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Using the force of an attacker against him

Using the force of an attacker against him

The above illustration is a simple one to show an attacker who throws a straight-line punch is countered by the defender who turns with the power of his opponent’s punch while sticking with the punch. He does not turn himself. His attacker turns him. That force is used on the return right-handed punch.

Many arts claim that they can take advantage of an attacker’s force in a real fight. Most will explain techniques that will work in theory. In order to work, however, no matter what the method or style is, a defender has to have physical contact with the attacker. In Leung Ting WingTsun® , we seek to gain physical contact with the attacker at the earliest possible moment. The first moment of contact is usually made with the arms.

WingTsun teaches chi sau which is a drill designed to do several things. First, the contact shortens the response time needed to defend and the defender can keep track of the attackers arms. A defender can “feel” what the attacker is doing almost before he knows it himself. Second, when a defender can feel the direction and power of the attack, he or she can step or turn aside so as not to be in the path of the attack. Third, the defender can engage “non-resistance,” that is no clashing of energy means that the force of an attacker can be “borrowed” in order to use it against him. This type of skill is something rarely or never taught in many martial arts. In WingTsun, the concepts of simultaneous defense with offense, a straight line to the target, economy of movement, not clashing with an attacker’s power, forward energy, and simplicity in movements, are all combined in chi sau to train a defender to the maximum in skill in defending against an attack.

Various applications of using the force of an attacker against him can be broken down into some simple scenarios. This type of skill is a considered high level in martial arts circles because of the amount of practice it requires. We in WingTsun consider it a vital skill in order to have a realistic chance at defending. For example, in using this skill, the defender is able to let the attacker commit fully and remain set up for a counter attack at close range where the odds increase that the defender can do damage to stop the attack.

– Sifu Keith Sonnenberg