Bong sao

Another great Wing Chun class in Redditch on Thursday and it was a real pleasure to see fellow Wing Chun Sifu Steve Shaw. Two hours hard martial arts training and only covered two shapes! Probably sounds as dull as dish water to anyone who wasn’t there but remember in Wing Chun unlike some other martial arts it is quality over quantity and it was anything but dull. The two hour session positively flew past.

Bong sao is one of the signature moves of Wing Chun kung fu and features in almost every photo shoot of every Wing Chun article, but it is one of the least well understood and one of the hardest for students to do well. Working through the basic shape, the reasons for using it before moving on to simple partner drills and then more reactive drills, the first hour and a half of he class was dedicated to bong sao. By the end everyone was showing great signs of improvement, learning to lead with the elbow, contact at the wrist and do all of the work with the legs. The challenge for those who had a decent grasp of the shapes, as with much of Wing Chun, was the need to relax and keep the bong sao arm soft whilst maintaining structure in the Wu sao. All I can say is nothing beats practice and becoming familiar or comfortable with using something under pressure, when it comes to improving relaxation.

As an aide to memory when practising at home remember 10 points about bong sao:

  1. the end shape is tarn sao upside down
  2. the path of travel is as important as the end shape, the wrist stays low and the elbow leads.
  3. bong sao travels forward not straight up or across
  4. lift at the elbow
  5. contact at the wrist
  6. keep the bong sao arm soft and relaxed, the hand should be neutral
  7. wu sao is as important as the bong sao and both go forward together
  8. when repeating the technique, the lead hand travels underneath the rear hand
  9. the turn or step creates the angle and allows the technique to work
  10. bong sao intercepts and sticks