure that I did not fall into the trap of believing that I was undefeatable.


Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Nick Hughes on April 29, 2008, 07:41:01 PM
Ah yes, Bill Cheung...who produced the letters from Bruce Lee and claims he taught Bruce only AFTER Bruce died.

He also has the nifty trick of claiming he's fifteen years older than he is so Kung Fu's health benefits are immediately impressive.

When I was the Chief Instructor for Bob Jones' Melbourne dojo we had an open fight night every Friday.  Anyone could show up, be matched up and put in the ring for 3 rounds of kick boxing.

Bill Cheung rolls in with two Fijiian/Samoan boxing champs who he's roped in and taught front kicks to and now claims they were Wing Chun students.

I was the only one there in the heavyweight class of the big one but wasn't - until that night  :) at least - a kickboxer.  Dave Berry - a bit beyond his prime - was the other lighter guy's weight.

Cheung would have left claiming we were too afraid to fight if we hadn't produced anyone so Dave and I went into Bob's office demanding to fight them.  Bob was apprehensive because Dave wasn't a kid and I wasn't a kickboxer but he finally relented.

I beat my guy with a TKO in the first round and Dave beat his guy so badly, in and out of the ring, that Cheung threw (literally) the towel in.  In fact, I'd always assumed the expression, throwing the towel in was a figure of speech until that night.

Ah memories....

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: oz man on April 29, 2008, 08:39:42 PM
Top story nick, there's a million about that guy.

You would have seen the claims he has been making for years about holding the world record for most punches thrown in a second...........
8.2 punches the story goes.............WOW! Thats impressive!

He does his best work with his hand, but it ain't for punching!
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bri Thai on April 30, 2008, 06:03:13 AM
I remember there used to be a guy on the net a while back called Dan Webre.  He was a Wing Chun stylist, and he produced his deadly "Outlaw Fighting System!" after being convicted and imprisoned for some offence.  People who have seen the stuff said it was appalling, the type of stuff that only the likes of Phil Elmore etc. would like (i.e. super deadly claims with no sweat or hard work involved!).

Anyways, this Webre claimed that is was "easy" to punch 12 times per second.  12 fookin' times!  I can't even tap my fingers that fast! 

Why is there so much cack in the martial arts world, and why is Wing Chun one of those at the fore front of it?
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: gematriot on April 30, 2008, 09:38:15 AM
Why is there so much cack in the martial arts world, and why is Wing Chun one of those at the fore front of it?
My two cents on the above quote...

As we all know not all martial arts are created equal. As regards Wing Chun I think that the whole Cheung / Boztepe debacle is one of the major reasons why Wing Chun went awry.
Back when that “fight” occurred Cheung was trying to break into the German market. He was stopped since he “lost face”. The WT then became the largest and most powerful organization internationally. Through clever marketing (grading schemes, extra programs, close affiliation with Budo International Magazine), the WT has created a mentality that their system is the best for self defence. THE GENERAL PUBLIC BELIEVES IT. Case in point: I had a young fellow shopping around for classes at our gym. This fellow had not had any classes before, had no other experience of any kind, etc… Within three months of joining WT he began to use group speak, “we do things this way…, our training methods are better than others… When I pointed out certain facts such as: he could hardly say WT training methods were better than anything else, WHEN HE HAD EXPERIENCED NOTHING ELSE” he retreated into his bubble and never spoke to me again. This, and many other similar anecdotes, proves to my mind that a cult like mentality floats through certain aspects of the WT.
When you add to this the fact that the primary training methods in WT have serious problems, you quite quickly get to the point where, the “whole problem is greater than the sum of the individual problems”. IMO these problems are: 1) a curriculum that is too standardized around the concept of rank slots. Example: Billy asks how to stop / handle situation X.  Under the WT model the following has been known to happen: The instructor doesn’t feel comfortable answering the question because the solution REQUIRES USE OF TECHNIQUES THAT DO NOT BELONG TO THE STUDENT´S RANK CURRICULUM. (This is quite different from withholding based solutions based on the student’s inability to perform at a high enough level – although this is frequently the justification given).
2) The fact that the Chi Sau program follows the same striated learning program can result that the interchanges displayed (Gwoh Sau) become too dependent on memory. If this occurs Chi Sau can degenerate into a game of scissors-paper-stone with far more variables. This can have two results: a type of mechanical sensitivity which drowns out spontaneity and b) a cyclic approach to training whereby a technique is learned so that it can be used in chi sau and once used in chi sau is considered to be learned.

