Sticking Hands: Five Ways to Improve Sticking Hands

1. Have a Supple Feeling

To get the proper supple feeling, you must have the proper stance. The head should be back, not forward. The hips should be in and the back muscles stretched to the maximum. The back has a gentle, convex curved look. The stance appears as if you are sitting on the edge of a high chair. The stomach muscles should be tensed. The tricep muscles should be tensed to absorb the force and shock. This is what "sinking the Chi in the Tan Tien," means. You cannot breathe with the chest, but instead must use abdominal breathing. Suppleness means not too soft and not too stiff. Do an experiment and try standing in an improper stance. Now do the sticking hands. You will notice a stiffer feeling and many more holes in your defense than when you sink into the proper stance. To handle a lot of force, defend using the structure of your body (the bones), not the muscles. If your structure can no longer stay with the force, then you give way. Use small, not large circles.

2. Be Consistent

In the rolling hands, the force between you and your partner's wrist should always be the same at all points of the cycle. This is called "having consistency." Don't have a hard force in some spots and no force in other spots. Once you achieve consistency, then it will be easier for you to detect attacks by sensing pressure changes.

3. Function over Looks

A BEGINNER'S MOVEMENTS IN FIGHTING ARE OFTEN A FORMLESS MESS. The beginner learns structured techniques such as Tan, Bong, and Fook. These are combined to form structured sentences. At this stage the fighting looks very elegant, and movie-like. As the student progresses, he learns pushing and pulling. Finally, all elements are combined. The outsider cannot tell the two apart. There is often disappointment that the comforting structure has disappeared. The fighting is no longer robotic. It is now unpredictable.

4. Force from the Elbow

In the double sticking hands, the high Fook sau should be very supple. This means having no pressure at the wrist of the Fook sau. The pressure all comes from the elbow and not from the wrist. Keep the elbows together. Reduce the radial pressure at the wrist. Stick, using the elbow push only.

From the level to an angle of about twenty to thirty degrees, you SHOULD BE COMPLETELY LAZY AND DO NOTHING. ONCE THIS ANGLE IS EXCEEDED, then you should be very alert to the incoming force and do something like Chum, jerk, step back or shift.

If you keep too much force at the wrists, then you will have trouble changing smoothly. It will also be easy for the opponent to apply his force to push or pull you. Your arm should feel rubbery. Some say it should feel like a steel bar wrapped in cotton. Rubbery is a way to describe the sticky supple feeling.

5. Use Yin and Yang

In many cases, the mixed fighting actions of Wing Chun students are heavy and sluggish, or too quick and messy with all of the movements blurred together. The remedy for this is to practice the sticking hands much slower. Each hit should be done very quickly and crisply, but the CONNECTING MOVEMENTS BETWEEN THE HITS SHOULD BE DONE SLOWER. GREAT attention should be paid to the Yin and Yang (soft and hard). All actions should be very distinct, causing greater force and a lot more success. It is a mistaken belief that all actions should be quick. Some actions should be quick and other actions should be slow. Practice lightly, not too quickly for connecting movements. Use quick light attacking movements and slow controlling movements. Pushes must be performed slowly in order to have an affect on the opponent's balance. A very quick push has a shocking effect, not an offbalancing effect.

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