Chi Gerk – An Introduction to Sticky Legs
I recently started learning Chi Gerk and it’s a completely different than anything I’ve done in Wing Chun. This is because the core component of Chi Gerk is utilizing our legs and kicks. This can be hard for some people to grasp since most of Wing Chun training focuses on the upper body with only a minimum amount focused on our lower body. But the good thing about Chi Gerk is that it has two fundamental combinations whereas in Chi Sao, there are a lot more.
Here’s a basic guide to getting started with Chi Gerk.
You can start with these basic warm ups that can train your balance on one leg.
- Start with the left foot by picking it up so that your knees are ninety degrees. All the weight should be on the back leg (in this case, the right one).
- Rotate the left foot clockwise. The rotation should come from the knee not the ankle. Do ten and then go counter clockwise.
- Go back to the lifted leg position. Kick forward and backwards loosely. Do this ten times.
- Go back to the lifted leg position again. This time, swing the left foot from left to right. Do this ten times.
- In this last step, go back to the lifted leg position and hold. Count to ten.
- Take a quick ten-second break and repeat Steps 1-5 with the opposite leg.
After your warm up, get a partner and practice rolling your legs, going back and forth, and swinging them side-to-side.
This is done by getting in Chi Sao position but with out rolling the arms. Then, lift one of your legs up and bring it against your partner’s opposite leg so the outside of your leg is sticking to the outside of your partner’s. Now just roll your legs by kicking back and forth loosely. You might be off balanced so be sure to keep the weight on your back leg and make sure your shoulders are squared with your partner’s so that your centerlines are facing each other.
If you’re still falling out of position, hold each other’s hands for balance. And when you get the hang of it, try it with rolling hands. (Note: I still can’t do this.)
Going back to the two Chi Gerk combinations. There are two because there are only two ways to go about striking in Chi Gerk. The strikes are either coming from the outside or attacking from the inside and they all require shifting on one leg. This is where it gets tricky because shifting on one leg requires the momentum of your rolling leg. This has been tough for me as my legwork and balance needs a lot of work.
Why not Chi Gerk?
Throughout my entire Wing Chun learning experience, I have only had TWO classes that focused on Chi Gerk (Sticking Feet/Leg). And I believe the reason is because Chi Gerk is very advance.
To start with Chi Gerk, you need to be able to:
- Have a stable foundation (root)
- Have good balance
- Multitask between upper and the lower body while simultaneously reacting
Of course, you don’t need all these things but then Chi Gerk won’t be practiced efficiently.
I have a lot more to learn before I think it’s worth investing time in but I do have a lot of fun when I do mess around with Chi Gerk!