Wing Chun’s Lap Sao is an important drill to develop the instinct to clear the path. However, many practitioners lack true intent, reducing the technique to a soft rollover routine.

Sifu Barry Pang explains that in Lap Sao practice, the attack is a proper punch in combination with a sharp, grab-like clearing technique. The “grab” must never hold on, it is more like a hooking action. Holding on would tie up a hand that needs to be available for attacking or defending. In addition, the Bong Sao must be committed to stopping the incoming punch at the right height.

The invisible part of his demonstration with black sash Scott Peterson, is the firmness of the platform, or stance, that Barry is able to access. His sharp hands, combined with a solid foundation, tend to throw opponents off balance and leave them open to follow up attacks. Utilising this source of power maximises:

  • the potential force of the punch,
  • the solidity of the Bong Sao and
  • the leverage achieved by the hook.

However, it is also the hardest thing to develop. This is why so many martial artists have good, quick hands, but lack power through the hips and the timing to bring it all together. Only patience and the hard-yards of basic legwork training can develop this.

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Article: Written by R Zandbergs. Created from Barry Pang’s seminars.
Main photo: Barry Pang demonstrating with Scott Peterson.