I learned a lot of techniques for Chi Sao in February. I wrote down a lot of notes and they were mostly regarding technique, which is hard to write out for visualization.
In the meantime I came up with a visualization technique that I started using to memorize individual Chi Sao techniques. I’ll go into more details in another post but I haven’t determine if it’s beneficial to my training, yet.
This is the second month that I’m sharing my notes here. You can read previous month’s class notes here. I want to continue doing this every month and be consistent.
So, how does sharing class notes help me improve my training? This is why.
The purpose of these monthly class notes is to:
This month focused on Chi Sao and the Dummy Form.
In class, we’re paired with another student, who acts as the dummy, to practice the application and movements of the Dummy Form.
I’ve mentioned practicing the Dummy Form without a dummy but when you’re practicing with a dummy, you’re practicing the movement. And when you’re practicing with a person, you’re practicing the techniques and application. Most importantly, when practicing with another person, you can see the purpose of why each movement of the form is used.
This month in class we focused on the last half of the form which included a lot of footwork, effectively using the double palm strike, and a takedown.
One key takeaway is discovering how vastly different the movements are between doing the form on a person and on a Wing Chun dummy. The dummy is weighed down to the ground so when you strike it, it doesn’t move as a person should. In reality, if the techniques are done to a person, they will not stay in one spot. This reminds of a quote from Enter the Dragon where Bruce Lee says, “Boards don’t hit back” and in this case, “Dummy don’t hit back”.
But this shouldn’t stop you from practicing the form on a Wing Chun dummy. I think knowing the proper applications of the form on a person will help you utilize the dummy to it’s full potential. It will help you visualize what you’re defending against and why you’re coming at them from different angles and attacks.
I write down notes in the middle of class to remember things as I’m learning them. This is very important for Chi Sao as there is so much to take in and requires reviewing constantly.
I currently use Evernote to jot my notes down on my smartphone. Pen and paper is still king but I like Evernote because it syncs between my phone and computer. It can also record voice notes so I can transcribe it later. It’s free to use and definitely worth taking the time to learn how to use it. I’ve also added Evernote to the Resources page.
I’m still having issues closing the distance in Chi Sao. I have the right defense or strike but if I’m not in my opponent’s space, I’m opened for attacks. The same could be said when I throw a strike that barely reach my opponent because I need to be in their space to disrupt their centerline and jam any defenses they may have.
Next month, I’m going to continue working on closing the distance. This is especially important when I’m matched with an opponent with longer arm reach.
If this was interesting or helpful for you, please let me know in the comments. I’d also appreciate any feedback, thanks!