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Chi Sao

Chi Sao

Chi Sao is Cantonese for "Sticky Hands" and is one of the most common training tools in Wing Chun.

Chi Sao, also known as "Sticky Hands", is a unique training method to Wing Chun. Chi Sao is used to develop a martial artists awareness and understanding of their and their opponents centerline, energy, distance, space and pressure.

Chi Sao is the Cantonese word for for 'Sticky Hands' or 'Sticking Hands'

Here is a video of chi sao in action:

A video of Chi Sao in action.

Chi Sao is a complex and pretty difficult at first, but once learnt becomes a natural way of thinking and reacting for the Wing Chun practitioner.

Chi Sao is used to prepare you for more than just a fight situation. It is a tool to develop your skills under pressure and stress. Reacting or striking in a 'drill' environment - with a cooperative partner - is one thing but doing the same thing in a stressful and realistic environment is another.

Chi Sao will eventually become a valuable training tool that you can use to develop your reaction, speed, balance and structure under realistic circumstances. It will help you understand your natural body mechanics efficiently. It will help you learn when to strike and when not to strike, what holes in defense you mustn't open and how to open your opponents.

How important is Chi Sao in Wing Chun?

Chi Sao is sometimes regarded as the "essence of Wing Chun". In my opinion, this should be decided by the Wing Chun practitioner himself. There are many ways to train and many different ideas, principles in Wing Chun. Some Wing Chun guys are even entering the MMA ring - now these guys may still practice Chi Sao but I'm pretty sure the essence of their training is striking and grappling - whilst focusing on the body structure principles of Wing Chung.

So my answer is - you decide if Chi Sao is the essence of your Wing Chun.

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