During my years of practice in Hong Kong, certain phrases came all the time, with the purpose to open my mind and improve my practice. Here are two of them that can be useful to your practice.
Use it or lose it
This English expression is frequently used in Hong Kong trainings. The idea is that every skill that is not practiced will simply be forgotten. The best way to recall will be to use the techniques. You have to practice them as soon as you learn them, that is the only way they will stay present. To avoid forgetfullness, you also need no stopping practicing them. To this end, plan this new technique on a defined period, every day for at least a week, then you have to include it in your regular training at least once per week.
The same comes for your Chi Sao and this brings to the second expression :
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
It is often diffcult to make use of techniques learned outside of chi sao, because the opponent is of course less prone to let you do what you want to. In Chi Sao, there is often an inability to do what we learn to the benefit of what we already know, thinking « I better let my body do what he wants and I will see » but by doing so our old demons will surface and we don’t want to be touched, we don’t want to lose. This is where this phrase is fully realized, you must not be afraid to use a technique that is not mastered just to answer your ego.