Benefits Of Playing Relaxed


Getting the most from the game


Over the last 40 years I have heard many strange things mentioned of Wing Chun, ranging from the idea that you can take on 10 Karate black belts (as they saw it in a movie), and that you can punch so fast that the fight has ended before your attacker even had the chance to move, right down to the less impressive comments, usually involving Chi Sau.


Unfortunately this is often down to that individuals lack of knowledge to what lies within the style itself, ignorance in fact, a little like saying to Mike Tyson that he looks silly playing with a skipping rope, although to be fair, you’d only say it once (and I’d love to see you do it!).

The point is that, any singular element taken from any Martial Art, can easily look out of place, until you know, appreciate, and begin to understand, how it compliments the overall outcome of what that style has to offer.

I will often refer to exhibiting a spark plug from a new Ferrari as something impressive, when singularly it is perhaps not so, and yet it may be vital in the enabling of that machine to work at its best, provided that your wish is to race that car, just as Chi Sau can be vital if your only goal for Wing Chun is to be reactive in a street situation.


I say this because there are SO MANY more benefits to training Wing Chun, other than its self-defence elements.


Chi Sau teaches us body mechanics, where things bend and do not bend as it were, to vertically grapple, to feel our opponents next move, feeling for gaps etcetera and all the while, being able to apply explosive energy in attacks, wherever and whenever we feel the opportunity presents itself.


But in order to fully appreciate the skill behind this, we must often focus on the finite detailing, and not just barge through.


‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean to say you should’


One of the most ridiculous things I have heard regarding Chi Sau, is people saying things like;


“Ip Chun isn’t that good, I could pick him up and throw him!”

Of course you could you idiot, he’s 99 years old!


However, if you were to play a game of relaxation in your Chi Sau, you would notice his amazing ability to feel the slightest imperfection in your roll, and change the direction of this in such a way as to leave you potentially vulnerable.


To me, THIS is what the game is about.


Unfortunately, especially in the West, people tend to immediately connect their Kung Fu/Wing Chun/Chi Sau training, directly with that of the street, and therefore create tension, and in doing so, not fully utilise the beauty within the playing.


From time to time, I like to ask my students to train in such a manner, that they try to roll MORE relaxed than their partner, eliminating the need for fear control, enjoying the experience, and allowing yourself the chance to really FEEL what is actually going on.


In the clip below, we played in such a way, and afterwards there were some real breakthroughs, and ‘lightbulb moments’.


I would like to thank the students for sharing their experiences and do please try this method of practice yourself.


Thank you for watching


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