Friday, August 28, 2009

Sticky hands

When people talk about Wing Chun, they ofter refer to being "sticky". It seems to me that a lot of people use this word but don't seem to know what it means. If two people are moving their hands together in some kind of cooperative or coordinated movement. That is not being sticky. If two people who have studied Wing Chun for many years do chisao so they move in kind of Wing Chun style patterns, that is not being sticky.

Sticky is when you are moving toward a person with your hand, arm or other body part, and they want to stop you so they resist, they now have no choice but to move with you in another direction since they resisted getting touched or hit, they are "sticking" to you. Another way to think about it is you put the person in the position of having a choice, they can get hit or stick to you. Either way, you "win".

If you continue to keep your pressure aimed at them, they will continue to stick to you. Constant forward force or perhaps I should say steady forward force is required to be sticky. If the person pulls their hands back or moves backward, this forward force will result in you walking forward. I am not trying to be critical, but I don't understand how chisao is performed or how people can stick if neither person is generating forward force.

Chisao can be performed without this forward force, but it becomes a reaction time drill rather than a truly interactive drill. Without the forward force, whoever moves fastest will win. With the forward force (generated at the feet), better wing chun skill will prevail (ha!, what a silly word).


  1. "Without the forward force, whoever moves fastest will win. "

    So the teacher or "senior student" teaches the junior student to move at a tempo, holding each position one second, waiting one second between each change. ("The rules of chisao", as some call it")

    Then the "senior student" moves at a tempo of .9 seconds, .9 seconds, .9 seconds, etc.

    And the junior student thinks Phillip....oops, I mean, the senior student...has really good feeling!

    Also, the "senior student" doesn't get that a "move" doesn't just mean moving. Any change of power or pressure is a "move". So when you suddenly stiffen up in the middle of a "move" to stop your partners motion, you actually did two changes in the space of one "move".

    I do the same thing when I play paper-scissor-rock with six year olds.

    I make "paper" just a tenth of a second after they make "rock", and I win every time. The six-year-olds can't tell that I'm cheating because I'm doing it almost at the same time, but not at the same time.

  2. Damn dawg, do you steal the kids' candy after you finish scamming their lunch money?

  3. I thought about it over night and what I'm trying to say that the "rules of chisao", as some people understand them is another way of saying "stand still while I hit you".

    If it were a measure of who was naturally faster, at least your still doing something real, even if it's not the skill that is kung fu.

    But if you expect your partner to move at rhythm of 1 second per move, and you MOVE AT A RHYTHM OF .95 SECONDS PER MOVE, THEN THE PERSON WHO WINS IS NOT THE FASTEST, BUT THE PERSON WHO CHEATS FIRST.


  4. Yeah, I see where you are coming from. There are some very specific "rules" that have to be done for chisao to really work as a training activity, but at its heart it is non-cooperative or competitive. Often people assume certain rules and then learn how to break them after they have been there awhile. Things like touda or "sneak hitting" People will often say you are not supposed to do that when actually, you aren't supposed to do it because you will get hit. If you can't hit the person when they touda, don't tell them not to do it.
    As a matter of fact the general rule is don't comment on what a person is doing unless you can beat it (or unless its keeps you from being able to do chisao or is unreasonably dangerous)

  5. "As a matter of fact the general rule is don't comment on what a person is doing unless you ... unless its keeps you from being able to do chisao"

    Does that include sudden massive speed-up to score a "point", and then stopping everything and going back to pansao starting position as if chisao and point-sparring were the same thing? (Oh, hi Tierri!)

  6. That is kind of like point sparring chisao