The Bong Sao is probably the least understood or appreciated technique in Wing Chun. Yet it’s multiple applications are critical to the style and are unique in martial arts.

Sifu Barry Pang explains the importance and key applications of the Bong Sao technique in this seminar. He notes that it plays a key role in dealing with stronger opponents – providing an escape route – and that it is the only Wing Chun technique that does not follow the elbow along centreline principle. After the demonstration, he summarises that you can do without Bil Jee and Wooden Dummy, but Bong Sao is a foundational technique that is also a key to Chi Sao practice.

wing chun cannot exist without Bong Sao

Barry Pang

Watch the video:


Bong Sao applications explained

Bong Sao is a foundational technique that is taught early and appears in the first two Wing Chun forms: Sil Lum Tao and Chum Kil (“Searching for the bridge”). The technique has four main applications and can vary between being loose and firm. It is loose when not yet in contact with the opponent’s arms, It becomes firm when contact is made, backed up with lower body strength and coordination.

Here are the four applications:

Block – A loose action that appears in the last section of Sil Lum Tao.

Make contact – A loose action that appears in the second section of Chum Kil, combining forward stepping with Bong Sao action at side. 

Deflect – A firm action, coordinated with the body to gain a winning position once in contact. This appears in the first section of Chum Kil.

Jam – A  loose action that appears in the final section of Chum Kil, combining forward stepping and low Bong Sao action with both arms. Why two arms? Because it’s more efficient to train both arms at once. It does not mean that in a real situation you would apply a double-arm movement!

See also: