Below is a picture I drew, while the concept is easy in theory...... from my observation over the years on how people chi sao....it is one of the most grossly misinterpreted motion in chi sao practice. Through teaching, corrections constantly from sifu, and observing how people do the roll and how people feel when they do the roll..... this explanation is my own, not something sifu 
directly said to me word for word.....  When one practices the rolls motion in the beginning..... just learning the motion and minimal pressure upon contact with your partner at this time seems
to be the best path one can take... It teaches the main core of, control thy own hand....... and from our newest students that i've begun the roll motion from,  the results so far even at their early stages of chi sao development seem to be on the positive.  

Here's the key concept... if someone touches the back of your shoulder, its only natural to respond and look back at that same direction.... however, its not unnatural in wing chun to do just the same concept as well........ If you someone touches a point on your mother motions of tan, bong, and fok.. its only natural to press against that individuals' force... I really was observing it and thinking more about it when i was at the seminar in tucson and saw how people were doing drills with sifu...... Unfortunately, many feel this is the forward energy that one does... But here's one of several problems.. you push against the point of contact... and that usually is upon your wrist... well, if your wrist ends up getting tight, your shoulder automatically gets tight as well.....in addition to that pushing against the point, also makes you play the game of  sticking to your opponent... and often times when sifu would jam students who did attack on them, they were literally going push against shove and further jamming themselves in further....

Think in terms of the punch.. when you punch, you release the punch.. stemming from the shoulder - elbow, wrist and then .... the index finger for the full release of the punch... this same concept if looked up as someone  firing a hose to water the lawn, is exactly the same concept... From the starting point of the shoulder all the way to the  index finger you need to be able to release the natural flow of the technique... But.. what happens, is demonstrated hopefully more clearly on the picture i sent.......   

The common mistake is, assuming all the motions are correct... is that... it goes from shoulder, to elbow, and then the flow leaves at the wrist and never gets to the index finger..thus, the flow never gets passed the wrist and to the index finger......How do i know this.... because yes, at one time i did this, and that was also my misinterpretation of how to put forward energy... See, beside the problems associated with doing this, when you allow the flow to end at the wrist only, your gonna end up muscling, and strangely its mind boggling how many people didn't even realize that they are overly muscling.......Using muscle when doing bong saus is not unusual though, as i said before, i did this as well, until, i made sure to constantly have sifu check and bitch at me, over and over again that the roll was correct and every single time, if it was forward and not pressing.....

In the end, here's the concept...... all techniques, from attacks to block need to be released...... so, you shot out your bong sau, it should feel like you do when you punch... tan, same thing..... fak sau, same thing.... it should always feel like a release of the punch... when done properly the flow of energy starts from the  shoulder - elbow, wrist... and then imagine 2 paths split.... one going to the point of contact on the wrist, and then the other flow going to the end of your index finger... if you can do that, then you got the main ingredient for a solid roll........ as i said, simple to understand... Many, many years practicing so you don't do it..... don't get into a habit of pressing on the point.... although when that happens, it just makes it easier for you to freeze that person non stop.. which is fun in itself..........

Written by Sifu Ed Cruz
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