Chi-Sao training

“sticking hands.”

The purpose of Chi-Sao training is to enhance a student’s sensitivity. What does that mean?

Quite simply it means, during combat, it’s likely there will be some contact, pressure applied by the opponent to the arms, a grab or block of your reaction.

Most untrained people would use strength to fight this pressure, and this is only useful if your opponent is weaker than you, it’s far better to learn to yield to the pressure, Creating opportunities to counter elsewhere.

Chi-Sao is not the fight; this is sometimes miss-understood by non-Wing Chun martial artist it is purely a method of training responses to pressure, to train one’s body, to not tense up upon contact.

The Wing Chun forms play an important part of Chi-Sao training, as there is a connection, in the sense that your tools and techniques, learnt in the forms, must be the same tools and techniques applied in your Chi-Sao training.

Not only is this a tactile sensitivity exercise, but students also develop good recognition and reaction speed from their practice.

Chi-Sao must be practised with relaxation and care due to the proximity of the student’s.

You can read more about Chi-Sao training here.

There are several chi-Sao stages a student will go through during their martial education.

  • Dan-Chi-Sao
  • Lok-Sao
  • Poon-Sao
  • Gor-Sao

Firstly, Dan-Chi-Sao “single sticking hands”, when a student can perform Dan-Chi-Sao with good sensitivity, will they move onto more complex drills, involving both arms, this is called Lok-Sao “heavy arms”.

The third stage and most commonly seen form of Chi-Sao is Poon-Sao “rolling arms”,  poon-sao can get more complex, because there are no set patterns, although some schools create patterns or drills to break down the training.

As the student becomes more skilful in their chi-sao experience, they finally move onto Gor-Sao “free combat”; this will involve breaking the bridge and re-connecting at various stages.

The early stages of Chi-Sao will develop by adding footwork and additional recognition elements to all drills.

More experienced practitioners will train with their eyes closed.

Chi-Sao

  • Dan-Chi-Sao
  • Lok-Sao
  • Poon-Sao
  • Gor-Sao