Ip Man

Believe it or not but I’ve come to realize that a lot of Wing Chun is, what I would consider, a soft art.  Attacking the center-line is a “big” concept in Wing Chun, and when you’re not attacking your developing an opening for an attack.  This makes for a very “hard” style of WC at a lot of schools, and creates very competitive Chi Sao.  Two people with arms  flexed tightly as possible, pushing against each other.

During Chi Sao, a common defense to an attack is  to project your defense toward your opponents center, a Tan that turns into a Bil, for example (for a cross arm attack).  This makes many beginners feel that you always need to project forward, but all rules are meant to be broken.

When Chi Saoing with less experienced students, the Lap Sao (pulling the cross arm) is shocking.  I see people leaning into Chi Sao, bigger people like to do this to control the exercise, step to the corner and Lap, and if you’re up for it don’t forget your Chi Gerk (sweep the leg Johnny).  Remember that “soft” does not mean slow, to often I see soft movement being done slow.  If your partner is already being aggressive enough to lean into you, you’re not going to get away with doing this slow.

A nice firm push can set up a pull.  Push, pull, strike.  Don’t be afraid to turn your body,  “face their center-line” is more like a guideline then a rule.  If you find your getting a lot of pressure from any direction, consider redirection to create an opportunity.