Counter To Lap Sau.

mook jong man

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Been working on Lap Sau a fair bit lately , got a left shoulder thats not as relaxed and as flexible as the other shoulder , pisses me off something chronic.

Anyhow the other day I was working on counters to Lap Sau with a student and we worked on one from the Bong Sau , but first a few points on Lap Sau.

Generally when people first learn the Lap Sau exercise , when they feel under threat or want to get through , they start going faster and faster , and then the other guy starts going faster and faster.

It becomes a Lap Sau race to see who's got the greater hand speed and who's punch can finally connect , thats a mugs game , there is always going to be someone faster than you .

Of course if you are using it for the specific purpose of improving your hand speed go for it.

But I prefer to go at a moderate pace making sure I'm relaxed as can be in the shoulders so that when he latches my punch down the arm just pivots in the shoulder socket and down into low Bong Sau and he's got nothing to work with.

I also make sure I bring my elbow straight back in for the return punch after the low Bong Sau has done its job of redirecting his latch.

This is where people will get lazy as they go faster instead of bringing the elbow in for the punch and using it to effect his structure , they do some sort of half arsed centerline back fist punch with the elbow out.

Now whilst that might of worked fine for Bruce Lee , it is only a stinging type of blow using the mass of the forearm , whereas bringing the elbow in and driving from the elbow uses the whole mass of the arm and has penetrating force.

I've got a student who does some F.M.A stuff as well and it took a while to get him out of the habit of using the backfist in Lap Sau.

You also want to make sure you are timing your Wu Sau correctly as it comes up to redirect his punch , no clashing , drive it up from the elbow and make sure your wrist is on the centerline.

After you redirect with Wu Sau latch his punching arm down , sinking your arm from the elbow , don't use the forearm , keep the angle in your arm.
Of course with all this you will have your forward force directed at his centerline , that is a given.

keep your Bong Sau arm pivoting on his forearm so it is always in contact , and keep your Wu Sau parallel with your Bong Sau so they both help each other to redirect the force.

Now the counter I use is pretty simple , after he latches my punching arm down and I am in low Bong Sau , I collapse my Bong Sau into an elbow strike keeping contact and pivoting my arm over his arm around the contact point trapping it , and then elbow striking him in the sternum.

Step forward with the opposite leg you are elbow striking on , you will have more power and its less likely he will be able to redirect you.

Once he feels his structure being collapsed he will attempt to punch with his spare hand as his other is trapped by your elbow.

To counter this , as you move in make sure your Wu Sau is covering your face and you should intercept his attempted punch on the inside of his wrist.

So it doesn't matter how fast he is we are jamming him up and crushing his structure.
 

wtxs

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Been working on Lap Sau a fair bit lately , got a left shoulder thats not as relaxed and as flexible as the other shoulder , pisses me off something chronic.

Anyhow the other day I was working on counters to Lap Sau with a student and we worked on one from the Bong Sau , but first a few points on Lap Sau.

Generally when people first learn the Lap Sau exercise , when they feel under threat or want to get through , they start going faster and faster , and then the other guy starts going faster and faster.

It becomes a Lap Sau race to see who's got the greater hand speed and who's punch can finally connect , thats a mugs game , there is always going to be someone faster than you .

Of course if you are using it for the specific purpose of improving your hand speed go for it.

But I prefer to go at a moderate pace making sure I'm relaxed as can be in the shoulders so that when he latches my punch down the arm just pivots in the shoulder socket and down into low Bong Sau and he's got nothing to work with.

I also make sure I bring my elbow straight back in for the return punch after the low Bong Sau has done its job of redirecting his latch.

This is where people will get lazy as they go faster instead of bringing the elbow in for the punch and using it to effect his structure , they do some sort of half arsed centerline back fist punch with the elbow out.

Now whilst that might of worked fine for Bruce Lee , it is only a stinging type of blow using the mass of the forearm , whereas bringing the elbow in and driving from the elbow uses the whole mass of the arm and has penetrating force.

I've got a student who does some F.M.A stuff as well and it took a while to get him out of the habit of using the backfist in Lap Sau.

You also want to make sure you are timing your Wu Sau correctly as it comes up to redirect his punch , no clashing , drive it up from the elbow and make sure your wrist is on the centerline.

After you redirect with Wu Sau latch his punching arm down , sinking your arm from the elbow , don't use the forearm , keep the angle in your arm.
Of course with all this you will have your forward force directed at his centerline , that is a given.

keep your Bong Sau arm pivoting on his forearm so it is always in contact , and keep your Wu Sau parallel with your Bong Sau so they both help each other to redirect the force.

Now the counter I use is pretty simple , after he latches my punching arm down and I am in low Bong Sau , I collapse my Bong Sau into an elbow strike keeping contact and pivoting my arm over his arm around the contact point trapping it , and then elbow striking him in the sternum.

