Structure and Pressure: What Chi Sau Is All About!

Quick one today –

Check out the above clip of myself and one of my instructors rolling in the gravel back lot behind the school I used to teach at on the far south side of Chicago.

Keith, a former national champion in Ving Tsun and sanshou (Chinese full-contact kickboxing) at the time worked not too far from the school I taught at.  He would occasionally drop by after work on his way back to the city and observe my class, jump in and offer pointers to my students and engage in some chi sau rolling with me-while giving me shit in the nicest, most supportive way possible.

On this day several of my kungfu brothers from the Ng Family Chinese Martial Arts Association happened to make the drive down as well and after my Ving Tsun class ended and another class began we migrated out to the gravel parking lot we shared with a local bar where Keith gave me some additional tips and training.  Fortunately Phil, one of my NFMA brothers, brought his camera and caught some choice stuff.

Whenever I watch these clips I feel like I am back in class.  The feel of this interaction captures the essence of how we train and I find myself watching this clip frequently to reinforce the emphasis on structure and pressure in my chi sau training.

There’s something inherently real about rolling on a hot July night in the back parking lot of a tavern with gravel, glass and other bits of this and that strewn around:  your structure must be sound from the ground up, you cannot rely on sight as much as feeling and the fact that we were both sweating our balls off means that if we tried to use muscle or overt force we’d be all over the place.

This situation really beget proper structure and pressure.  Plus, we’re chi sau rolling in a back lot next to a bar on a summer night-I mean, c’mon, how bad ass is that?  Enjoy and watch this clip often.  Listen to what Keith says and see how we apply it.  Great stuff.

To Keith and my brothers-Thanks Guys, I miss them days!


Train Smart, Stay Safe

Sifu Bobby

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