Sifu Gary Lam on Correct and Wrong Bong Sau Pt 2

I got a comment on the last post from Ving Chun Kuen via my email:

“Toi Da? Can you give a simple description. His order/method seems interesting.”

Sifu Lam’s method (at least the one that came down to me) was to teach Bong Sau recoveries.  You are attacked from a bad angle and throw up the “wrong” bong (your flank is exposed).

So you have reflex actions you put into your body to attack from this bad position immediately upon finding yourself there.

The order I gave was random.  There are four possible Wing Chun responses to the situation, all attacks: Pak Da, Lap Da, Tan Da, or Toi Da.

You’ll do one and go from there.

For the bong to be “wrong,” the punch must be from the opposite arm.  He punches with his left and I defend with my right arm as a bong (or vise versa).  So in the case above (his left, my right), I turn toward my right while catching him by the wrist with my right hand (no thumb) and pull his arm across his body with my arm completely straight.

The ending position is good for a push with his arm straight, your arm straight, his facing offline, and putting your left hand on his left shoulder with your elbow down you can take position.

I’ll try to do a video in the next few days.

Gary Lam demonstration

Three Timings in Wing Chun

“For the fighting, we have the best three timings.
When an opponent hit you, you hit him first.
This is the best timing.
Every time he hit, you hit him first.  This is the best timing.
The second is, when he hit, you let go, and on the way back, you go through.  This is the second good timing.
The last timing is, when he hit, you stop him, and then , you take his position.
Or you stop him, on the way he hit me, he will bring my hand in, and then I hit him.”
Gary Lam

From the excellent Devastating CHI-SAU Crossing Hand System DVD (co-starring my teacher Greg LeBlanc early in his training and his training partner Mitch).

I’m not getting any money for this endorsement!

Best introductory Wing Chun video I know.

I wish I could figure out how to advertise it and get a cut!

Gary Lam and Mitch in Lam's backyard Circa 1998

You Scared? Go Home.

“He hit me. I stop him. Who is fast? He drive from his home to my home. I already waiting in front of the door for him. Why can he faster than me? Impossible! So he hit me. I hurt him first. Because I waiting for him.”
Gary Lam

“You want to win? You have to bet. You scared? Go home.”
Gary Lam


Gary Lam Taking Postion Against Blur

Reader Question: Fung Hao or Fat Sao

“Hello,have you ever heard of a move or drill (or whatever) in Wing Chun called : foon hao ? It’s said that it is used in advanced chi sao but unfortunately I can’t find anything about this move on the internet (hope i pronounce it correctly)Many thanks in advance”

That sounds like Fung Hao (also called Fak Sao) which I believe translates as “neck sealing hand.”

One manifestation of this hand in the forms is in Siu Lum Tao, when you do that sort of chopping out to either side.

As usual with the SLT, this is training two hands at once (no one is chopping the neck of two people simultaneously, except perhaps Austin Powers).

In practice, Fung Hao is not the “best” hand as your go to move (no structure) but it can be useful in various scenarios, usually as an inside action (fast).  One way its used is the defender catches the incoming strike with an inside lap — the lap hand takes the hand offline (defusing it) and then re-attacks.

The classic application (as shown in the primary drill) is the “defender” ends up cutting toward the attacker’s neck with a quick succession of blade hand strikes (driven as always by the elbow) to the larynx or thereabouts.

They called it “neck-sealing hand” because if you do it right, you’ll crack the larynx and their throat will swell and strangle them.

Be careful with your training partners!

We usually apply the strikes to the shoulder muscle for safety.

There are like five variations of this drill, including one where you end up walking past the partner and throwing a strike with the ridge of the hand on the outside of the index finger (opposite the thumb), a little going away present as you escape past your opponent.

The interesting thing to note is that this hand is deprecated.  It is not a grounded strike made with the elbow down, so its efficacy is limited.  This is no money shot.  This is an “Oh, shit” maneuver and not to be relied upon.

Fancy chi sao players (like me back in the day) will do this because its hard to defend against, but in a real fight your opponent might decide to suffer one of these while knocking you out with his ground supported chained attack.

Below Gary Lam demos on my Sifu, Greg LeBlanc.

Its surprising how fast you can get with this technique, but maybe its a bit misleading!

Five fingers of death!

[Read more…]