A Badly Pronounced Pak Sau (Clarity)



Dated 3rd April 2019

A question was raised on Facebook requesting further understanding, so I’d like to add a little footnote to this Alexandre Dumas blog.

It’s the idea that if you go for a Pak but miss with the hand & make contact with the wrist, is this wrong?

If what you did blocked the strike then so what?

If you blocked it you blocked it.

When blocking with the hand in this way, this is what we call a Pak, blocking with the wrist is what we call a Jum, and blocking with the elbow could be called a Garn.

The point being that if I miss with the Pak, all is not lost, who cares what you block with!


We train Pak, Jum and Garn so that if we DO make this contact, then we are not alien to the feeling of it.

The connection with my phrasing of a technique being Pronounced Badly, simply means that what one person may call a shit Pak, another may call a great Jum.

This is also the reasoning behind forms:

Siu Lim Tau teaches us the principles of attacking down, taking or simply finding, the centerline. As well as elbow energy, stance and so on…

Chum Kiu teaches us the fighting idea of stepping, turns and kicks etc.

And finally Biu Gee teaches us that should things go wrong, there is always a way to recover your mistakes and get back to the centerline principles of the Siu Lim Tau.

I remember around 1990 in Hong Kong, Wong Shun Leung saying me that he did not believe in training Biu Gee or believe it to even be necessary, with his thoughts being that if you trained the 1st and 2nd forms properly then no mistakes should happen.

A noble thought indeed and I have no wish to disrespect someone who was so kind to me, BUT the thing is, mistakes are never of your doing, this is nearly always down to an outside influence:

Slippery floor,

Poor lighting,

Wrong clothing,

Too many beers,

Too many people,


And the list goes on…

The point is this, there is no downside to having a Plan B, in the case of forms, Biu Gee, in the case of street, I give you Alexandre Dumas, well that’s my theory anyway.

Hope that makes sense?

Start typing and press Enter to search