View Full Version : bong sau positioning

mun hung
05-27-2001, 03:41 PM
In your opinion, what is the proper positioning for the bong sau? How high are the elbow and wrist? What degree is the arm bent? Is your hand in the center line or your wrist? What position is your hand in? What are the advantages of doing it your way?

05-27-2001, 04:01 PM
A problem for me regarding the bong sau, is my arms and shoulders are not very flexible so I have to keep a rather horisontal bong sau. It works anyway, but would perhaps work better if the angle was bigger. Anyway I think the Kung Fu style should adapt to me, not the other way around (since that'd break my arm!).

05-27-2001, 05:30 PM
Hi Mun Hung!

Well, I know two ways of performing a Bong Sao. The first is the WT-way: your Ellbow builds a line from your shoulder to your partner's shoulder (except of the low Bong Sao, of course), the wrist is on the middle-line, the arm is bent about 120 to 130° and goes down in a c. a. ankle of 40 to 50°.

The second way is the WSL-VT Bong Sao, where the ellbow is always in front of my shoulder, the wrist on the middle-line and in front of breastbone (somehow).

Personally, I prefer the WT-Bong Sao, not only because it's more flexible to the situation (all the VT-guys will lynch me for this), but because I have more expereince in using the WT-one.


Wei Sui
05-27-2001, 08:27 PM
This is how I was taught...I am still trying to do this without raising my shoulder.

-Wrist lies along your centerline
-Tricep would be flat (ie. if you were to put your tricep against wall, it would lie parallel to it)
-make sure you are not raising your shoulder (will tense you up)
-elbow the highest point, wrist to the lowest
-your hand should be fully relaxed
-shoot forward and flip elbow up (can use the knees for additional power)

I am not saying this is the right way but just how I was taught to do it..it seems to do the job for me.

Curious to see how other do this:)

Dai yut tow dai :)

old jong
05-27-2001, 09:32 PM
Bong sao can be used at medium or low levels so the positionning may varie. the teaching of different schools may varie too so,it is better to work on your variation to make it good and effective!...I really don't want to get into "my bong sao" or" my kwan" or "my tan" thing!...Does it works?...Yes?...O.K. then! ;)

C'est la vie!

Wei Sui
05-27-2001, 10:17 PM
Old Jong,

I totally agree that one should experiment with their bong sau to find one that works best for them. This said, I also see value in exploring how others execute theirs so that we may find improvements, etc (ie. if yours works, how do you execute it? Perhaps what you write may help help me someone else out)


Dai yut tow dai :)

05-27-2001, 10:58 PM
In Pan Nam style the elbow comes up even with the shoulder then the wrist and hand are down near the navel.

I agree that one should find what works for them and go with that. Don't get caught up with having perfect form, Wing Chun is not a forms competition. Spend more time worrying about technique.. When your technique is right your form will come naturally.

05-28-2001, 01:57 AM
i've always been told to do it with elbow at ear level, wrist just below chin.

05-28-2001, 06:46 AM
We aim to hold the center with the wrist, and prefer to have the wrist silghtly higher than the elbow (in the position you call bong sau).... Bong sau is actually the name given to the process of rolling from tan, to fook, to bong. It, being a process rather than a set or fixed position, allows flexability for different situations/energies recieved.

05-28-2001, 09:56 AM
Thats the key,but position in the initial learning
stages is critical,I'll have to agree with Armin
on the angle,125-135 degrees is what I was taught.
My first challange was getting my shoulder to relax and hinging at the shoulder joint making sure not to collaspe and keep structure.

05-28-2001, 11:32 AM
how the **** can you have your wrist above your elbow

-The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war-

05-28-2001, 04:50 PM
A quick comment on the WSL bong sao - the bong sao drives the elbow towards the opponents opposite shoulder, as your hips turn. The bong finishes with your centre, wu sao (or punching hand), elbow, and opponents centre in a straight line. The WSL bong tends to be lower than that of other styles I have seen.

The whole point of this is not a defensive move, but an offensive one, you divert the opponents force sideways, so you can hit him. The beauty of the WSL bong is that you can hit straight over it, without having to lap sao first. Why do two moves when one will do?

Eventually, you can bong and hit simultaneously, for the ultimate in directness and simplicity.

05-28-2001, 07:03 PM
er... wrist higher than elbow?

mun hung
05-28-2001, 07:06 PM
Thanks for posting, gentlemen. I have found it to be very interesting as well as educational. Not to confuse anyone, but the bong sau positioning I was referring to was not the low one, but the standard one we all use in chi-sau. Ideally, this would be against someone identical in height punching to your face.