For a better exposition of these ideas I recommend


Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on April 30, 2008, 10:47:48 AM
Bri-you asked why cracks in the MA world-i think it boils down to a  couple things.
Myself I dont get envolved with folllowing the super MAs who can do  anything-I guess at my age and where I  have  been just  lets me take what i  think is good for me and put it in my tool  box
I have seen a few loud  mouths get their ass kicked royally after sounding off to the wrong person
It all boils down to reality and i guess who gets their the fastest with the mostest if you know what i  mean. white wolf (el lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bri Thai on April 30, 2008, 04:09:48 PM
Great post.

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Ed Stowers on May 02, 2008, 10:18:33 AM
I don't claim any skill at Chi Sao.  In fact, the only thing I claim to be an expert in is being me.  That said, I'll throw my two cents worth in on Chi Sao here.  I was introduced to it under a guy named Kimo Wong who taught it in Chinatown in downtown Honolulu, in some run-down building near King Street back in the mid-70s.  Yeah, I think Jack Lord was still filming Hawaii Five-O back then--it was a while back.  I think Kimo was one of James DeMile's students, and DeMile was one of Lee's original Jun Fan people.  Kimo was a little guy, but he hit really hard.  I watched the Chi Sao stuff being taught to more advanced students, though I was never really formally trained in it being the new slug in the class.  In those days, being a new student at the kwoon, I was usually already exhausted by the three hours of station-training "conditioning" that Kimo put us through.  I was far too tired after that to even move, much less learn advanced stuff.  So, what I say here is mostly my "impression" of Chi Sao and Wing Chun in general.

I am sure it has an application somewhere.  Kimo was very fast and could tie your arms up in a second when trapping.  Chi Sao seemed more esoteric, like Push Hands in Tai Chi--neat idea, but how do you use it?  But Wing Chun seemed to depend a great deal on straight-line blast attacks, which, considering it came from the boat docks of Canton, is not all that surprising.  It works fine if you can get in close and tie up the guys arms and punch him backwards so that he cannot recover.  It works against people not trained to deal with it.  Keep in mind, a master can do a lot more than the average joe, but even they get defeated at times (back in Texas we'd say "there ain't no horse that can't be rode, and there ain't no man who can't be throwed.")

It seems to me that once a trained opponent got outside of the straigtht blast angle and hit it from the flank, the Wing Chun practicioner had to reorient hsi centerline quickly or be at a serious disadvantage.  Hitting them 90 degrees to the blast really knocks them off balance, at least the lesser skilled ones.

In terms of martial "art," where this is a replicated traditional art of Hong Kong, I can buy it...sort of like how I can buy traditional Thai Dancing or Noh theater.  It is an art.  it isn't living, breathing spontaniety.  In terms of a combat science, it has its good points, but it doesn't cover the whole ball of wax by a long shot.  It is designed primarily for street fights using fists, more approrpaite for a duel than combat.  It is not meant to be an armed combat method.

Even so, I have serious reservations about some of what I was taught.  I remember being taught the Chung Choy punch, the one where you punch straight ahead with the bottom knuckles of the fist.  It works if you hit a soft enough target and use a whip-like snap rather than body weighted force.  But one time while experimenting with using that style of punching with a karate-style hip-twist, I easily broke my hand, even though it was encased in a padded glove.  The structure of striking with the bottom knuckles is just too weak for any real force to be used, and particularly dangerous if striking a hard target like the head (read-read my dislike for punching in general in other threads.  I have learned how to hurt myself pretty good with a closed fist).  Structurally, the karate-style punch is much stronger, but I still have reservations about striking my knuckles against hard surfaces a lot (as a guitarist, I really need to protect those hands, particularly the ability to articulate my finger joints.  Having broken metacarpals on each hand once when punching, I have decided to move away from that method of striking if possible).

I think in terms of "art," the circular style of Pa Kua is probably far more sophisticated than Wing Chun.  The footwork is certainly more impressive, and not as subject to being knocked off balance.  And I think because of its circular movement, it woudl give a Wing Chun man a tough opponent if two equal practicioners were matched.  At least as far as "arts" go.

