In Chi Sao, I’ve been told that not facing an opponent’s center is usually a bad thing and that we should always square up to match the center line. I have found that we can also take advantage of that and side step to change the angle and work our way in to attack the centerline directly.
I talked about this in an earlier blog about how shifting can help close the distance. The side step follows a very similar concept. When I Chi Sao, I have discovered that by taking a step to the side can help close the distance. I refer to it as a side step but it’s actually more of a triangle step where I would step towards one direction with one foot and then forward with the opposite foot. The side step doesn’t have to be a huge step, just small enough to change the angle slightly. Taking a bigger step is fine but I feel like it telegraphs my movement much easily and let’s my opponent react fast enough to defend themselves by squaring up again. From my experience, the smaller the step, the easier it is to quickly step forward and create a combo.
During Chi Sao when my opponent’s energy or center is pointed at me, it’s very difficult to get in to attack their center without resistance because they have their guard up and are facing me. But if I change the angle where their center is slightly off and their hands are away from me, they create an opening and I take it and go in. It’s all in the angles. It’s one small thing but it makes a huge difference.