Elbow Strikes in Biu Tze

Today we’re gonna talk about how the 3 Elbow Strikes are used in Biu Tze.

In the last episode, we talked about the 3 elbows. In this one, I want to go over how they’re used in Biu Tze.

To understand that, I want to quickly go over the Elbow Strike part of Biu Tze.

In the Biu Tze form, when we complete an Elbow Strike, the hand, of the arm that elbows, grabs the opponent and Lop Saus. The momentum from the Lop Sau brings the opponent towards my opposite Elbow Strike or Biu Tze.

With that said, let’s go through the 3 Elbow Strikes in the Biu Tze form.

Pinning Elbow – Pin the opponent then Lop Sau, use that momentum to Pin from the outside. Then Lop Sau again to Pin from the other side. Then end with a Lop Sau on the inside to Biu Tze.

Striking Elbow – This strike is done from the inside. Right after, I go for the Lop Sau on the inside and Biu Tze.

Blocking Elbow – This is a block from the outside into a Lop Sau on the inside then Biu Tze.

As with any new ideas, I recommend testing them to see if they work for you. If they do, add them to your library of techniques. If not, discard them. Let me know how it works out for you.

Also, my question for you is, how do your elbows strike work in Biu Tze? Let me know in the comments!

The 3 Elbows of Wing Chun

Today we talk about the 3 types of elbow strikes in Wing Chun.

You can see all 3 elbow strikes used in the Biu Tze form.

They may look subtly the same but each elbow does something different.

Keep in mind that elbows should only be used close range and not from a far because elbows have shorter reach than a punch so you lose half the distance.

The 3 elbow strikes in Wing Chun

1. Pinning Elbow – It is used to pin my opponent. It’s done by bringing my elbow up, around and over my opponent, then onto their chest. It’s essentially an elbow strike to the chest. The key thing is to neutralize my opponent’s two arms and strike.

2. Striking Elbow – This starts off similar like the Pinning Elbow but instead of just going around the opponent, my elbow goes straight for the strike. This should be done while inside my opponent’s space.

3. Blocking Elbow – Is done from the outside for blocking strikes or striking behind my opponent’s head in an intimate range.

These are the 3 elbow strikes. I plan to talk about how they’re used in Biu Tze form. So stay tuned for the next episode!

How often do you use elbows in Wing Chun? Let me know in the comments!

I Want to Watch the New Bruce Lee Movie

Today we talk about the new Bruce Lee movie called Birth of the Dragon!

I shared the trailer with you guys on Facebook and email. I gotten a mixed reaction from you guys so I’m gonna share my impressions of it.

Birth of the Dragon focuses on Steve McQueen as he meets Bruce Lee.

From the trailer, I feel like the movie does a great job capturing the confident, cocky, and funny nature of Bruce.

The part I like the most is seeing Bruce doing Wing Chun. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him or his character doing Wing Chun before. Even though the character did have a cameo in Ip Man 3, he didn’t do any Wing Chun. But if you know any movies where Bruce is doing Wing Chun, let me know in the comments!

It also introduces Wong Jack Man. He’s a real person and his challenge fight with Bruce Lee was always a story that was FAMOUS…but never really focused on. So I’m excited to see how it plays out in the movie. It looks like they’re setting it up to be the main fight but who knows?

Ultimately, however accurate the movie is to it’s true history is besides the point. I think it’s nice to finally see a martial arts movie that includes Bruce Lee doing Wing Chun!

This was my favorite line in the trailer: “Technique is a trap. Style is a prison. Kung Fu is meant to liberate.”

Do you want to watch Birth of the Dragon? Or will you pass? Let me know what you think about this movie in the comments!

You can watch the full trailer here:

Let’s Do Biu Tze Together!

Biu Tze is the third open hand Wing Chun form I learned.

Today we’re going to do Biu Tze together!

Before we do, I want to tell you why I share my forms.

It’s a way to…

– Review my form – It’s a good way to spot any mistakes I make. It also lets me see the things I can work on to improve my form.

– Get feedback – Getting feedback, from viewers like you, helps a lot because you guys can spot things I don’t notice. Plus, it’s always nice to receive constructive feedback!

– Help others – When I first started Wing Chun and learning the forms, I had a lot of trouble memorizing the movements and I often mix up parts of the form. I think having a visual reference helps a lot! For me, I found a book called Wing Chun Kung Fu that had photos of all the open hand forms. But I believe, watching a video is much more useful. So I hope this can help you when you’re forgetting sections of the form.

Let’s get into the Biu Tze form! If you know the form, feel free to follow along!

Please leave any feedback for my form in the comments!

Unlock Your Third Arm With Wing Chun!

Today we talk about how Wing Chun gives us an extra arm!

In Wing Chun, we are taught to defend against two arms using only one of ours.

Let me explain:

– We can essentially use one arm to block side to side
– We can block then strike
– We can block with a strike

In my examples, notice that we are essentially using one arm to do the job of two. Giving my free arm free reign to strike.

Sometimes though, I get caught up in defending and forget I have another arm. A trick for me is to always pair my blocks with a strike. If one of my arms is defending, my other one better be striking.

The best way to practice this is going back to the fundamentals and reviewing the Tan Da drill. This is one of the first drills I learned, where I had to Tan Sau, Da, and Shift. Essentially doing three things at once. I use this as my template to mix other techniques together to focus on doing multiple things at once. By pairing things together, it makes it easy for my body to remember, adding it to my muscle memory.

By having a three arm mentality, it really gives us a chance to be creative in how we can go about using our techniques. If we focus on using one arm to do two things, it cuts down on redundancies and focuses on efficiencies. Just something to think about 🙂

My question for you is: What are some ways you use your three arms? Let me know!

