The Chi Sau Factor

The topic that really grabs a lot of attention in martial arts circles when you say “Wing Chun” or Wing Tsun is chi sau (sticky hands*). These two words describe the one thing that the martial arts public knows only exists in Wing Tsun / Wing Chun.** Chi sau is the reason Wing Tsun dominates the close-range in fights and self-defense. This is so true that there are numerous copy-cats. Some invent their own style with “sticky hands” as a feature. Some try to incorporate it into an existing style. None of them equal the original of course.

The flaw in other training systems that try to use chi sau is the lack of footwork fundamentals, technical features and training. If you physically push a practitioner of one of the copy-cat styles while in chi sau mode, they generally lose their balance and set themselves up for an aggressive follow-up by their opponent.

Chi sau, as many have discovered, is the video game of the martial arts except that nobody gets hurt in this game. Chi sau is the training, not the real thing. The chi sau drill transitions to real fighting and is a skill used in real fighting at close range. The control of strikes is advanced so two trainees can practice this skill for hours without anybody getting hurt.

If you want to advance to chi sau, start training with us and stick with it. It starts at 3rd S.G. You won’t regret it!

– Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

*Grandmaster Leung Ting prefers the words clinging arms instead of sticky hands.

**Two or three other southern Chinese kung fu styles have a sort of clinging arms drill but those drills are not nearly as developed as those in Leung Ting WingTsun®.