But look at these words:  "matched."  That denotes a duel or sporting type of event.  This is where all of the arts get into trouble with combat.  Real combat is no sport.  You cheat as often and as hard as you can.  He takes a stance, you grab a bat.  He pulls a knife, you pull a gun.  Real criminals kills people every day like that with very little training, and sometimes they kill even highly trained sport fighters.  I think this is where we often get into confusion.  If we're talking art let's talk art; if we're talking combat, then it's a whole different game.  The wonderul thing about this forum is the attempt to bridge this gap.  But it remains very much an entrenched way of thinking, to talk about one while using the conditions of the other.

I liked Wing Chun.  It was fun.  But there is a reason it is not taught to SpecWar operators.  It takes too long to learn (there's a lesson there), it is too restrictive in its angles, and it doesn't work well with modern weapons.  It is about a "style," an "art," not victory at all costs.  Parts of it can be useful in less-than-lethal confrontations, but only if you have drilled in it a lot.  Necessary if you plan to teach the art; not as much for combat where such hours of drill on one thing is seldom needed.

Even Bruce Lee decided to get away from Wing Chun.  If I recall correctly, he was in a challenge fight (duel) with Wong Jack Man in his kwoon--the famous challenge where the sifus of San Francisco sent their top fighter to stop Bruce from teaching gung fu to non-Chinese (a fight the movie totally screwed up, by the way).  In the real fight, according to Lee's wife Linda, Wong Jack Man quickly began running away after having taken a few of Bruce's straight fist shots.  Bruce was then forced to chase him around the kwoon, and since he was using the Chung Choy style of punching used in Wing Chun, he ended up punching the back of Man's head as he ran away.  Not only was this not very effective, it hurt Bruce's hands as well.  I believe that is the moment of epiphany (read disillusionment) when Bruce began to away from Wing Chun as his primary art, even though he incorporated much of it into his "no style" JKD .  In that context, Chi Sao is just one page in a chapter called Wing Chun.  Neither of which is the whole novel.

All of the comments about Bill Cheung I find rather disturbing.  If he is going to teach Wing Chun, teach it as an art and let it be.  There's no need to go after the combat crowd.  Why do they always have to go for notorioety, the fast buck, and the latest fad?  Whatever happend to humility and manners in martial art masters?

I guess it's easier to have a philosophy than to live by it.

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on May 02, 2008, 10:57:38 AM
Ed-excellent post-as a side note my wife and I were at the MC air station in Hawaii in the 70s-5 years to be exact-I took some lessons from some buddist monks while there-i cant remember the name of the location but it was half way down the highway leading into honalulu-what i rememebr most was the meditation time-(it killed my legs while sitting)
take care-whitewolf (el  lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bryant on May 02, 2008, 11:53:38 AM

I'm stealing this...

 "there ain't no horse that can't be rode, and there ain't no man who can't be throwed."


Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Joe Hubbard on May 02, 2008, 12:23:52 PM
Remember in the BIGGER picture Chi Sao only represents 1/4 (Forearms) of the sticking points that occur in a fight:
     - Hands
     - Forearms
     - Neck
     - Body

Block, Pass & Pin also falls into this Forearm range and much easier to pass on with less time involved.



Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Ed Stowers on May 02, 2008, 01:50:21 PM

I really enjoyed the trapping aspects of wing chun, and the class was fun...well, outside of station training; that was just hard work and suffering.

Whitewolf, I assume you mean Kaneohe MCAS.  Beautiful bay there.  I was stationed at NAS Barber's Point at the time, flying in P-3s over on the other side of Oahu and drove over to Honolulu on Saturdays for the class.  Those were the days.  Surf.  Sand.  Chinese food at Wo Fat's.  Aikido at the Hoganji in Waipahu and Wing Chun in Chinatown.  Valerie Bertinelli and Linda Carter on TV. Pie and coffee at Anna Miller's at Pearl Ridge shopping plaza.  Deployments to the Philippines.   ::)Ah, if I could only go back in time.

I do miss the place, but I'll bet it's really developed now.

