You’re Always In Danger, When You’re In Transit! (Part 1 of 2)


If Ever There’s A Problem With Your Hands,

Let Your Feet Sort It Out


If anyone has ever had the pleasure of going to Hong Kong, and train at the Ving Tsun Athletic Association (The VTAA, Ip Man’s school), and in particular under Grandmaster Ip Chun (Ip Man’s eldest son), you may well have noticed that during class, he spends a lot of time looking at the floor…

Now this is not due to any lack of interest, quite the opposite actually, he is looking for good footwork, because it is only when he sees good footwork that he then looks up to see what the arms are doing.


I remember my Sifu (Ip Chun), explaining to me:


“Too many people watch Chi Sau up close, staring only at the hands,

When really, you should step back to see what the body is doing as a whole,

That, is how Chi Sau should be played”


Have you ever tried to use a technique in Chi Sau and found it not so successful, and yet someone else is doing the same thing and it always seems to work?

Often the reason for this, is that you may be doing the technique on its own, whereas the other person is adding spice to it, not in any singular way, but instead through several little extras.


For instance, we all know Bong/Lap/Fak Sau, but to execute this as a solo move, would quite possibly be telegraphed and therefore unsuccessful, because to get the best from this move, or should I say, ‘knowing when best to use this move’.


I say this because:


‘Never get into a position to do a technique,

Do a technique from the position you are in’


By this I mean, trying to set up a move, is a bad idea for so many reasons:

It takes time,

It’s unrealistic,

It takes your mind away from thinking defensively,

It stops you from being in the moment,

And most importantly, your reaction training to a situation, will be dictated by your opponent, NOT by you.


So, going back to, ‘knowing when best to use this move‘, a Lap is best used when someone is pushing (you cannot Lap a relaxed arm), but there is nothing wrong with encouraging the engagement is there??

If two people only ever rolled super relaxed, nothing will ever happen, and not only could this be very boring (although there is definitely a time for it), but it would have zero connection with that of bridging the gap between class and street work would it?

Therefore, pressing forward a little, to test the water as it were, can be a good thing, crossing your arms a little too, the reason being that if your partner begins to follow this crossing, and/or, begins pushing back at you too, then THIS could be the perfect opportunity to use the Bong/Lap/Fak Sau.


This is the difference between a technique working and not working, footwork however can change things even more.


It is vital that we understand how we can use stepping to our advantage, and equally so, to not have it used against us.


In this first class clip, I show how stepping can assist you when against even the best defenders.


Thank you for watching,

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