Five Ways to Improve Sticking Hands

1. Emphasize Defense

Those people who just work on their stickiness and feel what is going on, seem to progress much faster than those who enjoy attacking and never defending. However, once your defense is good, you will be able to attack confidently at will. In practice, emphasize learning defense. In real fighting, emphasize offense. The rolling practice develops the sticky feeling which is fundamental in developing a good defense. Quick rolling develops alertness, while slow rolling develops real stickiness. Quick attacks will not succeed against a sticky opponent. Attacks will be detected almost before they start. You must develop the patience to just practice rolling in a smooth, soft and sticky manner. The best defense against an opponent who just attacks wildly is to stick and smother his attacks.

2. Learn Technique

Students who rely on their favorite one or two actions, because they cannot perform other actions, can easily be beaten by a student who has a variety of techniques. This assumes all other factors, such as speed and strength are equal. The way to learn techniques is to practice the words and sentences frequently. These are models for how techniques can be combined and applied. If an attack does not work, then you are probably applying it under the wrong circumstances. Try to use your sticking hands feeling to apply the techniques that you have learned. In good Wing Chun, you do not just attack any time, but attack only when there is a reason to do so. A hole in the opponent's defense is a reason to do so. If you only attack under these circumstances, then your probability of success will be higher. When there are no holes in the opponent's defense, then use pushing and pulling to create holes. Otherwise, just stick to your opponent and wait until opportunities arise.

3. Keep a Forward Force

Sometimes in an attempt to be too soft, a student forgets to have a forward flowing force. This prevents the student from learning correct defensive actions based on sticking and feeling the opponent's intentions. Against a student who does not have a constant forward flowing force, you can disengage and do any kind of attack. The opponent will not be able to react fast enough to defend. On the other hand, if you have a constant forward flowing force and the opponent disengages, then your force should just flow foward to hit him.

4. Keep Alert

It is impossible to do proper sticking hands while having a conversation about something. Many fighting signals are very subtle. Openings may be things like being a fraction of an inch off center, or the opponent changing states from soft to hard for a split second. The detection of a low kick can only be done with a lot of concentration. The kick is detected by feeling a change of pressure in the hands. If you engage in random sparring while talking, you may get hit in the mouth and cut your tongue. Your forward flowing energy must be focused.

5. Change Quickly

It is wise not to stay in any one posture too long. Some students pose in a particular position is if someone were going to take a picture. If you get a hit in, don't stay there with the hit. Change right away. You would get knocked out by a boxer's second punch if you posed in any position either in your defense or in your attack. An opponent who is good at changing quickly is difficult to fight. By the time you are ready with your planned action, they have already changed.

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