I was in class the other evening and watching one of my guys playing Chi Sau with a lot of ‘Hit and run’s’ as I call them. Reaching for a tap and then bouncing away in order not to be hit in return.
Now this chap is good enough to not need to do this, and I had seen it progressing over a while and getting more and more of an issue.
I explained to him that this is problematic in that the very nature of Chi Sau IS sticking hands, and NOT to lose the contact and that just because we can do something does not mean that we should (something I’ve blogged on recently) a little like when people constantly hit the chest with the back of your hand from Tan Sau, it’s almost an unwritten rule not to do so, etiquette if you like?
His problem followed two trains of thought:
Either to tap and move back (moving him away), or to strike through, locking his arm (moving his partner away).
Whichever the technique it always had the same outcome – out of range with no follow up.
Now this is bad because (connecting Chi Sau to a fight), if you are squared up in front of someone, at this point they have four weapons available to them, but if they strike and you gain a contact, you are now in a position to feel everything that follows AND take other weapons away from them.
Letting go of this advantage gives the attacker all four weapons again and you have now lost the element of surprise in informing your opponent that you have training.
If the distance is closed and you are in control, KEEP IT, do not lose it.
In Chi Sau keeping contact is the fun of the game.
A tennis match would not be fun if every time your partner served they Aced you.
Of course there is a time for the fast serve and there is a time for the exchange, train both.
You can do anything you want in Chi Sau providing two things:
You get away with it
It was your choice
Constantly giving a hit and run had become routine for him, not choice, and this is dangerous because what would happen if your attacker for hold of you and you had no idea of body mechanics studied through Chi Sau in order to deal with this?
Play close, play relaxed and keep flowing.