Chi Sau Is A Game!


To most people it is more than obvious that Chi Sau is played and considered a game.




It doesn’t even look like a fight, so why do so many people try to play it like one?


The purpose of Chi Sau is not so simple to explain, as there are so many benefits and so many variations on where people put the importance.

Benefits such as:

Development of general attack and defense skills,

Protection of centerline,

To gain the ability to find and create gaps,

Skill in reading body mechanics and understanding where thing bend and do not bend,

The feeling of engaging fast twitch fibers and muscle tension,

Close quarter defense,

Explosive energy use,


Weapon choice,

The list goes on and on, BUT..

One thing we would all agree n is that Chi Sau is NOT A FIGHT.


The results of being able to relax are sensitivity, speed of reaction, greater explosive energy, faster combinations, greater awareness and more, but all this is lost when the game just becomes about tension, force and point scoring.


If you take an ego into Chi Sau YOU WILL NOT LEARN, because it is from being hit that we allow ourselves to question, ‘What did I do wrong?’ and therefore learn and improve, rather than to just get annoyed that you were touched and only try to retaliate with more force.

Perhaps it feels to you like you should?  What did I say earlier?



Therefore IF someone is being a bit heavy, STOP MATCHING IT.

Instead of always trying to just hit and overpower, try playing at the other end of the spectrum and try to be more relaxed than your partner.


In the same way that tensions can escalate, it can go the other way.


You being more relaxed will probably have your partner feeling like, ‘Thank God for that, he’s eased off a bit, therefore maybe I can now relax’, and when you feel this happening, relax more, and down and down the tension goes.


It is always the bigger character who is willing to reduce the force, and do you know what, you might even start to learn something!


If you want to spar, spar.

If you want to grapple, get on the mats.

If you want to use strength, get on the weights.

But if you want to develop and build on the great list of benefits we addressed at the top of this page,

PLAY Chi Sau.


Grandmaster Ip Chun is 94 years old and still plays Chi Sau, marvellous isn’t it.


Now, there are some people out there who have made reference to Ip Chun (after watching a Youtube video probably) saying he’s not very good, or that when they’ve seen me play Chi Sau with him that I am not really trying, so maybe I should remind you again, HE IS 94 YEARS OLD!!!


These same people have even commented how easy it would be to defeat him through power, mm, to these people I would say just one word, IDIOTS!

It’s true that 99% of the world’s population could probably pick him up and throw him into tomorrow, but you are SO missing the point.


When I play Chi Sau with Sifu it is a soft, delicate and gentle affair, like a two people holding a polite conversation, with the finest of imperfections being picked up on, challenged and redirected.

It feels to me as though we are playing the most civilized game of chess trough our arms.

Ok, so you maybe you’re able to just shout loudly at me, does this make you good at conversation, no it certainly does not.

Ok, so you can smash your fists down on the chessboard, preventing the game from going further, does this make you good at chess, no it does not.


So, if you want to play Chi Sau, play Chi Sau, but if you just want to fight, go outside, look for the big dude, and just keep on going with the same negative attitude you’re projecting when you play Chi Sau with aggression, force and overcommitment, and unfortunately you’ll find what you’re looking for.



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