The reason why I started this topic was not for us to critique each other, but to find out the differences in structure and application within our art, and maybe try to understand the different interpretations we all represent.

nowhesings told us how kung fu should adapt to him due to his physical limitations. I personally agree with what he's trying to say. Maybe that in itself explains some of the different positions we see today. Who knows?

Armin expressed how he had learned it two ways, and even explained why he preferred one over the other.

Wei Sui, I'm pretty interested in how you "shoot forward and flip elbow up". What are you shooting forward? And at which point do you flip your elbow up?

Eric, can that Pan Nam bong sau be applied to a straight punch to the face? How then? If not, what is your application?

S. Teebas, can you please explain why your wrist is higher than your elbow? How high is your elbow? Could you please explain your application?

Frank Exchange, you said that you can punch straight over the WSL bong to hit your opponent. Can your opponent also punch straight over your low bong to strike you too? Do you start off with the bong sau in a low position, or do you lower it after contact?

A new question for you all - what position would your bong sau be in against a very tall or shorter opponent. What would your stucture be like? Should you lean back, lean forward or raise your arm accordingly? Or both?

Thanks for sharing such valued information with the likes of me. ;)

05-28-2001, 07:26 PM
i'd list my elbow as high as possible, and have my wrist low as possible, offering the greatest amount of spark to catch a punch. I haven't been taught to do this, i just think that's what i'd do!


My anus is superior

Wei Sui
05-28-2001, 08:40 PM
Well Mun Hung,

With regards to your question about shooting forward/lifting your elbow. What I meant was to shoot the arm forward toward the the opponents armpit/shoulder while doing the elbow up (this will uproot him). Hope this clarifies.

With regards to your second question:

"what position would your bong sau be in against a very tall or shorter opponent"

-With a short person, I think it would be executied the same, except it will be harder to get elbow up high as how you would normally do it...even though the elbow isn't as high, that is fine as along as the bong sau is still effective/comfortable... For a tall person, I don't change anything, it just means I can uproot them easier.

"What would your stucture be like? Should you lean back, lean forward or raise your arm accordingly? Or both? "

-I think you should never lean forward (meaning shoulders coming/tilted forward), if you lean forward you will take away the bent WC nail-like structure of your body which provides buffer zone which you use to recylcle your hands AND more importantly you will loose your rooting. Leaning forward makes you loose integrity in balace.


Dai yut tow dai :)

05-28-2001, 08:56 PM
I think a critical point to make about
Bong sau is the lateral position of the elbow.
the vertical height is not as critical,as it
must be adjusted to meet atacks from differing heights.But it has been shown to me that how
your elbow is lined up from side to side is very
important.It should be in line(horizontally) with
your shoulder.If it is outside of your shoulder,
your center is open,and if it is too far in,it
will easily collapse,and a simple,light push to your elbow will knock you over.

05-29-2001, 07:20 AM
Mun hung,
The actual position of the elbow cannot be defined, as it's position is in relation to the incoming force (or the arm that is trying to hit you) it is not fixed but able to change with each situation that arises.

OK, i think you guys are imagining my explanation a little wrong. When i say the wrist slightly higher than the elbow...i mean SLIGHTLY. WC is a very intristic art which when practiced for along time comes down to millimetres... and that’s what I’m talking about when MY wrist is slightly higher than my elbow.

The bong sau movement is about feeling...ie how structurally sound is you body, arm...everything in relation to getting rid of unwanted force. My body tells me to keep the wrist slightly higher than the elbow. WC is an art tailor made to each individual...if you body tells you one position is structurally strong, listen to it! My body tells me what to do, not the other way around. You work out what WC is, not your instructors. They tell you their interpretation of it; and you work with the info they give you. If it works use it!
Some times my wrist can come sightly under elbow, but it all depends on the situation. The reason I prefer to have my wrist a bit higher is it gives me that much more room to detect an arm lock. ie, say your in bong sau position and your opponent press down on your wrist and up on your elbow to put you in an arm lock ( around your back)….well I used to do it to my training partner when his bong was getting lazy, and found that by having my wrist marginally higher I could detect when he was trying to do it to me. But that was a while ago, and found that by having correct focus the opponent pressing on the bong doesn’t affect me due to good structure and being able to change to a better structure ie tan…… but now I’m just dribbling so I’ll stop 

If you like your wrist exactly in line with your elbow, then good for you. If you like your wrist a bit lower than your elbow, then good for you as well. It all comes down to personal preference.

