“Everything we’re doing has this idea or concept of chasing center, and if he deflects, change. Chase center, change. So if he punches me, this is not chasing center. This is chasing center. If he takes the hand back, and this moves forward, that continues to chase center. So I’m always driving from the ground, forward, with energy through the elbow to the center of mass. Never across his body. Never chasing hand, but always moving forward. Always toward his center of mass. Changing is, I can’t go forward, so I change. I change the shape. I change my angle. And then chasing center. … This is what we’re really trying to capture in our practice of Chi Sao.”
This is one of those most basic of WIng Chun concepts that cannot be emphasized enough. It is a foundational idea which we see violated all the time and everywhere on the internet (and in the Kwan!). This is one of the lessons of the dummy. Always facing, always chasing center, never chasing hand.
In fact, one of my biggest pet peeves is looking at people teaching: Wing Chun on the Youtube and violating this principle with every action, especially in Wing Chun Dummy demonstrations, where they are slapping and banging on the limbs of the dummy with all sorts of “across the body” force. I know Wing Chun is a big family with many interpretations, but really? I would love to hear the defense of these actions and then have them demo how it works better than chasing center.
If you use these across the body actions against someone who has real instinctive Lat Sau Jek Cheung and who is relentlessly chasing center, you will be creating endless openings.
Greg teaching with an assist from my Si-Hing Christopher Cheung (owner/chef of the excellent Marica restaurant in Northern Oakland).