I still like traditional arts.  For example, I have recently become interested in Pa Kua and Chi Kung.  However, I am interested in them from a curiosity aspect, from the viewpoint of traditional art and health, not from a combat perspective.  I think there are simpler, easier, more efficient ways to train to fight that don't involve 20 years of studying strange, esoteric, highly detailed drills and patterns.  Traditional arts simply take too long to learn to apply in a practical manner.  But as a life long hobby they're great.  I just don't consider them my combat method.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on May 02, 2008, 02:12:10 PM
Ed-your thoughts bring back memories-after retiring there i was a store detective at Liberty housre-that turned out to be dangerous as hell-the shop lifters ran in packs-one pack had a Mother of the group try to run you over in the parking lot if you came out after the thiefs-one time down at wikiki store me and a shop lifter fell through a plate glassdoor while i detained him-as far as changes to alongpo it is now all tourist-almost no bars (can you believe that) we had some wild nights there comming back accross shit  river (at the time the city was the best kept secret in the far  east)-heheheh-I tok some self defense classes in the city of olongapo also-anyhow that was a long time ago-stay  safe  whitewolf (el  lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: gematriot on May 02, 2008, 03:53:37 PM
Dear Mr Stowers
I must admit that I was perplexed by your statement that the Chung Choy punch is structurally inferior to the Karate punch. Everything I have read, experienced up till now suggests just the opposite to me. I would like to hear more on the episode in which you broke your wrist, if you would take the time.
I also second your idea that pakua is far more “philosophically coherent” than wing chun and would be interested to know if you have seen anything by Dr. John Painter, (see the link below)?
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Bryant on May 02, 2008, 05:33:33 PM
If I were to study another traditional Chinese art with any level of seriousness it would probably be Baguazhang , it is an excellent and beautiful art. although not something I would pick if I wanted quick and easy to use self defense skills. Bagua is very deep both technically and philosophically. I studied Bagua for a year at Sifu Ray Ahles school in Bergen NJ , I enjoyed my lessons , it was just too far away (1.5 to 2 hour drive depending on traffic). If I could find a competent teacher in the south jersey area I would consider studying

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: bk on May 03, 2008, 09:35:50 AM
Remember in the BIGGER picture Chi Sao only represents 1/4 (Forearms) of the sticking points that occur in a fight:
     - Hands
     - Forearms
     - Neck
     - Body

Block, Pass & Pin also falls into this Forearm range and much easier to pass on with less time involved.



Hi Joe,

Good post.

Hands = Chi Sao and "hand fighting" from greco roman with inserts, passes, strikes, arm drags..etc

Forarms= Hubad with all its inserts, passes, switchs, strikes, arm drags..etc

Neck = Muay Thai neck tie up drill with all its inserts, strikes, passes, arm drags...etc.

Body = Pummeling with all its inserts, locks, takedowns, strikes...etc.

Making them flow together for an intense "sticky" session.

Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Karl on May 03, 2008, 09:57:23 PM
Hi Joe and b_k,
I don't know anything about Chi-Sao.
I agree with you thou.

I look at it what comes to mind is the Hubbab drill with Inserts.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Ed Stowers on May 05, 2008, 09:56:03 AM

No, I think you are bringing memories back to me.  I was talking about Oahu being overdeveloped, but now that you mention Olangapo, it really gets me thinking about those days.  Yeah, all I remember were bars out in town.  What an interesting place for a single 18 year old to be stationed in the 1970s.  We deployed to Cubi Point for 6 months at a time and I would occasionally take the bus ride down to the Subic gate, cross the river and experience the town.  Anyone who wasn't there would have a hard time believing the things that went on in town.  They still had martial law in effect in those days under Marcos and you couldn't be outside if you were in town between midnight to five a.m..  I got caught out there a couple of times and couldn't leave until dawn.  I had a lot of experiences there, some good, some bad, but most of what I remember are good now as the bad ones fade with time.

There was one funny incident where I got robbed one night.  I never took much money into town and I was coming back to the gate one morning on a trike and the guy whipped into an alley and five Filipinos approached with Balisong knives and demanded my money.  I think I had 5 peso on me at the time, maybe 10 (the exchange rate was 19 pesos to the dollar at the time).  I prudently handed it over.  They didn't believe it was all I had so I let them search me.  Disgusted, most of the robbers walked away, but this one Filipino chap looked at me and said, "You come with me."  Feeling a bit worried as to what he had in mind, I was somewhat relieved when he walked out on the main street, approached a vendor, and bought an orange Neihi soda with my 5 pesos.  What is funny is what happened next.  He turned and handed the soda to me and said, "here, you need this worse than I do."  Then he walked off.  I guess he figured he needed to rob higher ranking people than I was after that.  :D