Lastly, surprise announcement. You can now get your very own Practice Wing Chun t-shirt! Check them out here!

Thinking Outside the Box to Create New Wing Chun Techniques

Today we talk about thinking outside the box and creating new Wing Chun techniques.

My friend, Michael (MJBarry on Youtube), introduced a new idea to me. He introduced the idea that each technique can have more than one purpose and can be done on multiple planes.

This is what I mean by multiple planes:

You have the Center Plane, Upper Plane, and Lower Plane.

– Center Plane are techniques done at the body level – Examples: Bong Sau, Tan Sau, Man Sau
– Upper Plane are techniques done high, mostly strikes – Examples: Biu Sau, Throat Chop, Blade Strike
– Lower Plane are techniques done low – Examples: Gan Sau, Gum Sau

The idea is to take the normal use case of each technique then using them outside their normal plane.

For example, let’s use Bong Sau 🙂

Bong Sau is normally done at the Center Plane but in Chum Kiu, you can see it done in Lower Plane. But I haven’t really seen it done on the Upper Plane. This new idea that Michael introduced made me think of a way to use it in the Upper Plane.

Upper Plane Bong Sau – Deflecting upwards and forward to expand my opponent’s opening.

I haven’t tested the Upper Plane Bong Sau yet but as you can see from the Bong Sau example. We have essentially increased the amount of techniques we have at our disposal. In my mind now, each technique that I know are essentially three techniques because it may be possible to do them all on a different plane.

When it comes to new ideas with techniques I always welcome them because I want to take in as much as I can so I can test them out in my Wing Chun class to see what works. Now, if I introduce an idea that’s new to you, please try it out in your class, with your training partner, and let me know how it works for you. It’s also okay for the idea to fail because it’s better to know that something doesn’t work so we can move on.

My question for you is, have you thought outside the box about Wing Chun? If so, what did you do? Let me know in the comments.

Learning and Training Efficiently in Wing Chun Class

Today we talk about learning and training efficiently in our Wing Chun class.

When I’m learning, I need to process everything. Meaning, when someone is teaching me something new, I have to visualize it in my mind first to determine how I can use it in my Wing Chun. Meanwhile, in real time, my body is kind of just there because my mind is focused on the learning part.

Which is why I like that my Wing Chun class is structured. Structured meaning that there are always things we do in every class.

We start off with warm ups and forms. We go through all the open hands forms together, this includes Sil Lim Tao, Chum Kiu, and Biu Tze. I think this gives everyone a chance to review the forms especially if they’re not familiar with it yet.

After the forms, we do drills and Chi Sao. I love this because I get a chance to work with everyone, and in between, learn more about each person. I think martial arts creates the biggest diverse environment because people of all shapes, size, colors, and gender get together to focus on improving themselves and I think it’s amazing.

After all the warm ups, forms, drills, and Chi Sao. We finally work on our own thing where my Sifu spends time with each student to work with them on the next thing they need. This is the most important part because everyone is at a different level and I appreciate the individual attention I get from my Sifu.

I know that repetition may come off as boring or just plain repetitive but for me, the repetition helps my muscle memory so that when I’m going through the motion, instead of worrying about my technique’s form, I can spend my thoughts on what I need to work on for that moment.

So my question for you is, how’s your class normally structured? And do you prefer it that way? If not, what would you change? Let me know in the comments!

To learn more Shan Wu Wing Chun (New York Martial Arts School), check out http://www.shanwuwingchun.com

Putting Our Wing Chun Reflexes Into Action

Today we talk about our reflexes and our natural instincts.

In Wing Chun, We train to step forward but what if I’m not at that level yet and my natural reaction is to be defensive and step back?

Our ultimate goal in Wing Chun is to intercept, step forward, and strike. But if we’re not there yet, and we react defensively and step back, what should we do?

Here are 3 things to keep in mind when you do step back.

1) Keep your hands up in Wu Sau position. This is very important because you need to be ready to block.

2) Don’t retreat directly backwards. Step to the side. If you’re still going backwards, step backwards at an angle so your opponent has to readjust their center.

3) This is the hardest part, counter striking. Stop backing up, and counter. End your opponent’s momentum and counter strike.

In a controlled environment like a class, it’s easy to practice stepping forward. But our natural instinct may be to be defensive and not confrontational. If that’s the case, remember to keep your hands up in Wu Sau, retreat to the side or at an angle, and counter strike!

Here’s my question for you. What is your natural instinct? Are you more confrontational and ready to strike or are you more defensive and ready to block? Let me know in the comments!

Maintaining Balance with the Wing Chun Stance

Today we talk about maintaining balance when I’m in my Wing Chun stance and how to test it.

Before we get started, I just want to mention that my Wing Chun stance may be different from yours. I learned to put my weight on my heels (heels down) so it makes it easier for me to stay grounded and Shift.

I test my balance by leaning forward, leaning backwards. If my stance isn’t correct, I will end up tipping over forward or backwards.

If I am tipping forward, it may be because all my weight are on the balls of my feet, towards the front. To correct this, I would place my weight on my heels and sink in by bending my knees and pushing my hips forward and out.

If I tip backwards, it may be because I’m leaning too far back instead of pushing my hips forward. To correct this, I push my hips forward and let that dictate how much I’m leaning back.

The key things to remember is to make sure my weight is on my heels and my hips are forward. This is how my normal Wing Chun stance is and how I remain in my Wing Chun forms.

On another topic, since I started spending time with my friends from different Wing Chun styles, for the Central Park meetup, I’ve become more receptive to using the balls of my foot (heels up) for stepping. I’m still new to it and I find it very useful when practicing outside of class, where the ground isn’t always flat and smooth.