How Do I Chi Sau Against Longer Arms?


This is a common concern for many people, and especially relevant when we consider that the style of Wing Chun is supposed to be designed for the smaller weaker person against the bigger stronger attacker.


In a street fight this would be very different and it is obvious that you would be encouraged to use your legs, ‘Longest weapon for the nearest target’ (The target being the knee of course!).

But this is not a street fight, this, is Chi Sau.


These days this potential problem may be more important to understand and defend when we consider the growing popularity of the art with people learning of its effectiveness, these days we see all manner and size of people are training in it.


So what do we do?

Choose our moments for a start.


In this situation I will give one golden rule.

If you are not in YOUR range, do not be in THEIRS.


A person with longer reach than you will try to keep you just OUT of your range and just IN theirs, so again I would say.

It’s YOUR range or no-ones.


It can be an uncomfortable situation to be in when your arms are long, to have someone shorter than you, right inside your positions, think like the Terrier fighting against the Doberman.


But how do we get in?

By getting THEM to walk into it!


While rolling, step back, and as they walk in, BAM!


If you were in a Fook Sau position as they land, then a Turning Punch would be THE only choice:

And if you found yourself in Tan and Bong at the time of their stepping in after you, very likely a Pak – Fak Sau would be the order of the day:

Or should you be in half and half as they step, then you may well be delivering a Lap and Fak Sau.


This same distance can be closed by breaking off to one hand and then stepping back in with a Pak – Punch, but instead of using the Pak, try using a Jut (Jerking hand) with the intension of not only drawing them into you (As is the purpose of this technique) but also accelerating you into them.


Whatever you decide to do remember these few points:


‘You are always in danger when you’re in transit’


‘Always expect that when the distance closes, there WILL be an attack in mind, if not from them, from you’


If YOU are thinking it, so are they!

Good luck and happy Chi Sau


The clip below is of one of my Students, Sifu Matt is 6’7″

Grandmaster Ip Chun is 5’2″  🙂


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