What I stated about the Chung Choy structure was just my opinion, but it was based on experience.  I've done a lot of karate and Tae Kwon Do, as well as Kenpo, Aikijutsu, and Wing Chun.  I've hit a lot of hard stuff with karate punches and never had  much of a problem.  But I definitely broke my hand hitting with the Chung Choy using a lot of muscle power.  Granted, I was hitting a steel door, practicing my Chung Choy, but I was wearing one of those Jhoon Rhee Safe-T pads at the time and felt my hand would be protected.  I suffered a metacarpal fracture, or what is known as a "boxer's fracture," where I broke the bone of the hand just under my little knuckle.  I did this while using karate style hip power when using a Chung Choy punch.  It required that the doctors at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu to reset the bone--not a fun experience--and I almost broke my other hand trying to punch the doctor after that...fortunately he had two Samoan orderlies hold me until I quit snarling.

As you know, the Chung Choy requires a straight ahead piston motion with the index knuckle forward until just before impact, when the top of the hand on the thumb side is jerked back and the lower three (smaller) knuckles deliver the blow.  When used as designed--against an opponent's nose--the cartilage in the nose lessens the feedback of the blow and the hand is fine.  But against a hard target--like a steel door or a forehead--the smaller metacarpals in the hand are just not as strong as the larger metacarpals under the first two fingers.  High impact can lead to fractures.  Also, the motion of the wrist, from angled-forwards to angled-backwards at impact (executed with a whipping snap motion of the wrist) places the wrist at a slightly "bent upward" angle on impact.  This is structurally weak and can subject the wrist to damage as well if you hit something hard or immobile.

About three years ago I broke the same spot on my opposite hand when I pounded the floor of my house in order to get my dog's attention.  Somehow, in that episode, I punched the floor rather than hammered it and struck with my lower knuckles (probably too many years of punching habits--I punched rather than hammered and without thinking).  Although I didn't break this bone as badly, it was still painful and required 6 weeks in a cast.  That messed up my guitar playing for a while and made me look pretty stupid to boot.  But that is what I mean by structurally inferior.  The karate punch uses the first two metacarpal knuckles (bigger bones that can take more impact) and a straight wrist (which can also absorb more impact). 

I can't speak for others, but I don't like broken bones; especially self-inflicted broken bones.  It seems that striking should injure the opponent, not yourself.  This is why I have weaned myself away from the Chung Choy and a dependence on punching in general.  Punches work great on soft targets, and properly thrown punches will still work on hard targets...BUT...I do not feel I can control the situation well enough in a slugfest to land proper punches 100% of the time when it all hits the fan; things just seem to happen too fast.  Wild punches mean an eventual broken hand, especially if you catch the skull wrong on hit something like your enemy's elbow.  To my mind, in such situations it's not a case of if, but when.

That's what I meant.  I can send you a more detailed account in private if you want.  Thanks for the link on Pa Kua.  No I haven't read any of his stuff yet.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on May 05, 2008, 11:43:00 AM
Ed-wow lots of  info there about punching-personally I  never took any chinese type training so what you are saying is very interesting-my first contact with punching was training for boxing starting in summer camp when i  was a youngster and taking lessons as i  got  older=I faught in marine boot camp and got knocked out  once and won once. After that did some more boxing and training-once took some lessons from a guy who won against M Ali when he was a amature-also took lessons over the years from semi pros/mma guys etc-
As far as Olongpo-I spent many  days and nights there-i was there before martial law also-us marines and sailors were the only ones not armed in town-Me and a  couple buddies were jumped once just as we got over the bridge by a few locals-I backfisted the MF in the face and that was that-they  left-i got a lot stories but ill save them for another day-
you take care-whitewolf (el  lobo blanco))
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Ed Stowers on May 06, 2008, 10:06:05 AM

Boxing is a tough sport.  You have to learn to take it as much as you dish it out.  Being a mere mortal, I have gotten--as I have grown older--to prefer to dish it out and not take it if possible.  Getting beat on a lot has to come back at you at some point in old age.  Boxers can hit really hard, and many are really confident in their punching skills.  I was too, until I broke my hand.  It helps a lot int he ring when you have your hands taped and gloves on.  Take all of that protection off and it gets iffy.  Even Mike Tyson broke his hand punching some guy out of the ring with bare fists.  it's a great sport, but I my own experience has taught me, the hard way, not to make punching my primary weapon anymore.  I need to incorporate more tools in the toolbox here in my middle age.

