Stay in the moment!


Never try to plan ahead


A student once asked me:

“For assessments, what do you want to see when you ask to see Gor Sau?”

(Gor Sau of course meaning ‘Attacking hands’, (Which is basically normal Chi Sau))


In this case I felt this was a completely justified question because of what I often see presented through poor teaching methods, by this I mean students not offering a true exchange of skills.


To give an example, I had a guy once come to visit me, a Westerner, who had (in his words)…


“Been over to Asia to learn Wing Chun for a year, ‘the proper way’, the Chinese way”,

and might I add, he paid £4,000 for this farce!


Although this idea may sounds awesome, poetic and noble, in some ways this is such a silly thing to do, because not only did the guy pay £4,000 for the training, but he had to pay for flights & travel, twelve months food and accommodation while there, plus the fact he was not earning a wage.

Let us also not forget that he doesn’t speak Chinese and the guys at the school probably didn’t want to teach him in the first place!

All this became obvious when we linked up to play.

He was crap!


Ok, I went to Hong Kong to train too, and at that time I did not speak Chinese either, BUT, the difference here is that I was invited by Grandmaster Ip Chun himself, and, this invite was back in the 1980’s, a different approach to training completely.


So I rolled with this guy, his right Tan & Bong with left Fook Sau seemed ok, but when I went to change to the left Tan & Bong he said:


I have not trained that side!



Unbelievable, but it doesn’t stop there, he took pride in telling me before this that he had mastered….. Get this:


“All seventeen moves within Chi Sau”


I changed arm position and gave the simplest straight palm imaginable to his chest, which landed of course, to which he was shocked at being hit so easily.


This” I said,

Is technique number eighteen” and smiled.


I let him down gently but what he had been taught was rubbish, and worse than that it was pre-programmed rubbish.


Another student who visited with me said he had:

‘One hundred and fifty techniques!’




I feel as though I do not have any, and yet I could find every gap possible, and if there wasn’t one, I’d make one.


I am not bragging by saying this, it is actually the opposite.


Not thinking of techniques or trying to get into a position to perform your favorite move, will allow you to be free, free to feel what is actually happening, right there and then, so when a gap does appear you’re on it immediately and effortlessly.


‘Luk Sau, Jic Kuen’

Lost Hand, Straight Punch’

This is what we are playing Chi Sau for, not just to go through the pre agreed sequences or numbered arrangement.


Keep your positions good

Keep relaxed until energy is needed

Keep your feet close to the ground (You’re always in danger when you’re in transit)

Always think forward and feel for gaps

Oh and a little extra tip, Never do anything you cannot recover from.


One hundred and fifty moves, none of which useful, and the best one of all, £4,000 for 17 set ups?

People like that buy magic potions and sell cows for beans.


Image courtesy of Unsplash

Wolfgang Hasselm

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