Step forward with the opposite leg you are elbow striking on , you will have more power and its less likely he will be able to redirect you.

Once he feels his structure being collapsed he will attempt to punch with his spare hand as his other is trapped by your elbow.

To counter this , as you move in make sure your Wu Sau is covering your face and you should intercept his attempted punch on the inside of his wrist.

So it doesn't matter how fast he is we are jamming him up and crushing his structure.

Nice detail and break down of sequence. See what you think of my take on it ...

a. I step through his stance (between legs with either leg) as my bong is being latched down, striking the sternum as you had outlined. rotate the wrist to break the grip at the same time if he hasn't already let go, whip it into an back fist or an "upper cut".

b. let you shoulder do the work, the high and tight circle elbow strike from Bil Ge would do some damage here.

c. as your bong is being latched, rotate it int to an driving forward tan and strike any open target(s).

d. triangle steps to his flank, your left feet checking his right (applies to the opposite side also), drive him back with an should strike.

The Wu is used in conjunction with and follow ups. The examples but a drop in the bucket within our imagination ... happy training.
 
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mook jong man

mook jong man

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Nice detail and break down of sequence. See what you think of my take on it ...

a. I step through his stance (between legs with either leg) as my bong is being latched down, striking the sternum as you had outlined. rotate the wrist to break the grip at the same time if he hasn't already let go, whip it into an back fist or an "upper cut".

Ah yes , similar to what you could do if it was just a same side single arm grab.

b. let you shoulder do the work, the high and tight circle elbow strike from Bil Ge would do some damage here.

Thats it , just relax rotate it and let it drop down , thats one of its main advantages I reckon , its ability to crash over the top of a guard , strike and pin/trap the arms against their body.

Where as a horizontally rotated elbow strike may pivot around or crash through a defence , it will not have exactly the same pinning effect and the force will not be directed down into their body making them absorb all of the impact like the Bil Gee elbow.

c. as your bong is being latched, rotate it int to an driving forward tan and strike any open target(s).

I use this quite a lot in chi sau , just alter the angle of your tan sau slightly and his latch slides harmlessly down your arm losing wrist contact while you get past his fook sau and strike through.

d. triangle steps to his flank, your left feet checking his right (applies to the opposite side also), drive him back with an should strike.

We don't do shoulder strikes in our line , but I can definitely see how that would work.


The Wu is used in conjunction with and follow ups. The examples but a drop in the bucket within our imagination ... happy training.

Another one I'm quite fond of , is from low bong sau I let my arm pivot around his force , as it comes up it converts into what we call a reverse tan sau ( a tan sau where the elbow sinks to redirect force downward or trap)

This redirects his incoming punch on the outside of his wrist and traps both his arms , I then change the trapping tan sau to a fook sau and grab his wrist.

At the same time I'm grasping his same arm underneath the tricep with my other hand.
Then with both hands secured on his one arm , I pivot and rip him right out of his stance in a variation of the double seizing movement from Bil Gee.

I could have also simply hit him at the stage where I had both his arms trapped with my tan sau , but lets face it , thats not nearly as fun as watching the massive whiplash effect on his head when you rip him out of his stance.

It sounds a bit convoluted in theory , but in reality you can do it quite fast before he even knows whats going on.
 
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mook jong man

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Oops forgot to mention that just before you grab under his tricep and pivot , step around to his blindside so that you are out of the line of fire of his spare hand.
 

zepedawingchun

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. . . . . This is where people will get lazy as they go faster instead of bringing the elbow in for the punch and using it to effect his structure , they do some sort of half arsed centerline back fist punch with the elbow out. . . . . . . . . I've got a student who does some F.M.A stuff as well and it took a while to get him out of the habit of using the backfist in Lap Sau. . . .

When my students leave their elbows out or use a backfist in the bong/lop da drill, I immediately pak sao the wrist of the punching hand with my other hand (free hand) and at the same time, my bong sao hand does a mahn sao (searching) and turns into a faht sao (some say fak sao, horizontal swinging arm with typically a knife edge strike) for a strike to the jaw up the centerline. Or after my pak sao, the hand will then spring forward as a saht sao (what we call throat cutting hand) with my bong sao turning into a tan sao at the same time. Students learn to keep their elbows in and down on the centerline when punching really quickly after that.
 
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mook jong man

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When my students leave their elbows out or use a backfist in the bong/lop da drill, I immediately pak sao the wrist of the punching hand with my other hand (free hand) and at the same time, my bong sao hand does a mahn sao (searching) and turns into a faht sao (some say fak sao, horizontal swinging arm with typically a knife edge strike) for a strike to the jaw up the centerline. Or after my pak sao, the hand will then spring forward as a saht sao (what we call throat cutting hand) with my bong sao turning into a tan sao at the same time. Students learn to keep their elbows in and down on the centerline when punching really quickly after that.

Yes I'm visualising that right now , nice... , doing shadow Lap Sau in front of the computer with the dog looking at me like I'm a nut.

