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!

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!

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.

Let’s Talk About Jut Sau

Today we talk about Jut Sau and how I use it as a combo starter.

Jut Sau is present in the Dummy Form and Sil Lim Tao Form. To do Jut Sau, I use the ball of my palm to stick and pull my opponent. Jut Sau is a small motion and can be used to quickly transition into a strike.

I believe Jut Sau is a good combo starter because it creates a lot of options. For example, I can Jut Sau then strike with the same hand. I can also use it, like in the Dummy Form, to pull my opponent and strike with my other arm simultaneously.

I’m guilty of not using it as often but I want to know how you use it (outside of the forms it’s used in). Tell me about it in the comments!

Let’s Talk About The Different Types of Lop Sau

Today we talk about all the various types of Lop Sau, the pulling hand!

Lap Sau is one of my favorite techniques because it’s one of the best ways I can disrupt an opponent.

I know 3 variations of Lop Sau.

1) Inside-Out Lop Sau – This was the first Lop Sau I learned. I start from the inside of an opponent’s space and then drive my arms outside to Lop them towards the same side my arm pulled them with but away from my body. For example, if I grab with my left arm, I pull them towards my left hip and away from me.

2) Inside Lop Sau – This version is more stealthy and pulls the opponent’s opposite arm I use to Lop. For example, my right pulls my opponent’s left when they’re both on the same side.

3) Elbow Pinning Lop Sau – This one is a mix between an elbow and a grab. It’s done by grabbing the same side arm I’m using then bringing my elbow over to pin my opponent’s chest while pulling my opponent towards me but away from my body. For example, my right grabs my opponent’s right, then I simultaneously bring my elbow up and over to pin my opponent as I am pulling my opponent towards me and away from my body.

These are the 3 versions of Lop Sau I know. How many do you know and which is your favorite? And lastly, if you can name these better, please leave all your suggestions in the comments! Cheers!

Spring into Action!

Today we talk about using the spring action to amplify the power behind each technique.

The idea behind the spring action is fully utilizing the whole body to use a technique, whether it’s for striking or defending. This means using the whole body from the ground up.

I’m still experimenting and finding the best way for me to utilize it. At the moment, the best way for me to do it is based on how my friend Marc explained it. He said think of it as retreating inwards then bouncing back out. In and out, essentially. This made it much easier to understand and allowed me to use the spring action more often. Of course, it’s still a work in progress and I’m going to continue testing it out.

Have you heard of this spring action principle before? Have you been putting it to use in your training? Let me know in the comments!

Let’s Talk About Pak Sau

Today we talk about Pak Sau!

Pak Sau is only about deflecting a strike away from my centerline but I need a follow up or else I lose momentum. I create the momentum for myself by closing the distance and disrupting my opponent’s centerline by stepping in on them and using the Pak Sau to move their body away from me. Now if they want to try to resist, that’s not a problem because if I initiated my step correctly, they’re in a bad position. Now if they choose to step back, then they are adding to my momentum allowing me more options to follow up with.

This may not always be the case when I use Pak Sau but the key principles that I try to always remember is to disrupt my opponent. And for me, stepping in usually does that 🙂

I talk about how I had to add on to my Pak Sau to make it effective for me but how about you? Do you have to change the way you do the technique to make it effective for you? It doesn’t have to be Pak Sau, it could be any other technique. If so, let me know in the comments!

Guard Up and Wu Sau

Today we talk about keeping your guard up with Wu Sau!

Wu Sau is one of the first hand techniques we learn and it’s also our most versatile because Wu Sau can transition to any of our hand techniques for defense OR offense.

Ultimately, Wu Sau should always be up and on guard. And unless both hands are being used, one should always be in Wu Sau, ready to defend in case anything passes the forward arm.

So keep your Wu Sau up!

Trust Your Bong Sau

Today we talk about the benefits of trusting your Bong Sau.

In my last class, I had the opportunity to really observe my fellow classmates (Sihings) and I noticed one common pattern…they didn’t trust their Bong Sau the same way I trusted mine.

Here are the 3 common mistakes I saw when Bong Sau failed:

1) Bong Sau was being pulled down.
2) Bong Sau collapsed so it was no longer effective.
3) Not trusting the Bong Sau enough to maintain it and letting it drop.

I use Bong Sau in 80% of my defense. I always trust my Bong Sau and have confidence that it will block whatever is coming at me when I use it. When I defend with my Bong Sau, the Bong Sau gives me a lot of options to counter strike. Bong Sau is definitely one of my favorite techniques.

Here are my suggestions to keep a good Bong Sau and trust it.

1) Know that Bong Sau is only the first line of defense and that there should be a Wu Sau behind it in case the Bong Sau fails.
2) Keep the angle in Bong Sau and don’t collapse it (even when using it to pin or bump opponent).
3) Don’t let Bong Sau get pulled. If it does, use the advantage of the momentum to advance.

Now, my question to you is, how is your Bong Sau? Do you trust your Bong Sau? Let me know in the comments!