Discussions with Wong Shun Leung – Chum Kiu
Yvette Wong invited Master Wong Shun Leung and Master Tsui Sheung Tin to visit the city of Victoria, B.C. for a holiday. At the same time she arranged for them to give a two hour seminar. During their stay, she had frequent opportunity to clarify various points about Wing Chun.
We hope some of these points will help the current generation of practitioners with their understanding of Wing Chun.
After reading these points again, I am amazed at how many things these masters said in a very short seminar. They were literally overflowing with knowledge. These points were translated by Yvette Wong from the Cantonese talk that Master Wong Shun Leung gave. This means we may not have captured the true essence of all that was said.
Wong Shun Leung’s thoughts on Chum Kiu
“If you throw a left punch at someone and they use the right Bong sau, you can pull their Bong sau down with your right hand to pull them off balance and then hit with the left hand. If the guarding hand is lined up with the wrist, then the opponent will have no protection if he is really pulled down. He can’t recover with a sideways Pak sau. But if the guarding hand is held closer towards the shoulder, it will naturally block the incoming punch.
Also, if the Wu sau (guarding hand) is in the center, like we have it, then a hit can come to either side of the Wu sau. But with the hand towards the shoulder, which is actually your new centerline when you are shifted, the opponent’s punch can only come to one side of your guarding hand. This makes the punch easier to deal with.
The second set has three quite different variations of the Bong sau. One is to really whack the opponent’s arm away. Another is if your Bong sau is already in contact with the opponent’s arm, and he is pressing you – for example, their left arm presses your right Bong sau. In this case you can change the Bong sau to a Lan sau. The Lan sau is performed with the wrist higher than the elbow, not level, in the Wong Shun Leung version. This brings the opponent’s force down.”
The double Bong sau in the second set, is not really used in a double way. Also the wrists in Master Wong Shun Leung’s version are not together. This movement tells you how to use the Bong sau in combination with a moving stance in order to get rid of a force. For example, if someone tries to put his arms around you from the front (a front bear hug), you can create a circular defense by putting your left arm in the Tan sau position, and your right arm in the low Bong sau position. At the same time, charge into the opponent to unbalance him. The opponent’s arms have a hard time me crushing you because you’ve created an extra circle around you (circular defense). Also if your arm is grabbed, you can charge in and change to a step and Bong sau to get rid of an opponent’s force. Part of the second set assumes you already have contact.
In the second set, Master Wong Shun Leung starts with the left low Gum sau, followed by a right low Gum sau. Tsui Sheung Tin does six sliding down hands (same as Wong Kiu) in the first set, followed by six punches.
The Bar arm (Lan sau) in the second set should not be done high (shoulder level) or else it isn’t a practical movement. The Lan sau should be performed at about the solar plexus level. The use of this movement is, for example, if your right arm has been grabbed and a left punch is coming, then your left bar arm jams that punch before the punch gets too far. There are a variety of these kinds of jamming movements. If the Lan sau is too high, then the Lan sau is not effective for jamming any punch”.
Words of Wisdom
Why We Train: “When defeated ask yourself what mistakes invited the attack. This kind of positive thinking any fighter must possess.” – Wong Shun Leung
CREDITS & acknowledgements
Original interview translation by Yvette Wong. Reporting by Ray Van Raamsdonk.