Ever Feel Like You’ve Stopped Developing?
Strangely enough this occurs with improvement.
We can think of Chi Sau development building in stages:
First we learn the positions,
Basic attack and defense,
Footwork and grounding,
And then things start to slow down…
Skill levels begin to be measured in how fast we can defend, switch off, and then redirect, without lingering with tensions or need for celebrations.
It is at this stage where the skill really is, how fast can we switch the energy off and react without thought, using automated reactions previously instilled without our knowledge through drills, developing our ability to continue attacking, defending, or both, to stay in the moment and flow, without the extreme peaks and troughs of overreaction.
It is this ‘leveling off’ which often gets mistaken for lack of development.
So when things start to level off like this you must not become downhearted, it just means you’ve less obvious things to work on and more work in refinement.
A golfer may practice for ten years to get a 20 handicap down to a 3, but then take another ten years to get that 3 down to a 2.
With improvement comes a slowing down of our visible changes.
Our improving in Chi Sau starts to show itself through our ability to mold these skills to other styles of rolling, and not by just matching them, but instead trying to use what we know as a way of finding gaps.
Don’t try to beat someone with a game you are not familiar with, try to see what your opponent is good at, then, just take it away from them.
This is like playing a game of snooker and discovering that your opponent is not very good at long shots, so what do you do when there is not chance of potting a ball and no chance of forcing a snooker?
You leave your partner a long shot, never allowing them to find their comfort zone or allow them to get into their groove.
This is how you take away what they are good at and stack the odds in your favor.
Then, you’ll find again the development and progress you thought you’d lost.