Chi Sau Day June 2024

Even widespread rail disruption didn’t stop everyone coming together for the in person Chi Sau day last Saturday. It’s always good to have some new faces but also to catch up with some old ones, and a couple of people had even traveled from overseas to make it!

Sigong started the day with a quick introduction about improving by touching more hands, but we were very quickly clearing chairs and getting onto the main event! I lose track of how many hands I touched over the course of the day, but I was so grateful to everyone for the opportunity, as I really don’t get so many chances to touch hands up in Scotland. It may be that fewer opportunities means that my hands are getting rusty, but instead I choose to believe that everyone is getting better. Certainly some people’s hands were not the same as I remember!

As usual on Chi Sau days, Sigong pulled us all together periodically to ask whether there were any hands we were finding difficult, and showed us some techniques. We covered changing to a back-fist when someone tries to open your centre and presses on your hand; swapping over both hands at once with emphasis on the top hand, then chopping with the bottom one; some applications of long bong sau, and many others.

I think I am not alone in having my brain go blank whenever Sigong asks what we are struggling with — you would have thought he would be inundated with questions and requests for his expertise, but the whole room seems to seize up when he asks us to remember difficult hands. Sometimes a difficult situation passes quickly and I don’t remember it well enough to ask about, and other times my hands know what they want to ask about but I struggle to put it into words to ask a question! It’s like thirty years ago, I didn’t know any phone numbers in my head to tell anyone what they were, but put my hand in front of a phone dialling pad and my fingers could reel them off. Take away the hands I have been stuck with and the question dissipates from my head as well. I don’t know whether this is a problem everyone has though, or if it’s just me!

At the end of the day, everyone gets the chance to chi sau with Sigong if they would like. Normally I hang back and try to let people who haven’t touched Sigong’s hands before have chance to step forward, but being so chivalrous means I don’t think I have chi sau-ed with Sigong since before COVID, so this time I was keen to step up myself.

One thing I really noticed this time was how Sigongs hands were different to everyone else I had chi sau-ed with that day. I would say that with almost everyone else, I had a constant sense that I was touching someone’s hands and that they were trying — trying to come through mine, or to go around them, or to get to my centre, but I could always feel with most people that they were trying something. With Sigong, I didn’t feel that at all. He just was already gone whenever I tried to come through myself, was always covered and in a good position whenever I tried to come around, I could never catch his centre, and then when it was over, it was completely down to my own effort being used against me.

I really had a great day and enjoyed the dinner afterwards as well. We’re settling into the new restaurant and they’re getting used to us as well I think, each time I have been it has been better and there was very little food left over. You can really feel how much people are happy to catch up together as well, everyone almost wants to switch tables throughout the meal so that they can catch up with other people!

Thanks Sigong for a very complete and rewarding day out in London, and a lot to think about!

by Lee Baylis

Student Comments

Chi Sau day is such a great opportunity to touch hands with many different people and meet up with everyone again. I really enjoyed today, and learned many new things, including mistakes I keep making. Thankyou TaiSigong for the new techniques and for Chi Sau day. Looking forward to the next one! Thanks, Rod.

I had a great Chi Sau day, managed to get around most people, with quite a few new people and some I don’t see very often. Great experience, could work on my weaknesses and discover new situations and how to handle them. Enjoyed doing the techniques that Sigong showed us, trying to see them/ use them in the following sessions. Was good to see everyone and have a chat, lovely company. Wonderful food afterwards, I had rather a lot to eat! Thank you Sigong for a great day. Christine

I’m always excited to come to the Chi Sau day, and today was no exception. Thank you to everyone for such an enjoyable day and it was great to learn so many new techniques. Tai-Sigong was able to help everyone with any question ms that they had, and he is indeed the Wing Chun doctor! These Chi Sau days are so important as the more hands you touch the better your Chi Sau becomes. If you want your Wing Chun to improve then these seminars are not to be missed. Can’t wait for the next one. Thank you all. Eric Paule. 

Sifu, another great Chi Sau day.  No matter how long you do Wing Chun, you can’t help but learn something from everyone you Chi Sau with.  This is regardless of the other person’s experience.  There is always something.  From your seniors you learn techniques / get put on a better path.  From others, it can be how you deal with different situations.  In the end, it is down to you and how much you want / are able to learn.  Thanks for another great day.  Peter W

Thank you Sigong! What a great day chi sau day as always. We are meeting together and touching hands with so many people coming from many places and we improve pushing everyone’s skill higher. Great learning as always touching many hands, trying many techniques taught be Sigong and getting corrections by seniors. A great dinner afterwards to finish a great day! 

Michalis A.

A very good time and lots of learning to help us develop our Wing Chun skill. Thank you Sifu, senior students and all for a great day of practice and learning.

-Radu