The Driving Elbow Of Wing Chun


The best Wing Chun,

is rear wheel drive


When playing Chi Sau there are 3 main points you must remember:



Highest and lowest position

When rolling in Tan and Bong, either single arm or both, always think of rolling the point of the elbow to the highest and lowest position.

If you do this, you will always have good positions, if you do not, nothing else will work and get ready to be hit.



Base of the forearm

Any force, power or energy, must come from the base of the forearm, not the wrist.

Doing this will mean that you have full ability to change from one kind of force to another in a fraction of a second, such as pushing forward from the elbow, feeling the resistance and then switching off at the elbow and pulling down via the wrist with a Jut.



Keep the hands relaxed

Keep the hands relaxed until it is time to not be relaxed, such as using a Lap Sau or Pak Sau, either as an attack or as a jamming defense, or in this case, when using a punch.


Let’s look at Pak Sau drills for a moment:


If you step in with a Pak/Punch and your partner defends the punch by moving your fist across their body, do you ever find your fist being taken that direction and therefore stop the technique?

Very possible, most people do.


Or you may opt for a continuation with Lap and Fak Sau without giving the process a single thought?


Whichever you choose, often the reason for this is because you are thinking of your fist, and why not, you were trying to execute a punch after all?


This misplacement of energy (or distraction) comes from the hands being at eye level and therefore easily brought to the forefront of your skill set.

Instead, try to gain the most from a technique by understanding how it feels, not just how it looks, otherwise this is just ‘Style over substance’.


A punch should be driven from the elbow and the hand not tensed until the point of impact, BUT, if you never reached that point of impact, why are you making a tense fist?

That is why you are being deflected.


Now we get to the nitty gritty of it.


Think of this…

If a front-wheel drive car goes around a corner too fast then the front end will continue in a forward direction and not make the turn.

This is like punching with focus on the fist.


If a rear-wheel drive car goes around a corner too fast then the back end will swing around, making the back end continue on its same originally intended direction.

This is like punching when focus is on the elbow.


If you are punching with the correct energy, as in being driven from the elbow, should this punch be used in a Pak Sau drill (or in Chi Sau), and the fist (not yet a committed punch) be deflected across the body, then the elbow should still have the ability to continue on its path along the centerline and complete its task of reaching the target.


‘Luk Sau Jic Keun’

(Lost Hand Straight Punch)


This is the principle behind all of our training and again can be compared to driving a car.


When approaching a roundabout, a driving instructor will tell you to:


Be ready to stop, but prepared to go’


Simply meaning, if there’s a gap, take it, but if there’s doubt, let it go.


NEVER, do anything you cannot recover from, if you do not understand this principle then you need to drill more Dan Chi Sau.





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