Entrance Techniques Wing Chun Learners Must Master

Wing Chun Kung Fu

Wing Chun kung fu

How to do Wing Chun entrance techniques? This question is often asked by Wing Chun beginners. Wing chun, or “beautiful springtime”, is one of the major Chinese martial arts. It is also one of the most difficult to master. Yet its basic principles are quite simple. Wing Chun doesn’t depend on brute force or acrobatics, but is rather a close-range style that emphasizes stability and efficient body mechanics. The fighting stance is compact and stable, yet fluid and relaxed.


TAN SAO – palm up block

A Palm up block where the palm of the hand is straight and the fingers are held together with the thumb cocked in and held against the top side of the hand. By holding the thumb in there is a natural tension gained that helps to catch an opponent’s incoming power, if you do not hold in your thumb then you risk the block being weak and unable to deflect your opponents strike.

BONG SAO – wing arm block

The Bong Sao (wing arm) uses the little finger side of the arm to deflect your opponents strike with the palm facing the opponent and the fingers held relaxed in line with the center of the body. The elbow forms a 135 degree angle with the wrist lower than the elbow and the elbow higher than the shoulder (depending on the height of your opponent). The thumb is held loose in this block which ensures that the strength is on the little finger side of the arm to correctly deflect the incoming sr tike.

FOOK SAO – controlling arm

It is often said that the Fook Sao is patterned after a foxes paw in that the fingers and the palm should be pointing downwards with the elbow kept tucked in to protect the mid section.

PAK SAO – slapping hand

This is a very effective block similar to a parry used in boxing where the hand is used to slap away your opponents strike to your head. The key to using the Pak Sao is to use it efficiently by ensuring that you only move your hand the minimum amount so that you slap your opponents punch just enough so that it misses you, if you Pak Sao too far then you run the risk of being trapped by your opponent should he pull your Pak Sao down and trap your other arm with it enabling him a free shot at you.

LAP SAO – pulling hand

The Lap Sao is used to pull one arm of your opponent and making him off balance whilst simultaneously striking him with your other hand for example after a Tan Sao block you maintain contact with your opponents striking arm and you rotate your wrist into a Lap Sao and pull him forward onto a strike with your other hand.

Step 1 Begin with one of the three empty-hand forms known as Siu Lim Tao. Empty-hand simply means no weapons are used. This form develops the key element of Wing Chun, which is the stance. While maintaining your stance, you practice sets of arm movements to learn how to strike efficiently.

Step 2 Learn abdominal breathing and relaxation. In Wing Chun, every movement flows from the previous one. Your body must be relaxed to achieve these swift, fluid motions. Learn how to breathe properly while practicing to avoid panicking in a real life situation.

Step 3 Learn the straight punch. In Wing Chun, the strength of one’s punches comes from the elbow. There is no winding up to gather momentum. Instead the punch is launched straight out from the body in a quick, explosive movement. Repeat this multiple times to create a chain of rapid punches.

Step 4 Master the basic stance called “Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma”. One of the proverbs of Wing Chun is that “strength originates from the heels”. This explains why the stance is so vital. You remain rooted to the ground, using it as the starting point of every strike so that your limbs become extensions of the ground itself. Footwork is best attempted only after mastering this stance.

Step 5 Learn the lifting punch. Similar in appearance to an uppercut, the lifting punch is actually much different in technique. Rather than bringing your fist up from a very low position to strike an upper part of your opponent by moving through a long arc, the lifting punch begins at mid-level and travels up and forward along a smaller arc toward the opponent’s lower jaw. The torso pivots and lifts up, adding to the punch’s strength.

Step 6 Move on to Chi Sao, or “sticking hands” technique. This teaches you how to keep your hands and arms in contact with your opponent at close range in order to sense and anticipate his next move. Remember, Wing Chun is all about staying so close to your opponent that you disrupt his movements and attacks. Being smaller, weaker or even outnumbered is no disadvantage. Editing by Alice Claire

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