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In Module 5 we take an extended look at the topic of Sao Chui. This study is divided into three parts.
a) Sao Chui with stepping
After understanding how to perform Sao Chui in the same place we next examine the practice of stepping whilst delivering Sao Chui. The video below shows the basic way of doing so :-
i) Begin by standing with your right arm forward (other variations can be used, if desired)
ii) Begin the technique by using the right hand to describe an anti-clockwise circle in the air. This is a method of opening up the opponent’s guard. At the same time turn your body slightly to the left to simulate an evasive movement whilst prepping the left arm to deliver the Sao Chui
iii) Step diagonally to the right and deliver a left Sao Chui. In this instance we use our right palm as a target for the Sao Chui instead of moving it to the left side of our head
b) Sao Chui basic partner practice
To do the practice of Sao Chui with a partner we do a different way of stepping. The difference betwen this and that explained above is the addition of a twisting step before we do a diagonal step as shown below :-
i) First we step off the line by twisting the leading foot (example right foot). This is the same twisting step found in Tai Chi’s Brush Knee, Twist Step movement.
ii) As we twist the right step, we clear the way with a right backfist (OK, I know I didn’t cover the backfist in the 12 modules, just trying to keep things simple). The backfist can also be used to attack – remember the video of Master Wong which I posted in Module 4?
iii) The right backfist is followed by a left Fei Sao which is another clearing movement. The Fei Sao can also be used as a counter to opponent’s attempt to strike you.
iv) Once the way is cleared step into the space with left leg and unleash the right Sao Chui.
I know doing Sao Chui with a twist step is not easy or simple another more. Below is a video in which I do the Sao Chui at a faster pace and followed by example of usage.
c) Setting up to deliver Sao Chui (variation 1 & 2)
Below is a video showing how you can practice Sao Chui by asking your training partner to act as a static dummy for you to practice against.
Variation 1 (from 0:00 to 0:12) – in the first instance we use the Fei Sao to jam the opponent’s bridge.
Variation 2 (from 0:10 to 0:12) – in the second example the Fei Sao is used to open up the opponent’s leading arm.
The variation to be used during application depends on how the opponent reacts. As you can see in the Master Wong video in Module 4 if the backfist is used to attack instead of clearing the way. The opponent’s reaction to the backfist in that instance allowed the Sao Chui to be implemented right away.
Another example of using the backfist in this manner is when it is followed up with a Yum Chui. As soon as the opponent’s arm is cleared out of the way quickly deliver a Yum Chui as can be seen at the end of the video.
Master Leong taught a few ways to use Sao Chui. My preference is to use the variations that allowed me to use Sao Chui against taller people hence I am less inclined to use the backfist to attack right off. However, we do have a partner practice that works on the use of Sao Chui in this ferocious manner.
First time I did the partner practice with Master Leong I was surprised that he could easily reach me with his backfist and Sao Chui even though I was trying to hit him with straight punches. It was one of those milestones that marked the beginning of my journey outside of Wing Chun.