Adapt Wing Chun to Your Height

Today we talk about how our height affects our Wing Chun.

Closing the distance is important in Wing Chun because that’s where we’re most comfortable and able to be effective. However, the amount of distance required to be closed varies from person to person because of our height and reach.

I realized this when my Sifu demonstrated a technique that involved stepping in. When I tried to do it, my version didn’t have the same impact that my Sifu’s did. I followed his movement, move for move, including how and where he stepped. That’s when I noticed that our stepping, even though our foot placement was the same, was different because he is taller than me. He can place his foot in front of the opponent’s feet to complete the move. But for me, I need to place my foot past and between my opponent’s feet to complete the move with the same effect as my Sifu’s.

As a shorter person, I have to really close the distance.

This means a lot more than just stepping in, it means stepping innNn to not only be able to reach my opponent with my strikes but also be able to generate power using the distance I have.

I also have to work harder to make sure my technique is solid because I have to fully commit when stepping in because I’m entering my opponent’s space. If my technique is bad, and my defense fails, I’m essentially going in to my opponent’s space unprepared and ready to fail. Does that make sense?

So, if you have trouble understanding why some of your strikes or techniques aren’t as effective, it may be solved by finding the perfect range between you and your opponent. Think about your distance the next time you’re training with your partner.

Question: Are you tall or short? And do you notice the range difference between your’s and your opponent’s? Let me know 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.

Modifying Our Wing Chun Forms

Today we talk about modifying our Wing Chun forms!

My Sifu says that the Wing Chun forms were created after the techniques were established as a way to memorize the techniques.

This year I’ve been working on adapting my Wing Chun to me.

Since I want to adapt Wing Chun to my personal capabilities, I’ve decided to modified some of my forms. These aren’t big modifications, just small things. Right now, it’s currently just adding forward steps, to close the distance, with each striking movement. I’m planning to share my modified forms so you can compare it to the traditional forms I learned.

But for the moment, the reason for this modification is based on several things.

I believe staying on our toes instead of being static is super beneficial and I learned this when I was doing Chi Sao in Central Park every weekend this past summer. It opened my eyes to how important footwork is. I don’t mean just Shifting but moving in, moving out, and retreating at different angles. For me, the best way I could think of to emphasize these things was by incorporating them into my current forms. By adding more footwork and stepping in to my forms, I also add it to my muscle memory.

I won’t be making big modifications to my forms because the movements I add need to make sense. But I’m keeping an open mind and I am thinking about the little details that I haven’t noticed before that you guys have. I also believe this wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t share my form, so I’m glad I did. Thank you for your feedback.

Keep in mind that these modifications are only for myself. I’m only starting with one little idea at a time. They focus on things that I need to work on. If you’re thinking about modifying your form, ask yourself, what do you want to improve in your Wing Chun?

Leave your answer in the comments below!

Rules of Wing Chun

Today we talk about the most important rule of Wing Chun!

Before I share that with you, I want to talk about differences.

When I look at my Sifu, I can see our differences right away. We are different in height, size, shape, and more. This makes his style of Wing Chun uniquely his own so when I learn it, I am essentially learning his style of Wing Chun. Whatever I learn from him, I know that based on our physical difference, it will look different than the way he does it. The only thing we will share in common is the knowledge of the technique and how to use it.

This means, regardless of who our teachers are or what lineage or Wing Chun style we’re doing, it will always be different than the way we learn it because our mind and body processes it differently. We all create our own style of Wing Chun when we learn and train. And that’s a good thing because through our differences we create new perspective that adds to the style.

So…what is the most important rule of Wing Chun? It is understanding yourself and using what works for you by adapting Wing Chun to you and not conforming to other people’s style or standards. Embrace the difference.

Create Your Own Wing Chun Form

Today we talk about creating your own Wing Chun form!

What do I mean by creating your own form? It means gathering all the techniques you know and making an actionable form out of them. This is a memorization technique so that once your body is used to doing the form, it becomes natural for you.

In this video I use Chi Sao as an example and talk about creating my own Chi Sao Form which goes through my Chi Sao techniques. The importance of this is so when I go through the techniques, by relying on muscle memory, I have an advantage over my opponent because my body already knows what to do. Instead of spending time on remembering my technique, I spend that time thinking of the next move.

What do you think about this idea? Do you think you can create your own form with the techniques you’ve learned? Let me know in the comments.

Wing Chun vs The World

Today we talk about using Wing Chun against other fighting styles!

