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Thread: What is the purpose of chi sau?

  1. #1

    What is the purpose of chi sau?

    A controversial opinion from Saul Goodman/Nobody Important/dlcox on Martial Talk:

    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Goodman
    Why? That logic doesn't make any sense, the entire purpose for seeking out new methods, tactics or strategies is to incorporate to fill a deficiency or improve upon an existing method. The entire premise is to make the new addition cohesive with the existing one, and improve the overall method making it more utilitarian. Especially with a method like Chi Sau, that is essentially nothing more than a fancy version of pummeling. Understanding how other, similar methods are used and deployed allows us to enhance our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses other methods and what we can do to improve ours.
    Is chi sau a method of pummeling? If so then what is it developing and why?

    Opinions welcome.

  2. #2

    Hmm . . .

    First, I would like a little more context to the overall conversation, could you post a link to the full thread on Martial Talk please?

    Second, the statement "Especially with a method like Chi Sau, that is essentially nothing more than a fancy version of pummeling." really is a poor assessment of Chi Sau. Now I don't want to make Chi Sau out to be something more then it is, tool development, but to call it nothing more the "fancy pummeling" is to undercut it way too much. I would worry Mr. Goodman lacks a complete understanding of what Chi Sau does and develops at the different levels students practice. I've see, and I'm sure you have as well, a lot of people that use Chi Sau to "pummel" or slap around their training partner lack some basic skills such as developing proper control (both of them self and the other person). May also be a sign that they use Chi Sau in place of actual sparring.

    Again, there is as good amount of context I'm missing and I don't actually know you or Mr. Goodman. In order to have a better understanding I'd need to see a video explaining what he means. Unfortunately forum posts can easily lead to misunderstanding due to terms and ideas being lost in translation. I'm not a high level Wing Chun player. These are just my opinions base on my basic understanding of things and some bad habits I've seen others do and have also had to break myself of doing.

    Best of luck with training.
    Last edited by ThatOtherWCGuy; 06-28-2017 at 08:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    Well, I think he's talking about his mainland Wing Chun lineage, which is focused more on standing grappling than striking, as far as I've been able to tell. So, his interpretation of chi-sau is going to be wildly different from Yip Man lineages that train for striking.

    They are in essence very different martial arts that perhaps share some distant history and an exercise vaguely similar in appearance.

    For my lineage, just looking at basic pun-sau, it can almost be seen as a body brace of sorts, that puts both practitioners into correct alignment, training the proper muscle connections to be developed for the punch, while exchanging forces with their partner in mutual development; a loaded structure training.

    This is something that can't really be trained so well solo. But, the point is not at all to try to fight while attached to the opponent's arms. That's a complete misconception of what is actually being trained. An easy misconception to come to if one doesn't receive clear explanation in training.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by LFJ View Post
    For my lineage, just looking at basic pun-sau, it can almost be seen as a body brace of sorts, that puts both practitioners into correct alignment, training the proper muscle connections to be developed for the punch, while exchanging forces with their partner in mutual development; a loaded structure training.

    This is something that can't really be trained so well solo. But, the point is not at all to try to fight while attached to the opponent's arms. That's a complete misconception of what is actually being trained. An easy misconception to come to if one doesn't receive clear explanation in training.
    This is worth repeating

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOtherWCGuy View Post
    First, I would like a little more context to the overall conversation, could you post a link to the full thread on Martial Talk please?

    Second, the statement "Especially with a method like Chi Sau, that is essentially nothing more than a fancy version of pummeling." really is a poor assessment of Chi Sau. Now I don't want to make Chi Sau out to be something more then it is, tool development, but to call it nothing more the "fancy pummeling" is to undercut it way too much. I would worry Mr. Goodman lacks a complete understanding of what Chi Sau does and develops at the different levels students practice. I've see, and I'm sure you have as well, a lot of people that use Chi Sau to "pummel" or slap around their training partner lack some basic skills such as developing proper control (both of them self and the other person). May also be a sign that they use Chi Sau in place of actual sparring.

    Again, there is as good amount of context I'm missing and I don't actually know you or Mr. Goodman. In order to have a better understanding I'd need to see a video explaining what he means. Unfortunately forum posts can easily lead to misunderstanding due to terms and ideas being lost in translation. I'm not a high level Wing Chun player. These are just my opinions base on my basic understanding of things and some bad habits I've seen others do and have also had to break myself of doing.

    Best of luck with training.
    This thread, post #49

    http://www.martialtalk.com/threads/w....124800/page-3

    I think that Nobody Important here shows that his system is not like YMVT at all, and how commenting on one system from the perspective of another can lead to large misunderstandings.

  6. #6
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    What it boils down to is reflex and impulse training to be used in combat. When performing Chi Sao, it can be used for many things, from a training platform for technique development, to sparring from contact. Either way, you're developing many skills here such as dealing with incoming force, protecting yourself from strikes, finding openings to strike, and of course sticking. So it can be you learning to respond to your opponents movements, or it can be a competition of sorts... or anything in between, depending on what you're doing at the time.

