Moy Yat Ving Tsun Chi Sao is “the best exercise on the planet” – Moy Tung
The videos accompanying this article were edited from about 50 minutes of video of a Grandmaster Moy Tung hands-on private lesson with a remedial senior student (myself) at the Richmond Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy. This training focused on the nature of the Ving Tsun Kung Fu exercises Chi Sao, Chum Kiu Sao and My Sang Jong, including how they’re different and work together at the same time, as taught by Moy Yat, as taught by Yip Man (Ip Man).
IMPORTANT: These videos represent an advanced level of information in the martial arts, the science of combat. These techniques and training methods can be dangerous and even deadly, and should not be attempted by students without a strong foundation in authentic Ving Tsun (wing chun) Kung Fu basic principles, such as taught in authorized Moy Tung Kung Fu branch schools.
“[Moy Yat Ving Tsun training is] not boring if you’re really into kung fu” – Moy Tung
Beginner to advanced Moy Tung Kung Fu students will learn a great deal from studying the 8’ video Moy Tung Chi Sao: When Opposite Rules Apply, as well as the one-minute trailer Moy Tung Kung Fu: Moy Yat Ving Tsun Hands, Footwork, Kicks & Takedowns.
Beginners will recognize advanced applications of the basics they’ve been working on (e.g. attack and defend on the centerlines, relax, use the horse stances), and get inspiration for training hard to progress through the Ving Tsun system to higher levels. Advanced students will appreciate the info at a higher level, and may see and hear a great deal of info that can be usefully applied to their own study of kung fu, in particular Moy Tung’s discussion of Ving Tsun’s training of Chi Sao with Chum Kiu Sao and My Sang Jong, and subtle details of the power in the Ving Tsun horse and ‘whole body fist’ structure, as well as hand + foot position, energies, sensitivity, angles, movements, vectors, timing and more. The full 50’ video, which includes Moy Tung teaching and demonstrating a wealth of additional kung fu details, techniques and principles, as well as training and teaching methods from Hong Kong, is available exclusively to Moy Tung inner circle students.
Students from other Ving Tsun or Wing Chun families, other martial arts, and members of the public curious about the practical aspects of martial arts training in general, or of Ving Tsun Kung Fu training specifically, will also find these videos of interest. Again, it is recommended that martial arts students develop a strong foundation in authentic Ving Tsun Kung Fu before practicing the advanced exercises Chung Chi Sao, Chum Kiu Sao and My Sang Jong. See kungfurichmond.com for information, and to make an appointment for a Ving Tsun (wing chun) Kung Fu Introductory Lesson in the Fan district, Richmond, VA. If you’re not in Richmond, click here to find an authorized Moy Tung Kung Fu branch school nearby.
Moy Tung teaches the same system – Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu – to each student, individually, at their level, in ways appropriate to them and their situation. The variety of ways Moy Tung plays and teaches Chi Sao, and the full spectrum of information he teaches, are much deeper and broader than the aspects covered in these videos, the full 50’ private lesson, or even in the full set of videos that will ever be posted to the Richmond Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy youtube channel and Moy Tung Kung Fu Facebook videos.
To learn Ving Tsun (wing chun) Kung Fu, find a qualified sifu
It cannot be stressed enough that, while kung fu can be learned from these videos, in order to properly learn Ving Tsun Kung Fu, one needs to learn the system from a qualified sifu, such as those in the Moy Tung Kung Fu Branch Association. Grandmaster Moy Tung teaches Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu personally, informally, and in private lessons and workshops in Richmond, VA, and when visiting the branch schools under him. His kung fu is also taught through his students that are sifus and instructors under him, in Richmond and the authorized Moy Tung branch schools. The primary lesson of all videos posted is that serious martial arts students seeking to learn the art of Ving Tsun Kung Fu should find a Moy Tung lineage school to train at.
Again, the videos that are the subject of this article were edited from a much longer private lesson Moy Tung gave to a senior student (began 1991, 12 year break), with whom he has a close personal relationship, and with whom he wanted to cover certain information specifically applicable to my own kung fu and training level.
Note that in the video Moy Tung says that in playing Chum Kiu Sao, he “might risk some head techniques, but only if we’re training at a certain level,” and that other Chi Sao training sessions might involve repetitive training to condition reflexes, which may seem ‘boring’ – unless you know what you’re doing and want to learn kung fu. Grandmaster Moy Tung began training Moy Yat Kung Fu in 1980 and has been teaching Moy Yat Ving Tsun exclusively since 1986. He has invested tens of thousands of hours in training Ving Tsun forms and conditioning drills, as well as the full system of two-person exercises and applications. More than 20 branch schools are active in the Moy Tung Kung Fu lineage; he teaches people how to master the system and become kung fu school business owners who serve and strengthen their communities.
Ving Tsun Kung Fu teaches at the student’s level
When Grandmaster Moy Tung plays hands with his students or teaches us in other ways, he does so at our level, not his; he teaches to the student at our level of kung fu, for our situation. In this session he encouraged me to play Chum Kiu Sao with him – to ignore the standard Sihing/Sidai-Sifu/Todai relationship and other basic Chi Sao rules, to use more energy, to attempt attacks and counter-attacks – to play the Chi Sao exercise with him at a more advanced level.
This is an example of how Ving Tsun training challenges the body, mind and whole human being to strive for and achieve higher levels. To me, Moy Tung’s horse and hands are as unstoppable as a freight train, and he can land blows like telephone poles wherever and whenever he wants to. The only openings are the ones he leaves, to see if the student notices and what they do with it; if he lets a technique in, it feels like hitting a solid wall.
