BONG SAU

Often times I suggest to students the formula to develop skill in wing chun is, find 1 of the 6 attacks to master and spend the majority of the time, practicing your blocking.   Now, if you stick with that simple formula which i often suggest, your skills will definitely raise up significantly.  But when it comes to working on your blocking skills, there is one technique that you need to work on, above and beyond the others that can't be compared... The mastery of the bong sau motion.

Over the years from teaching,and observing individuals what separates the good from the great, is how well has one developed the bong sau. Clearly the most difficult of the moves to master, due to the fact that the motion leads to injury if done incorrectly as opposed to any other hand
technique.  So, where to begin, and as always  with everything in wing chun, you start from origin... how well can you do the motion.

You've got to perfect the bong sau motion and know exactly how to do it to the T just like in the form.  And this takes, constant and constant practice from not only knowing how the motion is shot out but also, making sure your covering your center and often times not raising your shoulder when doing the motion. How do you know its correct.  If you know the placement of bong sau and the motion, imagine i ask you just put your bong sau out and hold it in place, and feel what it feels like just to hold it in stillness. Listen to the amount of muscle being used at that time and where everything else is.  Now, I ask you shot out that bong sau at full
speed and tell me, at the end of driving that bong sau out at 80-mph, does it feel like the bong  when you hold it in stillness.  See, this alone time is a must... often people complain, i don't have a partner... if you can't do bong sau by yourself correctly, ain't not chance in heck that your gonna do it right with a partner... so that's the first goal....

There are allot of drills that help you develop the bong sau from the simple to the more difficult... You could say the most difficult of the drill is taking an onslaught of fun sau attacks and how well one can neutralize the pull of the lop sau and maintain the structure... here are some of the most common problems that ones sees if you do bong sau when you roll with people....

1) giving up on the bong sau block, often times, a certain block should be dealt with bong sau, but students give up on the block and us wu sau or other secondary blocks immediately... remember there are levels to the triangle, and you want your opponent to go through progressions before you have to go to emergency mode blocking

2) don't push out with the bong sau, once you get the block out, don't keep pushing it further out... you'll definitely feel kick back in the shoulder

3) don't raise the shoulder..... that's a no no... it should be sunk just like when you do the punch.

4) bong sau does not collapses beyond 135 degrees, you have to know how to hold the structure without using muscle.. your just gonna have to fail at this over and over again.....
knowing the motion and holding structure are 2 different things... just keep failing and figuring out what works and what doesn't

5) cover your center when doing the bong sau... the wrist has to be generally in your center line... if its too much  or too little that bong sau will still collapse and
won't be supported by your structure

6) neutralize, neutralize, and neutralize the force on the bong sau.. probably one of the hardest things to do.. if you can't neutralize force on bong sau..then one you don't have a bong sau, 2 you won't be able to roll out of motions, etc, etc.....remember there are 3 blocks that i've seen time and time again that people can't block...... fun sau, low lop chop and por jeong........

In the end, start recognizing when the bong sau needs to be used... sometimes you might have a little force in there, but your gonna have to experiment... but you have to develop the bong sau 

Written by Sifu Ed Cruz
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