    I went into the Gracie Barra BJJ school and rolled with their instructors, using my Chi Sao on the ground and gave them some serious problems. It's a platform with many application.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bino TWT View Post
    I went into the Gracie Barra BJJ school and rolled with their instructors, using my Chi Sao on the ground and gave them some serious problems. It's a platform with many application.
    This is laughable, can you describe how you gave them trouble. I trained in WC briefly for three years, and I can not fathom how you gave a BJJ instructor problems.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by guy b. View Post
    A controversial opinion from Saul Goodman/Nobody Important/dlcox on Martial Talk:

    Is chi sau a method of pummeling? If so then what is it developing and why?

    Opinions welcome.
    I would say it depends. For Saul Goodman I have no idea of his method of practicing chi sau. To him it may be a pummeling drill. However, I wrestle also, and do BJJ. If you really have to limit yourself to bad wrestling analogies to describe chi sau, I would say it is more similar to the entire wrestling grip fighting spectrum and variations including shot entries and setups as opposed to just pummeling if you are training it anywhere near correctly. Because that would describe a wrestler's range of bridge skills.

    Chi sau is developing short range fighting skill when trained correctly.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bjjkk View Post
    This is laughable, can you describe how you gave them trouble. I trained in WC briefly for three years, and I can not fathom how you gave a BJJ instructor problems.
    This. Maybe some chi sau preventing grips in grip fighting. But I also am a BJJ instructor and LOL at anyone giving me a problem on the ground with only a chi sau training background.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bino TWT View Post
    What it boils down to is reflex and impulse training to be used in combat. When performing Chi Sao, it can be used for many things, from a training platform for technique development, to sparring from contact. Either way, you're developing many skills here such as dealing with incoming force, protecting yourself from strikes, finding openings to strike, and of course sticking. So it can be you learning to respond to your opponents movements, or it can be a competition of sorts... or anything in between, depending on what you're doing at the time.

    I went into the Gracie Barra BJJ school and rolled with their instructors, using my Chi Sao on the ground and gave them some serious problems. It's a platform with many application.
    Hey Bino,

    I'm with you on the multi-faceted aspects and applications of chi sau.

    But dooooooooooddddddeeeeeee. Last paragraph there?

    On the ground side of things I'm happy to have some Texas connections in BJJ from the Carlos Machado lineage. In fact the instructor who promoted me to blue belt lives in the general area. His name is Taryn Douglas. I hate to say it but there is nothing more he would love than a call from me saying some wing chun guy wanted to test out his skills on the ground and had given some Gracie Barra people trouble according to him. Let me know if you want to test out the reality of your last paragraph there.

    Peace out.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by LFJ View Post
    Well, I think he's talking about his mainland Wing Chun lineage, which is focused more on standing grappling than striking, as far as I've been able to tell. So, his interpretation of chi-sau is going to be wildly different from Yip Man lineages that train for striking.

    They are in essence very different martial arts that perhaps share some distant history and an exercise vaguely similar in appearance.

    For my lineage, just looking at basic pun-sau, it can almost be seen as a body brace of sorts, that puts both practitioners into correct alignment, training the proper muscle connections to be developed for the punch, while exchanging forces with their partner in mutual development; a loaded structure training.

    This is something that can't really be trained so well solo. But, the point is not at all to try to fight while attached to the opponent's arms. That's a complete misconception of what is actually being trained. An easy misconception to come to if one doesn't receive clear explanation in training.
    So LFJ what your lineage progression on chi sau? Thx.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayfaring View Post

    On the ground side of things I'm happy to have some Texas connections in BJJ from the Carlos Machado lineage. In fact the instructor who promoted me to blue belt lives in the general area. His name is Taryn Douglas. I hate to say it but there is nothing more he would love than a call from me saying some wing chun guy wanted to test out his skills on the ground and had given some Gracie Barra people trouble according to him. Let me know if you want to test out the reality of your last paragraph there.

    Peace out.
    You and I both know Wayfaring that he will not take you up on the offer. Which is a shame, if he did he might learn something useful.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bjjkk View Post
    You and I both know Wayfaring that he will not take you up on the offer. Which is a shame, if he did he might learn something useful.
    I was actually following this up on that other forum. He did post up his roll with a GB professor. It was a private video so wasn't going to post it here - let him if he wants.

    The sequence is basically he is chi sau fighting against grips - starts standing - GB pulls guard or sits down basically, then guard sequence lasts a bit with chi sau, then a scissor sweep, mount, and arm triangle finish. GB prof was going about 30-40% looked like.

    Props for getting in there and mixing it up but certainly not something to be bragging about, which he isn't really.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayfaring View Post
    I was actually following this up on that other forum. He did post up his roll with a GB professor. It was a private video so wasn't going to post it here - let him if he wants.

    The sequence is basically he is chi sau fighting against grips - starts standing - GB pulls guard or sits down basically, then guard sequence lasts a bit with chi sau, then a scissor sweep, mount, and arm triangle finish. GB prof was going about 30-40% looked like.

    Props for getting in there and mixing it up but certainly not something to be bragging about, which he isn't really.
    well actually he is he is saying he gave them serious problems, the video apparently shows him swept and arm triangled by someone going at less than 40%, theres a dichotomy between those two things

    And after watching his video posted of the retreat I would be staggered ig any grappler had any issues with his group

  15. #15
    I agree with Frost, he was kinda bragging. This reminds me of a new white belt we had in my academy awhile ago that was training armbar drills from guard with a brown. After class in the locker room he was saying he tapped a brown, lol.

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