This is definitely a topic I want to hear your opinion on so I’m going to share my opinion first.

I think all fighting styles are good because if they weren’t, they would no longer exist.

If we were to focus on two specific styles, for example: Wing Chun vs Muay Thai. Depending if the fight follows Muay Thai rules or Wing Chun rules, that style will have an advantage over the other but having an advantage doesn’t always guarantee winning a fight.

However, without rules, I believe every style, or no style, has the same odds with a 50% chance to defeat their opponent and 50% chance to be defeated by their opponent.

That being said, this brings up another question. What is the purpose of putting two fighting styles against each other? To determine which is better? I think this is an open ended question because there will always be someone that is stronger, faster, and better, regardless of fighting style or experience.

Now, I want to hear your opinion about Wing Chun vs other fighting styles. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

The Importance of Footwork in Wing Chun

Drilling Forward and Rooting

Today I share a drill with you that helped me focus on rooting myself and driving my energy forward!

This drill requires a partner! So grab your training partner if you want to try it out.

Now decide who will be defending and who will be attacking.

The person defending will need to create a box on the ground. That box is where they need to stay in. The goal of the defender is to hold their ground and stay in the box. If they move outside the box, they lose! Here are a few exceptions:
– You can step forward but only to strike
– You can only take, at most, one step back or else you lose

The goal of the person attacking is to move the defender out of their box. This can include grabbing, pushing, baiting, or any other method that can lure or move the defender out.

One tip for this game is to avoid pushing because it ends up turning into a battle of who’s stronger. The goal of the game is to work on both persons’ techniques!

This is a very fun drill so give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Wing Chun Moves – Taking a Step Forward

In boxing, a straight punch can cause a knockout especially if you’re Manny Pacquiao. The reason is because Manny is so fast with his attacks and the fact that when he throws a punch, two or three more follows. His style of punching resembles the chain punches in Wing Chun because the punches doesn’t stop.

Let’s go back to Wing Chun. Imagine getting chain punched and stepping backwards. What happens? You keep getting punched! By backing up from the oncoming attacks, it gives the attacker more room and space to continue their chain punching. But by simply taking a step forward into the chain punches can increase the chances of finding an opening in the attacker because they now have a limited amount of space to move in.

The movement of stepping forward is a very important concept in Wing Chun because by stepping forward into an opponent’s space, you close the distance. The problem with this concept is that many people, including me, naturally back up when being attacked to avoid being hit. Using the example of chain punching, this can be a problem, so by stepping into the opponent, it will change the momentum and rhythm of their attack. There’s still a possibility of receiving a few punches before successfully countering but that’s normal, everybody gets hit.

My friend Dave, who has a lot of experience competing and training in Muay Thai (Kickboxing), also mentions how moving forward works well in the ring since the opponent backs up creating space to be attacked. It’s funny because Dave says the reason he moves forward is because the gym he trains in is small so there’s no room to back up.

I found a Youtube clip of Manny Pacquiao. Watch closely, you’ll notice he usually steps in with his barrage of punches even when his opponent throws jabs to try to keep him out. He keeps pressure on them without backing off and then unloads his punches.

Top 10 Manny Pacquiao Knockouts

In theory, it seems very simple but psychologically it takes a lot of mental training. No one wants to get hit but acknowledging the fact that getting hit is part of learning can make it easier to accept. This doesn’t mean jumping into an opponent’s attack, be smart about it and start to understand when it’s the right time to step in.

Some attacks only do damage when the arm can fully extend, such as a punch or a chop to the throat, but by cutting the distance, they lose the power of a full strike because their distance is cut in half, so to create space…they actually need to step back to strike which gives you an opening to attack.

Intermediate Stepping

I haven’t always been active on my feet during Wing Chun class. For the first few years, I stayed mostly stationary and occasionally shifted or stepped back during drills or Chi Sao. Only in the past two years I started moving more on my feet by stepping in.

Today we talk about an intermediate technique: stepping in.

One of the main weaknesses of my step is that I would put a lot of emphasis on my forward stepping leg. All my weight would go there which made me lunge forward. It’s been a very hard habit to correct…until this past weekend during class when I noticed my Sifu stepping differently than I did. I stepped with the balls of the foot (the front part of the foot) but my Sifu stepped with the heels of the foot (back part of the foot). This changed how I approached stepping because once I tried it, it felt completely different from what I was originally doing.

