Grandmaster Tse’s Wing Chun Note 402

Chi Sau with Taller People – Part 1

photo Grandmaster Ip Chun using Fāt Sáu 拂手
Grandmaster Ip Chun

A very common question I get asked by beginners is, “What should we do when we practise Chī Sáu 黐手 – Sticking Hands with someone who is taller than us?” A taller person is usually stronger and so they can more easily hit the shorter person because they have longer arms and are stronger. This also means they can hurt us more. Of course, when we are doing Chī Sáu, we are training with our brothers and sisters and so no one should get hit very hard and we should only just touch each other quite lightly. If we are hit, then we should not immediately try and hit back, otherwise we cannot learn anything about how we were hit. Chī Sáu is not about winning, it is about learning how to practise your Wing Chun techniques with your partner and learn how to handle all kinds situations. So when we are hit, we should stop and think about it and work out how to handle that attack.

If our opponent is taller, they will usually be able to hit us but we cannot hit them in the normal distance. Their arms are longer and so they can reach us before we can reach them. We must never let ourselves get into this situation. We should make the distance where we both cannot hit each other without stepping or learning forward. Alternatively, we make the distance where we both can hit each other equally. So with taller people we only have two distances, far away or very close together. This is why during Chī Sáu we need to learn to control our distance very well.

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