In today's world we face an enormous amount of information; it’s the age of “über-information”. Everything is easily accessible. If on video, DVD, youtube, googlevideo, just about any Wing Tsun form or exercise can be found. Well, as long as the actual hands-on training doesn’t come too short. But this has not always been the case. Not too long ago, only in 1988 did my back then WT instructor Sifu Peter Vilimek several times attempt to mail me a Wing Tsun videotape from West Berlin. East German authorities intercepted and confiscated it every time. VCR’s were also an absolute novelty and rare luxury item in the East. It so happened that around that time I bought for a friend a simple VCR on East Berlin’s black market for more than $7000.00! Diplomats from ‘third world’ countries made a killing smuggling certain items from West to East Berlin. Finally, Sifu Vilimek smuggled the video tape into the East. He even offered the East Berlin border guards to inspect the well-filled diaper bag during a family visit. Hidden under dirty diapers did the Wing Tsun tape find its way into the East. One evening then did I surprise my students by connecting the $7000.00 VCR to my mini black and white TV and we started watching the tape over and over again for hours. Above video clip of the first public Wing Tsun demonstration by Emin Boztepe in West Germany came first on that video tape.
At about 0:48 you can watch the Chi-Sau part of the Wing Tsun Kung Fu demonstration in above clip. In a real life fight you may also have to deal with “über-information”. Does the opponent attack first with the left or right, straight or round punch, fake or full power, to a high, mid-level or low target, kicks, steps, jumps, combinations??? ...
Chi-Sau is one of Wing Tsun’s tools, to learn to have instinctively the right responses kick in, well literally. Let’s today look at pressure, yet another component of the Wing Tsun Chi-Sau exercises.
Exercise 3 – Pressure:
1a) Work on using the smallest amount of pressure possible. How much, or better how little is necessary to feel the direction, the speed and the power of an attack? When does the attack slip past the point of contact? When and how can you feel if the attack is trying to slide over or under your arm. Can you feel if the shoulder, elbow or wrist is being used, if the training partner puts suddenly the whole body into it, or shoots a surprise attack?
1b) Work with ‘regular’ pressure, get to know the difference between physical strength and real striking power, find out what one of Wing Tsun’s fighting principles means, the yielding to only greater (!) force. All elements of the continuous Wing Tsun training, including the realization of the fighting and power principles, which require a skilled and knowledgeable Wing Tsun instructor for your progress.
1c) Now train with the highest level of pressure, some may know as the so-called Bruce Lee’s “Bull Chi-Sau”. Try not to lose your structure, maintain balance, secure your positions and pay attention to your timing, just to mention a few points.
So far we have talked about distance, speed and now today about pressure. Adaptation is the bridging idea behind all exercises. Train hard on feeling home in any distance, at various speeds, facing any amount of strength. Enjoy your real life training!
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