This was an eye opener for me. One change in placement changed my entire movement and technique. One little change! I go into more details in this week’s episode but has this ever happen to you before? Where one little change improved your technique drastically? Tell me about it in the comments!

Keeping the Distance & Push/Pull Technique

Today I share some class notes about keeping the distance and the push/pull technique!

Keeping the distance is a fundamental of movement in Wing Chun. When an opponent steps into you, you keep the distance by taking the same distance stepping back. The idea is if the distance between you and you opponent remain the same, neither person will be able to strike the other. According to my Sifu, he says that Grandmaster Ip Chun is a master at keeping the distance and when he does close the distance, it’s to attack.

This leads to the next topic, pushing and pulling. If your opponent commits to their strike to attack and charges forward, you can take advantage of their momentum by controlling where they go with a pull. The same is applied when they try to pull you. Instead of resisting, use the energy they’re using for pulling and step into them knocking them with their own energy.

Foundation First, Strike Later

Today we talk about establishing our foundation before going into action.

I’ve been trying to drill this over and over in my head.

Establish my foundation, or my footing, first before striking.

Here are 3 reasons why it’s important to me:

1) It’s easy to get caught up using my arms first because it’s my instinct to clear what’s in front of me. I think that’s one of the disadvantages of such a close range martial arts because my brain is constantly screaming at me to step back and get away from all these close range strikes my opponent throws at me. So to counter my instincts, I would occasionally, sometimes, strike impulsively. And when I do, I lead with my arms and I end up putting my weight on the front of my leg which makes me lean my head in. This is bad because it makes me much more vulnerable to being hit in the head.

2) To follow up on leading with my arms first, if my legs aren’t rooted, I can’t put my entire body behind my strikes. So then the power of my strike is limited to the strength of my arms. But if my legs are ready and in position, it lets me generate more power.

3) Like striking, having a good foundation improves my defense as well. If i’m just using my arms to defend, chances are I’m relying on my muscles. So that Bong Sau I’m doing, is taxing my shoulder. That’s not a good thing. I want to make sure both my feet are planted so I can Shift with my Bong Sau.

Anyway, this is what I’m currently focusing on. This is my current mantra and it’s only 4 syllables: Feet First, Hands Second.

Question: What are you currently focused on in your Wing Chun training? Let me know in the comments.

Close the Distance

Today we talk about closing the distance, stepping in, and what it means to land a full strike on your opponent.

What’s the difference between a strike that lands with a fully extended arm versus a strike that lands before the arm is full extended?

The immediate difference is in power. If my striking arm is already fully extended, I am at the limit of my range and power. The only way I can think of to correct this is by closing the distance which gives my striking arm more range to strike with more power, making my attack more effective.

The way I practice closing the distance is by stepping in. I go over the drill I do to practice. The basic steps are:
1) Start from Wing Chun stance
2) Step forward with one leg while keeping the weight on the back leg
3) Return to Wing Chun stance
4) Lead with alternate leg then repeat

Once you get used to the movement, you want to practice this with a strike. Now, my Sifu says that our striking hand should be the same side as our back leg when we do this stepping drill.

Let me know if you’re already stepping in, how you go about it, and if you find it effective in the comments below!

Also, I go over my current progress of my 30 Day Practice Wing Chun Challenge at the end of the video. If you’re interested in participating in my challenge, learn more about it here!

Defend & Advance

Today I discuss a little idea about how to defend and advance in Wing Chun!

I commonly move forward to strike and backward to defend. Sometimes I don’t realize I’m stuck in this forward/backward mentality loop. In my mind I feel like I’m making progress but I’m just essentially taking one step forward but two steps back. To change this, I had to change my mentality.

I was introduced to the idea of retreating at an angle. The slightest shift in angle can change everything. If I were defending, I just disrupted my opponent’s momentum and created an opportunity. I can use this opportunity in many ways: I can strike, close the distance, or switch my role with my opponent to become the one on the offense.

A lot of opportunities can come from this little idea. What’s your take on it? Let me know in the comments!

Hold Your Ground

Today we talk about holding your ground and I share a drill you can use with your partner to practice!

In class we went over a drill that was really fun that works your fight or flight response. This was the first time I’ve done this drill in class so it took a while to get used. It was hard to not back up or step to the side but once I got used to it, it became very interesting.

When I was defending and holding my ground, I realized my opponent could only throw the same type of strikes and this made it easier and easier to block and deflect.

