Wing Chun is a very simple solution to the problem of violent assault. You learn all about this solution with your very first lesson: hit the centerline, and continue to hit the centerline. Of course we refer to these concepts by exotic-sounding names – Chung Choi (centerline punch) and Lien Wan Kuen (continuous attack) – but the whole of Wing Chun strategy is just that simple.
In a perfect world, you could stop your Kung Fu training after that first lesson. Unfortunately, the bad guy may be no stranger to violence, and may block or deflect your perfect Chung Choi. Everything else that you learn in Wing Chun is about how to fix that problem. Every other technique is designed to either keep you from getting hurt, or to clear that obstruction so you can get back to the business of hitting the centerline.
If your strike gets blocked, you are most likely in a range we call the Close Range Clash. Both you and your attacker are in the Red Zone where you can get hit, but your hands, arms and elbows are clashing, obstructing the line of attack. You need to clear your line, while protecting yourself from strikes. This is the vital moment that Chi Sau training prepares you for.
Chi Sau is a unique part Wing Chun training that isolates that Close Range Clash and gives you the opportunity to practice key strategies and tactics. It gives you a specific format where you and your partner are in close physical contact and are both looking for openings to attack while simultaneously defending. Within this framework you learn to deal with the pressure, select appropriate tactics and apply devastating techniques.
Your first step into this world is an exercise called Dan Chi Sau, or “Single Sticking Hands.” Each partner has a very specific script of motions they will perform, and you practice with just one hand at a time. This will provide you with the foundation for all future Chi Sau drills.
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