In this blog post, we are going to discuss some of the different ranges in Chi Sao. We are also going to answer some common questions that get asked.
In this Kung Fu lesson, online Sifu Phu Ngo talks about fighting at 2 different ranges within Chi Sao.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both ranges. Ideally, you would want to be able to play in both ranges.
When your opponent is further off you have more power to push, however, you have less control of your opponent.
When your opponent is closer to you, you can control your opponent better, however, you lose some of your power.
There is a give and take aka balance in everything. Some folks mistake Wing Chun Chi Sao’s training for fighting. Chi Sao is not fighting, it is a way to bridge the gap between training sensitivity and sparring.
Both Chi Sao and sparring can help you prepare for a competitive match or fight. One of the most common reasons a person loses a fight is that they have an adrenaline dump.
Simply put, they lose their game. What is left is a person who is confused, disoriented, and no longer has the desire to keep fighting. Essentially they end up losing themselves. We strive to be ‘cool, calm and collected under pressure. Training in Chi Sao helps to achieve this.
Related Chi Sao Questions
What is Chi Sao?
Chi Sao is a sensitivity game that teaches the practitioner how to anticipate the actions of their partner by sticking to their opponent’s arms. The practice starts with 1 person holding a Tan Sao and Bong Sao while their training partner is holding 2 fooks on top of their partner. The person with the tan and bong would be considered to be on the inside, while the person holding 2 fooks would be considered to be on the outside. The objective is to land strikes or trap their opponent.
How Do I Learn Chi Sao?
It took me 5 years of learning Wing Chun before I started learning Chi Sao. This is because Sifu Phu wanted to make sure that I understood the basics before moving to the more intermediate level of Wing Chun. The progression looks like this. You first learn Sil Lum Tao And Chum Kiu.
The first 2 forms in the martial art system. In our Ngo Dac Na Wing Chun, we learn to play a game we affectionately call the game of hands. This game teaches you to use your basic deflections and entry moves. The game also introduces you to the concept of flowing.
After some time passes, (it’s different for everyone) you will be ready to learn and train don chi sao. This exercise prepares you to learn Chi Sao. Finally, after some patience, lumps, and bruises you are ready to learn arguably the most important training you will ever get in Wing Chun, Sticky Hands AKA Chi Sao.
How Can I Practice Chi Sao Alone?
I added this question in because it gets asked frequently. While there are hundreds of different training tools a lot of different things you can do to train alone. Chi Sao unfortunately isn’t one of them. There are training devices like a chi sao spring arm which are connected to a chi sao trainer. So you can train some aspects alone. But the most important lessons you learn from Chi Sao come from practicing with a partner.
Chi Sao Wrap Up
Chi Sao not only trains your sensitivity skill it is also a good way to gauge how well you are doing against others in a safe environment. While Chi Sao isn’t fighting, it’s the closest thing to a fight you will get. It’s sort of like sparring. It’s not fighting, but it can be close depending on who you are training with.