Maybe you can share with us all why you are so disgusted by my comments? I’m not looking for an argument, but rather than simply type a comment you can explain the technical flaws in my way? ..and we can all learn from your experience


05-29-2001, 07:20 AM
mun hung..
"Eric, can that Pan Nam bong sau be applied to a straight punch to the face? How then? If not, what is your application?"

I will let you know when I finish Pan Nam Style.... First I have to get through Yip Man/ Leung Sheung..

05-29-2001, 01:11 PM
>>Frank Exchange, you said that you can punch straight over the WSL bong to hit your opponent. Can your opponent also punch straight over your low bong to strike you too? Do you start off with the bong sau in a low position, or do you lower it after contact? <<

When I say that the WSL bong tends to be lower than those of other styles, I should perhaps clarify. I mean that the bong is not lifted.

As someone has already noted, bong is a movement, an action, not a fixed position. The bong in our SLT is identical to the one in combat, but the difference is that the body is turned, to help the diversion of force that the roll of the bong gives.

The hand, relaxed, is pointing towards the opponents centre during lok sao, and the height of the hand is about the opponents nipple height. :) This obviously means that you have to raise or lower the arm, dependent on the opponents height.

The arm and shoulder are relaxed, the upper arm is at 90 degrees to the shoulders.
If using this bong to divert an attack to the body, the elbow is driven forward to the opponents opposite shoulder, as the body turns on its centre of gravity, and you step forward. This catches and diverts the attacking arm of the opponent, and possible the other as well, but because your arm has not lifted up, and you have moved in closer to the opponent, there is plenty of room to whack him over the bong without having to lap first. Can he hit you over your bong? No, because his arms have been diverted sideways, away from your centre. However, perhaps your bong is not perfect, because of the particular situation, maybe he can try to hit you. Because your wu sao is lined up ready to strike, you will hit first. More importantly, if you are on the centre punching forward, and stepping in, he will have no power in his hit.

This diversion and ability to attack turns bong into an offensive move. In WC, we think attack, not defend, right?

Note, that I said this bong deals with the body hit. Under the WSL method, we wouldn't normally use a bong to deal with a head strike, because we don't lift the bong, it wouldn't catch it. For head strikes, we hit and divert with the same arm, else gong/tan and hit, or as a last resort, pak.
Hitting with the diverting arm is the most direct and efficient. We like that. :)

dave the dragon
05-29-2001, 03:08 PM
that is almost word for word the description that i received for the application of the bong sau (i also do wsl.) frank exchange is you sifu clive potter by any chance?

mun hung
05-29-2001, 06:08 PM
Wei Sui - I agree with what you have to say regarding shooting the elbow out while bringing the elbow up to divert the oncoming energy. Do you use a slight twist in the arm while bringing up the elbow at contact? In regards to my second question regarding height, IMHO I would have to say that structurally the body position does'nt change - only the height of the bong sau. Higher against a taller person - lower against a shorter person. Just enough to "tie up" the punch.

Mikey - IMHO I think the vertical position is just as important as the lateral because it can collapse just the same. A tall person can easily push/punch your bong sau down with a punch if it is not raised high enough. A shorter person can also lift/uproot your bong sau if it is not place low enough to give you the proper leverage against him.

S. Teebas and Frank Exchange - I realize that bong sau can be thought of as a movement and not a set position, but the bong sau position I was speaking of is the one used in for example: dan chi sau, and not against "Joe Gorilla" in a fighting situation on the street. I'm sorry if I did'nt clarify this earlier. However, my ideas are somewhat the same regarding the turn and stepping in a fighting situation to divert energy. In a real fight - everything changes a little bit. S Teebas - you have your wrist slightly higher to detect armlocks? This is an intersting idea.

Eric - please excuse me, I thought you were a Pan Nam stylist and I was just curious having not been exposed to much of it.

Sharky - I only have one question for you - what makes your anus superior?

Once again - thanks for the great input.

[This message was edited by mun hung on 05-30-01 at 09:31 AM.]

05-30-2001, 02:14 PM
Dave the Dragon,
yep, I train with Clive, under the ridiculous pseudonym of James "3 girls on a train" Webster.

I also want to know about Sharkys anus. Wait a dang minute, that didn't come out right...

Regarding the WSL bong in Dan Chi, exactly the same positioning as in SLT, which is the same positioning in Chisao, which is the same positioning in combat... etc.

The only difference is the body shift. The bongs position in relation to the body is identical.

05-30-2001, 07:48 PM
Because it is a super anus, duh. The answer lies in the KFO general forum....


My anus is superior