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How To Do Wing Chun

How To Do Wing Chun

Martial Arts Expert Laurence Sandum explains the basics of the martial art made famous by the legendary Bruce Lee, Wing Chun. Learn how to defend yourself with these ancient techniques.

A brief example to some of the sensitivity drills in the Wing Chun Kung Fu. The "Luk Sao" or the "Double-handed Chi Sao" is perhaps one of the most famous parts of the Wing Chun. Before that, we work "Single-handed Chi Sao" also known as "Don Chi Sao". This, we would traditionally practice from a neutral stance. Perhaps with the feet turned in slightly, hips relaxed but slightly turned underneath. The hand, which you are not working, some Wing Chun instructors would teach to have it held high like this, and some, in a "Wu Sao Guarding Hand". So, "Sao" means hand, "Wu Sao" is "Guarding Hand", like this. So, Graham and I are going to take the fist position as an option today. Graham is going to be in what is called "Tan Sao" position, with his fingers together, and thumbs in, like this. I match this position with what is called "Fuk Sao". Notice Graham's elbow is in as much as he can. And my elbow is in, as much as I can. Depending on your Wing Chun instructor, lineage or association, this "Tan Sao" may be like this. It could also be with the palm up. The "Fuk Sao" as well could be with the sensitivity in monitoring just with the wrist here, or it could be flatter, with more control also from the fingers. What is important though is when both hands are linked, there's not much tension, but just a slight forward pressure. So, I can have my "Fuk Sao" position like this, or like this, and with my elbows in. Now, that's the first out of three moves, if we were to break it down into three moves. The next is that Graham is going to "Palm Heel" me, and for safety, now, Graham is going to the body. And as Graham goes to "Palm Heel" me to the body, I'm going to do a slight diversion with my wrist. If I show that from here, I just divert, like this. I keep my elbow in. So, Graham goes to "Palm Heel" me and I divert. The third move, if you were to break it down into moves, I would do a "Chun Choi", a straight punch, and Graham does a "Bong Sao". It's important that as he does his "Bong Sao", that his energy is going forward. If he judges the time of this right, he can throw me off balance. In any of these moves, you can throw the other person off balance. And then, we're going to repeat this sequence again. We relax; both hands are pushing slightly forward. So, Graham should be pushing forward with his "Tan Sao" hand, his elbow in as much as possible. As said, my "Fuk Sao" could be like this or like this. Graham's "Tan Sao" could be how it is, or he could have his palm more towards the ceiling. And Graham goes to "Palm Heel" me to the stomach, I divert, and then as I go to punch him, he just relaxes back slightly and then pushes forward, which could have the possibility of pushing me back, if I wasn't centered properly. And then, we move back to this position here. So just to recap the "Single-handed Chi Sao" also known as "Don Chi Sao", sometimes pronounced differently as "Dan Chi Sao", it is not about strength, it's about sensitivity. And practicing this from a neutral stance without using any of the shoulders or the footwork will help make you work just on your sensitivity. So have your feet turned in, legs bent slightly. The hand, which you're not working, can either be in a high fist position like this, or in a "Wu Sao" position, the three moves, which one partner is working our "Tan Sao". "Tan Sao" can be like this or like this; then "Palm Heel" to the body for safety, and then "Bong Sao". Again, "Bong Sao", some Wing Chun instructors I have had have said to have the fist straight like this, some have the wrist bent, like this. There's advantage and disadvantage to both. One important thing though is that the elbow is higher than the wrist. Again, generally, the shoulder is higher than the elbow, although some instructors that I have had have said that this is fine. So, to review that sequence, we're going from a "Tan Sao" position, to a "Palm Heel", to a "Bong Sao". You can see the "Tan Sao" is moving slightly forward. The "Palm Heel" obviously goes forward. And when you're throwing the "Bong Sao" as well, that's moving forward slightly as well. The other partner will be matching you with a "Fuk Sao" which is quite commonly taught like this or like this. As the "Palm Heel" comes, it's diverted with the wrist, and you can see that my elbow is covering centerline. I'm not drawing back from this, my elbow is covering the centerline, and then, I punch. When I move into the "Fuk Sao" position, it's not pulling back. As I relax, again, the energy from that moves forward as well. Divert, and then punch. And that's a very brief guide on the Wing Chun drills, sensitivity drills, of "Single-handed Don Chi Sao".