Opposing a stronger opponent head-on is a sure way to lose an encounter. To make the size problem go away, you need to be able to read and redirect their forces. The challenge is how to develop these skills.

In this video explainer Sifu Barry Pang warns against simply developing forward strength, as can be found in Wing Chun’s centreline and chain punching practices. Eventually a stronger opponent will be able to counter this. This is when the harder to master ‘softer’ skills must come into play. 

The good news is that the methods of redirecting and outmaneuvering incoming forces don’t change as the pressure increases. You apply the pivot and other techniques in the same way against all opponents. The key challenge is the incoming speed of their attack and how you make contact and start reading those forces. 

But the first and most challenging step is to develop your Chi Sao sensitivity and a pressure ‘breakpoint’ that tells you whether to resist or redirect. Years of correct practice is a prerequisite. At Barry Pang Kung Fu we draw from Wing Chun’s Chi Sao, plus Liu Ho Ba Fa’s Yiu Shun and Tai Chi’s Tui Sao to develop a strong base and a pliable upper body.

Watch the video:

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