In learning #chi sau, the WingTsun™ student learns the most unique and coveted of martial arts skills. Sometimes called “sticky hands,” the student is trained to “stick” to the arms of one’s opponent. In this way a practitioner’s hands can receive important information about your attacker’s balance, position, his telegraphed intentions, his flexibility or rigidity.
The training starts with the poon sau exercise which is a precise rolling motion combining three seed techniques from the Siu Nim Tau form. It then progresses to an attack and defense training. By “sticking” to an attacker’s arms, it is possible to coordinate the direction of an attack with your own avoidance footwork. As an attacker advances on you, the signal you are receiving through the arms moves your body in a turn, an angling step or a bend of the arm while simultaneously striking the attacker! The reason this works is because a trainee is taught to ignore predictions or guesses as to what an opponent might do but instead, react according to what is actually occurring. Repetitions of technique sets the training into one’s “muscle memory.”