Chi Sao Sessions with Other Wing Chun Lineages
Meeting Different Wing Chun Lineages and Styles
I met Benny at a family barbecue. We started talking right away once I heard him mention Wing Chun. We talked about our experiences with the martial art, who our Sifus are, and our lineages. I discovered that his Sifu learned directly from Wong Shun Leung and I told him my Sifu learned directly from Ip Chun, so we’re both from the Yip Man lineage.
We eventually Chi Sao. It’s always interesting to Chi Sao with different people because everyone has their own style, even if we learn from the same teacher. I’ve also had Chi Sao sessions with other people outside of class before and it was always a mixed experience because it would either end in a draw (meaning our defenses/offenses negated each others strikes) or I get smacked up! So this was a new perspective for me to Chi Sao someone where I had more experience.
I was very casual with Benny because he was new to Wing Chun and just started learning Chi Sao. One thing I noticed right away was that he was not protecting his centerline, which was the same for me when I started but when I mentioned that to him, he said he would Pak the attacks aimed at his centerline. So I tested his defense by attacking his centerline but he wasn’t able to react fast enough.
The next thing I noticed after several minutes of Chi Sao was that he never switched arms when rolling. His “resting” arm was also not resting at all so he was rolling with both arms while I had one arm rolling and one arm resting.
After half an hour of Chi Sao we stopped our session, asked each other questions, and discussed the differences between our styles. Benny asked me about shifting and I told him I shift using the middle of our foot whereas he does it on his heels. Some differences that I noticed between Wong Shun Leung and Ip Chun, from our Chi Sao session, was that Ip Chun style is more focused on the centerline and being ambidextrous when striking or defending.
Even though we had different Wing Chun training, he was able to pick up a few things from our Chi Sao session. More importantly, we both had fun being able to Chi Sao and discuss Wing Chun!
Here’s a video of me doing Chi Sao with another lineage! Let me know if you can spot the difference in our style!
The only thing I was focusing on in the video was trying to land a clean strike on my friend Marc. He made it very difficult because he was constantly applying pressure and not giving me a clear opening to strike. I do land a few strikes but they were not clear or precise compared to the one’s that Marc landed on me. He’s a tank.
Since I couldn’t land good strikes I had to change my strategy to a defensive one and try to keep away from his strike while looking for a way to counter. The problem was I never had a clear strike so all I ended up doing was defending. Just defending is a losing strategy because defenses fail and it doesn’t stop the opponent’s momentum.
I still need to work on a lot of things but I have been more focused on my mobility, being able to move around, and changing the angle.
The weekly Wing Chun meet ups have been really valuable for me and I’ve learned a lot. So if you’re in New York City and want to hang out and do Wing Chun together, let me know! But if you’re not, you should try to see if there’s a meet up in your area because I highly recommend it! Cheers!