I remember an incident on night in Olapgapo where a kid snatched a wristwatch off a Marine crossing the bridge and was shot to death by a PC (Philippine Constabulary) officer who saw it.  The Marine got his watch back, but didn't feel it was worth it.  I didn't witness this, but I heard about it many times from different people who claimed they had seen the incident.  Life was cheap there.  I did witness a Marine toss a whole paper bag full of pesos off the bridge one night to one of those little girls who stood in the banca boats in the river.  She caught it, but it knocked her off the boat into the river.  As nasty as that river was, when she hit the water about a dozen little boys onthe edge dived into the water to retrieve those pesos.

In another incident, we had a lieutenant commander jogging down from Cubi Point on the road one day and about 40 monkeys charged out of the jungle and beat the crap out of him and left him lying in the road.  Nobody prepared you for the Mad Monkey Attack!  He spent a few days in the hospital and had some wonderful rabies shots.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Joe Hubbard on May 10, 2008, 04:21:07 AM
Nice post Brenda.  I love to string all those synergy drills together and use them regularly when teaching.  I leave out Chi Sao only because the time spent learning it doesn't equate in the rewards (if you know it already, then fine).  I use a wrist realease drill at the Hands part of that matrix which is quite combative and fun to train.


I lived in Honolulu in 77-79'.  I lived in a room above the Lollipop Strip Club on the main drag in Waikiki.  I was the resident bass player at Keone's Jazz club.  My mentor at the time was Flip Nunez- a piano player from the Bay Area who trained in Ed Parker's Kenpo and had worked out with many of the Oakland Bruce Lee guys.  Along with him teaching me Bebop jazz, he showed me one night how to split someone's face open with a power slap.  We were on a break from the gig outside the club at 0' dark hundred when a local boy approached Flip saying, "Hey Bra, why you give me big body..." and before he finished, Flip intercepted his intentions with the power slap to the face!  He explained to me that when faced with a threat like that, you either hit the guy in the middle of what he is saying or you hit him in the middle of you are saying.  A simple, easy to remember concept that has stayed with me.


Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Martin25 on May 12, 2008, 02:46:47 AM
I have had experience of plenty of of Chi Sao and Filipino energy drills.
The chi sao seems to me to be harder to learn but has a rich reward when done properly.
Beware of learning it badly and do seek out a top instructor, as many claim to know it but don't.
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on May 12, 2008, 04:43:13 AM
Joe-can you discribe  the power slap a little more-does it come from down by waist or up higher and come at a angle to the side of the face-or-either way?? Also interesting to attack in the middle of  what the person is saying or when you are talking-either way seems like the opponent is concentrating on the word while you give him a fat  smack....whitewolf (el  lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on May 12, 2008, 04:55:50 AM
Ed-just got a  chance to  read your  latest  post-Been in greece on some training in KM-those stories are something else-I was a istsgt and then SgtMaj the times i  was in Subic-as you relate their are a million stories-One night I was called to go to the local jail to check on a  complaint against one of my marines-while waitin I was called to the cell door by a Marine from another unit-he said Could I get him out -I said no he  had to  wait for his  unit -he was really shook up-there must  have  been 50  people in the same cell-it was not a good scene at  all-
As far as boxing goes-what it really does is get one to  be  able to  continue the fight while getting the shit  kicked out of them-i agree about the hands getting damaged-some of the people i met over the years who gave me lessons had hands that looked like bricks-bones had been broken and healed over and over-these guys were from the era of  boxing of the late 40s and 50s-at my age i basically trin to  strike with  palms-i also train on the heavy  bag  and do  not  use   gloves but puch 75% most of the time-you take  care-and stay  safe-whitewolf (el  lobo blanco)
Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: Joe Hubbard on May 13, 2008, 11:29:26 AM
The Power Slap is an open handed hooking strike to the side of the face, ear or neck.  The power is generated by torquing your ankle, knee, hip and shoulder (of the side you are hitting with).  This is a very effective tactic from a preemptive strategy.  For more on the verbal interupt concept, go here:


Lots of other cool drills that make up the whole progression.


Title: Re: Chi-Sao
Post by: whitewolf on May 13, 2008, 01:55:16 PM
Joe-thanks-whitewolf (el  lobo  blanco)