Bong Sau (Wing Arm)
A simple way to understand how to make a Bong Sau is to pretend you are looking at the time on your watch. Then lift your arm slightly and make sure your upper arm is pointing out straight from the shoulder and near enough horizontal from shoulder to elbow (the elbow slightly lower than the shoulder). Keep your wrist joint in line with your nose – there you have it, the “Bong Sau”.
The Bong Sau is a great technique and an iconic move in Wing Chun. The school or lineage you study will determine how you perform it, as different schools sometimes teach varied interpretations of this move.
At the North Devon Wing Chun Academy our primary use of the Bong Sau is as a collapsing & dispersing technique. When learning this technique, our students learn to feed their hand forward into the opponents centre line, towards an incoming punch. When the hand makes contact, we will use our turning stance (Juen Ma) and form the Bong Sau. The Bong Sau then collapses and guides the opponents punch past, followed with a Lap Sau (Pulling Hand) and counter.
Although we train the Bong Sau as a primary technique against an incoming punch, it’s not something we would advise in a real life situation. We only train like this to learn the technique. In a safe class environment with a compliant training partner it’s easy to deflect an oncoming straight punch with a Bong Sau. But if you try doing the same thing against a “boxers jab” you will end up leaving the side of your body unprotected.
In reality we prefer to use the Bong Sau as a close quarter technique, in response to being blocked or receiving pressure on the forearm. In this situation, as we collapse our Bong Sau, we follow through immediately with a counter attack. This can be a Lap Sau, Fak Sau (Pulling Hand, Whisking Hand), straight punch, or you can even transform the Bong Sau into an elbow strike to your opponents sternum.
The Bong Sau really is a key move when used correctly, and is extremely versatile – I will go into more detail in class!