When I was on the offensive, I also realized how quickly my attacks were limited to just a few strikes. At such a close distance, without space to step in on, there was not enough momentum to generate any power in my strikes. So even at such a close range, my strikes were essentially useless. This was definitely a very interesting insight.

If you want to practice this drill, grab a partner! There are two roles, one defender and one attacker.

1) Defender: Defend without stepping back but you can shift. Also, don’t try to push your attacker back, keep the distance close.

2) Attacker: Attack and close the distance. Do not step back when there’s no more room to generate power for your strikes.

Switch roles after two minutes.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes in the comments!

Don’t step into your opponent’s fist

This week we talk about stepping in, lunging forward, and closing the distance.

A bad habit of mine is leading with my upper body (usually my head) as I close the distance and step forward. If my opponent throws a strike towards my face, I’m in trouble. Since I’m already in motion, there’s no way for me to stop once I’m committed.

So what’s the best way to deal with this bad habit? Let’s go back to our Wing Chun stance. In my Wing Chun stance I lean back slightly and this is also the proper structure I should maintain while I step into my opponent’s space.

To train this, I have to drill myself to step in and out towards a target while maintaining my structure without leaning in. Once I get that down, I include the arms.

It’s definitely a work in progress for me but I think it’s definitely worth working on.

P.S. Here’s the fight I was referring to in this week’s video:

Side Stepping in Wing Chun

Today we talk about side stepping in Wing Chun and in the Dummy Form.

Yesterday in class I focused on the applications of section 6 of the Wing Chun Dummy Form. I focused on stepping to the side. In my original step, I place all my weight on the front leg and lead with my head first. That’s a bad habit and my Sifu helped me realize that. He demonstrated how he does it by keeping the weight on the back leg and NOT leading with the head leaning in, haha. Since it’s a bad habit of mine, it will take time for me to adjust and correct it. I hope you can learn from my mistake and correct your bad habits early.

These Class Notes episodes will be more for my own review but if you find it useful, please let me know. But if you don’t find it useful, please let me know how it can be better. Feedback is always appreciated and I read everyone of them!

Lastly, did you find this episode helpful for you? Do you have the same bad habit I had? Let me know!

Let’s Talk About Sensitivity

Today, we talk about sensitivity and having control over your intentions.

In Wing Chun, I think we’re trained for sensitivity so we know when to react. I feel like this is a double edged sword because we’re trained to react when we feel our opponent’s intent but what if the person doesn’t show intent? It makes it harder to react.

The idea of intent is focusing on a particular point. The idea of controlling my intent is trying to achieve the same results but without intent. I know, this sounds confusing so let’s use an example. I want to block a strike coming towards me with a Jum Sau. My intent is laser focused on the point of contact where my Jum Sau stops the strike. Instead of blocking with intent, I can choose to simply occupy the space where the strike needs to go through. So the ultimate goal isn’t to block the strike but to prevent it from reaching me.

What’s the point of controlling my intentions? Well if you give intent, I can react to it by preparing myself and keeping my guard up. If I don’t feel intent, however, I’m less likely to defend because I’m not expecting anything. Does that make sense?

Let me know what you think about this idea! I would love to start a discussion about it!

Putting Our Wing Chun Reflexes Into Action

Lets 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!

Keeping Contact and Control

Today we talk about using this part of our hands to keep contact and control of our opponent!

I stick to my opponent to maintain contact but making contact doesn’t always mean sticking, and sticking doesn’t always mean control.

If my point of contact with my opponent is my wrist or my fingertips, there’s nothing I can do to follow my opponent because the area of contact from my wrist or fingers limits what I can control.

The palm, however, is a good part of the hand to use for sticking and following the opponent without being aggressive. It also offers enough surface to easily adapt to my opponent’s movements whether they want to move up, down, or side to side.

What do you think about sticking with your palm? Let me know in the comments and tell me how you go about sticking. Cheers!

Let’s Talk About Speed

Today we talk about speed and moving before our opponent can react!

When I think of speed, I think about being faster than my opponent and whether I can move faster, defend faster, strike faster, or just react faster. The thing is, I can be faster than my current opponent but this will not always be true for everyone else. There will always be someone faster than me, stronger than me, and so on.

The speed I want to discuss today involves moving and striking before my opponent can react. I’ve been trained to be sensitive to intentions and I believe my reaction is very high and usually accurate. When I feel pressure or a strike coming, my body immediately lets me know something is on its way and I should get ready. The problem is, what if my opponent doesn’t give any intention or pressure? My mind isn’t used to it so I don’t react. I don’t guard up nor do I prepare myself because I don’t feel danger.