Despite how it may look in these videos, Moy Tung was taking it easy on me in this private lesson; notice how gently he puts me on the ground, and his good-humored laugh when he told me I’d gotten my funk all over his arms. During the session, I was largely content to play a sidai role (using lower energy while responding to the sihing’s technique defensively and trying to keep up) while contemplating the seemingly impossible, completely intimidating and highly foolhardy challenge of attacking Moy Tung. I mostly worked on Ving Tsun basics such as maintaining center, relaxing and sinking in my horse, knowing I’d be able to review the video later and see more of what my sifu was doing.
I have work to do, and this video is a valuable educational tool for me. Hopefully it is for you as well. Moy Tung students, serious martial artists and curious seekers may find much in these videos and the transcript that are applicable to their own kung fu life, including their martial arts training, so these videos and the transcript below are being made public for the benefit of all.
Following is a partial transcript of the video Moy Tung Chi Sao: When Opposite Rules Apply, edited for context
Moy Tung Kung Fu: Chi Sao, Chum Kiu Sao, and My Sang Jong work together
In Chi Sao, a lot of things are wrist-to-wrist. Chum Kiu Sao is when you might have disconnect a little bit, or – they call it ‘Fingertip Chi Sao’, a lot more ‘cupping’ seems to go on in Chum Kiu Sao.
Chum Kiu Sao is ‘Long-arm Chi Sao’ – traditionally known as ‘Long-arm Chi Sao’ – ‘Iron-bridge Chi Sao’/‘Long-arm Chi Sao’. But it’s also known as ‘Fingertip Chi Sao’, Chum Kiu-Chi Sao, ‘Trying-to-find-the-bridge Chi Sao’.
There’s no Tan Sao, Bong Sao, Fuk Sao [in Chum Kiu Sao]. In Chi Sao, there’s always a revert back to [playing these techniques with wrist-to-wrist contact], because you’re working this exercise.
When you change the exercise to Chum Kiu Sao, suddenly the Fuk Sao’s not a real Fuk Sao cuz the elbow’s out or I’m doing things a little differently. Maybe I’m just thinking more of hitting.
A student could be playing Chi Sao, and if I feel like, as the sihing, playing Chum Kiu Sao on you, I can. You’re still trying play Chi Sao, so I really have you. But if you play Chum Kiu Sao, you destroy the Tan, Bong and Fuk concept, and it’s just a lot of finding the bridge and crossing it. So you might roll a little bit, and then [do techniques with energy to the top or side of the torso or controlled techniques to the head or neck. In standard Chi Sao rules, the sihing does techniques on the sidai, who responds. We train to hit the chest, which makes hitting the neck or head with power even simpler. Practicing this way provides great conditioning for both parties, and it’s safer].
There’s all kind of things that could happen. So, in Chum Kiu Sao we’re doing Chi Sao, but as the senior sihing, I might do Chum Kiu Sao – you do what you want, if you feel you can bridge the Chum Kiu Sao, you do that. So, what is Chum Kiu Sao?
It’s meant for My Sang Jong and Chum Kiu Sao to be incorporated into Chi Sao, by sihings Chi Sao-ing with sidai. So as a senior – I’m your sifu, but I’m the elder brother, that’s the nature of being a sifu – I might use Chi Sao technique, Chum Kiu Sao technique, My Sang Jong technique.
I’m not going to do anything that would hurt you. But I’ll come at you with a lot of techniques probably, and encourage you to use a bunch of techniques, to work on different things.
Or, we might have a training session where we work on stuff we want to condition. Not so much as worry about sparring or playing hands within Chi Sao, but work on something we really want to condition, by training our reflexes in a certain way.
When we condition our reflexes, you have to do repetitive exercises to completely train your reflexes. It can be very boring. It’s not boring if you’re really into kung fu. If you really know what you’re doing, and you’re learning the kung fu you want to learn, it doesn’t get boring at all.
What is Chum Kiu Sao? Chum Kiu Sao is on opposite rules. Opposite rules apply. You have Chi Sao; one set of rules really apply, to build up certain techniques that are very important.
It’s the best exercise on the planet. It is the most magnificent exercise on the planet; the most magnificent training methods. There’s nothing better than it. If you skip over it, you lose. You lose a lot of kung fu. You lose everything. If you want to be a great fighter, you have to have Chi Sao training – great Chi Sao training, hopefully.
So, the whole point is that in Chi Sao, you have one set of training, and then in Chum Kiu Sao you upset that training you did from Chi Sao, completely, and you do the opposite of everything you’re supposed to do, but you can still keep your Chi Sao principles strong.
Depending on how you choose to train, you could use Chi Sao to defend yourself in a situation with My Sang Jong or Chum Kiu Sao. You could be a sidai and use Chi Sao to keep someone our, or be a sihing and have sidai’s doing a whole bunch of My Sang Jong on you, and you’re just doing Chi Sao technique to control them. It’s that range [in exercise variations]; that massive a range. Chi Sao, Chum Kiu Sao, My Sang Jong, one, two, three.
Now, we’re always doing My San Jong from day one of Ving Tsun – everyone does. If you go out and spar with some people a little bit, or you’re playing hands with some people in the [kung fu] family, you’re practicing your Jong, you’re playing your Jong [ready hands in centerline position].
So, the bottom line here is, this is a set that belongs together: Chi Sao and Chum Kiu Sao and My Sang Jong. They do belong together, believe it or not. It’s kind of strange, really.