In this lesson we will discuss the Wing Chun hands. We will cover the proper form (shape, how it looks like) and function (what it is for) of the Wing Chun hands, not the applications. Chi Sao is the platform where you really learn how to apply the Wing Chun hands.

All techniques discussed here are practiced in SNT, Wing Chun’s first empty hand form

Wing Chun hands.

Some characteristics of the Wing Chun hands.

  • Wing Chun hands are flexible and operate in a sphere rather than a fixed position.
  • They re-direct, absorb, fold, wedge, sweep, stick, control etc. It is never a block (!)
  • Elbows down and never lock and fully stretch your arms.
  • Beginners should focus on relaxing their shoulder, hand and wrist or else you will not be able to absorb, re-direct and flow into other techniques.

Tan Sao or “Spread Hand”

  • Form: your hand is flat and fingers pointing forward. Shoulder, elbow and hand form a triangle shape. Don’t squeeze your elbows in too much it will stress your shoulder-nest.
  • Function: absorbs, re-direct and folds incoming force. Controls the upper outside gates. Excellent in clinch range, jamming and controlling of your opponent.

Bong Sao – “Wing Hand”

  • Form: from a top view, shoulder, elbow and hand form a triangle shape. Elbow outside your shoulder. Shoulder higher than elbow, and elbow higher then wrist
  • Function: Absorbing and redirecting incoming force. Pressing bong: to jam and uproot your opponent. Bong sao is a deflecting action not a block.

Biu Sao – “Darting Hand”

  • Form: Elbows down, never locked. Palm facing down, that will create a reeling silk (spiral) energy
  • Function: Intercepts incoming force. Jams and control your opponent’s arm (bridge). Handles the upper outside gates.

Pak Sao – “Slapping Hand”

  • Form: Don’t over commit and “slap” across your centreline. Slap with a relaxed hand. Use your inside palm not your fingers.
  • Function: Re-directs incoming force. Controls the inside gates.

Lap Sao – “Pulling Hand”

  • Form: Pull your opponent’s wrist with your elbows pointing down.
  • Function: To control and break your opponent’s structure

Huen Sao  – “Circling Hand”

  • Form: circle your wrist clockwise or anti-clockwise, elbows down.
  • Function: Run from pressure

Gan Sao – “Cultivating Hand”

  • Form: it is a sweeping action, not a block! Your elbows are bend, NOT locked.
  • Function: Controls the lower outside gate.

Jum Sao – “Sinking Hand”

  • Form: fingers pointing up slightly, forward action with your elbow down. Don’t cross your centreline.
  • Function: Cover you centre for incoming force, below your sternum.

Wu Sao – “Guarding Hand”

  • Form: fingers pointing up, move from your centre line back and/or forth. Elbows down.
  • Function: Protects your centreline. Used to “stick” and absorb your opponent’s force.

Closing remarks

This is Wing Chun 101 and your “bread and butter” techniques. It is super important that as a beginner you learn how to relax and execute these techniques properly.

I hope you find this lesson useful, feel free to like and share this post. Contact me if you have any questions.

All the best,

Steven Wang

Head coach

Chu Sau Lei Wing Chun Singapore