So this had me thinking. If I can get into my opponent’s space, without raising any alarms, and my opponent doesn’t react, then it’s an open invitation to strike. If my opponent doesn’t feel me coming, they won’t have time to react when I strike. In this instance, I am moving faster than my opponent’s reaction without actually being physically faster than them.

What do you think about speed? What are your ideas and how do you practice improving your speed? Let me know in the comments!

The Good, The Bad, The Muscle Memory

Let’s discuss the good and the bad of relying on muscle memory in Wing Chun. What does muscle memory mean to you?

Let’s Talk About Lop Sau

Let’s Talk About Lop Sau aka “The Pulling Hand”

Today we talk about Lop Sau also known as “The Pulling Hand”.

Lop Sau is a fundamental technique in Wing Chun but is only notable in the Wing Chun dummy form, more specifically, section 1 and section 6 of the form. The problem is that Lop Sau isn’t fully expressed in the dummy form because the dummy is stationary and the dummy’s arms aren’t fully mobile for pulling. In the video, I show what a good Lop Sau looks like based on how my school teaches it.

A good Lop Sau consists of pulling the opponent’s arm down to waist level and keeping it away from my body (at least 2-3 fist sizes away). The reason for this is to completely disrupt my opponent’s center and to prevent them from charging and taking me down.

If you’ve already learned Lop Sau, do you do it the same way I do? If not, give it a try the next time you practice and let me know how it goes in the comments!

Keep training!

This is How I Lop Sau

Today we talk about how I grab with my Lop Sau so if you’re doing it differently, I hope I can introduce a new idea you can try out!

I’ve been told the best point to grab is at someone’s wrist level but going into Lop Sau doesn’t always guarantee that. The wrist is a harder target to grab but I can grab higher and slide my hand down to my opponent’s wrist.

I’ve been taught to grab with my thumb closed but I never use full strength when I grab. The reason why is that it makes it very vulnerable for me to get locked and a simple Tan Sau from my opponent can essentially control my arm that I grabbed them with. So when I grab, I always only use enough to contain the opponent and this allows me to quickly let go if my opponent does try to lock me.

So this is how I go about grabbing when I Lop Sau. How about you?

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.

Note: Always Lop Sau with elbow in and always Tan Sau to block before grabbing.

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!

Keep Your Arms Close and Your Opponents Closer

Today we talk about keeping your arms close and your opponents closer.

A fully extended arm makes it easier to be grabbed and pulled. This was something my Sifu mentioned after he watched the video of me doing Chi Sao with my friend Marc (episode #069). He noticed that my arms were almost fully extended. From my perspective, I thought I was keeping Marc out but from my Sifu’s perspective, I was giving Marc my arm to be grabbed. I should have kept my arms at 135 angle, so that my arms were closer to me, which makes it more difficult for my opponent to grab and pull it.

Also, when I lose contact with my opponent, especially during Chi Sao, I need to quickly reestablish the connection. Even if I keep my guard hands up, I need to close the distance and maintain connection with my opponent. Without the connection, I’m not in range to do anything.

I think Wing Chun is only effective within a certain distance between an opponent. Once I’m out of range, it makes anything I do ineffective.

So as a reminder, keep your arms close and your opponents closer! 🙂

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 Kwan Sau

Today we talk about Kwan Sau!

Kwan Sau looks very similar to Double Arm Gan Sau and it can be confusing sometimes but a good way to remember which is which is that Kwan Sau can lead to Lap Sau 🙂

My friend Tony gave me a tip when using Kwan Sau. He said that instead of trying to use it to deflect my opponent to the side, step in and use the forward momentum to deflect, pin, and disrupt my opponent. I think it’s a great tip and worth testing. I think any way to give my opponent less space to maneuver should be worth doing.

Lastly, I mention previously that I don’t like using two arms to defend but in special cases where my opponent is much more aggressive than I’m used to, I think it’s safe to use Kwan Sau to catch both my opponent’s arms to slow down their momentum.

What do you think about Kwan Sau? How have you been using it in your Chi Sao?

Why Not Kwan Sau?

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 🙂

Additional Notes

  • When doing the Pak Sau drill, keep punch arm straight and do not retrieve or bend the arm to strike. Step in and use Pak Sau to clear the center
  • Pak and/or Block opponent’s forearm (close to where the arm bends), not the wrist
  • 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!