I just don't know why people do it , maybe the influence of too many Bruce Lee movies I think.

I mean it has no effect on the Wu Sau whatsoever it just bounces off , and leaving that elbow out all the time like that is just asking to get arm locked.

In the end it probably just comes down to laziness and because its easier , but easier does not mean correct.
 

hunt1

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We don't do shoulder strikes in our line , but I can definitely see how that would work.


Interesting since the first person I can recall using his shoulder against me in chi sao was TST. I was under the impression that your line was from TST.
 
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mook jong man

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We don't do shoulder strikes in our line , but I can definitely see how that would work.


Interesting since the first person I can recall using his shoulder against me in chi sao was TST. I was under the impression that your line was from TST.

I am TST lineage under Sifu Jim Fung who was TST's most senior student .
Can't say I remember ever seeing Sifu Jim demo a shoulder charge , but if you say that TST did that to you then I'll believe you.
Maybe Sifu Jim dropped it out of the school curriculum before I started or maybe he just never taught it.
 

geezer

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When my students leave their elbows out or use a backfist in the bong/lop da drill, I immediately pak sao the wrist of the punching hand with my other hand (free hand) and at the same time, my bong sao hand does a mahn sao (searching) and turns into a faht sao (some say fak sao, horizontal swinging arm with typically a knife edge strike) for a strike to the jaw up the centerline. Or after my pak sao, the hand will then spring forward as a saht sao (what we call throat cutting hand) with my bong sao turning into a tan sao at the same time. Students learn to keep their elbows in and down on the centerline when punching really quickly after that.

I have a really hard time mentally translating written descriptions into visualizations of physical movements... but if I've understood you, we use similar approaches. One of the problems with the widely used "JKD" sort of lap-sau with a backfist (besides the backfist itself) is that breaks a basic tenet of our branch of WT/VT, namely "never use two hands on one" (of your opponent's). So it ends up being a speed game. Without speed and the element of surprise, it's a technique that can get you into real trouble. My two cents.
 
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mook jong man

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If you are pulled hard enough and you don't go to Bong Sau, what do you do?

I can honestly say that I'd never seen it done at our school , but I was trained by Jim Fung and not TST so he might have left it out. But I've never had cause to strike with the shoulder and I did a great deal of Chi Sau sparring

We do work quite a lot on the maintaining of the angle in the arm if you are pulled hard , so no matter how hard you are pulled the angle in the arm will remain the same only the hand structure will change.

If I use the example of someone grabbing my wrist on the same side arm and trying to reef me in , I just rotate the grabbed arm into Tan Sau , go with his force and palm strike him with the other hand.

If it is a cross arm grab and he does the same thing , then I go with his force , bring up my spare hand into Wu Sau to protect my face and let my grabbed arm collapse into a elbow strike , hitting him in the chest.

In Lap Sau where his arm is pulling mine straight down , doesn't matter how hard he pulls , my arm is always going to keep the angle and pivot into a low Bong Sau from the shoulder joint , this dissipates most of his force .

But if I did feel that I was losing the structure and the angle was starting to go , I would move forward changing that weakening Bong Sau into an elbow strike.

But I think I know what you are getting at , what would I do if my elbow starts to be controlled so I can't use my arm , well first thing I do if I feel any attempted control at the elbow or upper arm of my Bong Sau is I nip it straight in the bud by immediately sinking my elbow and going into Tan Sau , changing the direction of his force on my arm.
That will take care of that .

There have been occasions where they have been to fast and I haven't been able to sink my elbow in time , so what I do there is just go with their force and let my Bong Sau arm be pushed across or up so they think they've got me.

Then I scribe a small circle with my elbow which redirects their force , my arm suddenly disengages while their force is going across and my arm then springs back around the other side and hits them , taking them by surprise.

If it did come down to where I absolutely couldn't use an elbow or get out of something some other way I think I would prefer to head butt.
 

CRCAVirginia

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Just wondering because when I get pulled hard I go with the pull and strike with my side shoulder. You can even practice the strike on a heavy bag. All good answers by the way. Lan Sau is interesting because I have been playing with incorporating more Lan Sau's instead of Lop Sau's in my WC. Anywhere I can Lop I mix in Lan.
 

geezer

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If it did come down to where I absolutely couldn't use an elbow or get out of something some other way I think I would prefer to head butt.

Honestly, in most applications a head-butt is more likely to compromise your structure than a "shoulder punch". When the situation and the opponent's energy dictates it, we use an elastic "shoulder punch" and I find it both very effective and totally consistent with our structure and "springy energy". Still, it isn't a technique you need to use very often.
 

bully

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How Geezer?

I was taught (long time ago!!) to use the neck pulling hand in conjunction with a headbutt. How would this affect your structure? In fairness it was that long ago and my memory is hazy that it could be a fook around the neck and pulling that in. But if you step in whilst performing this and hold your structure whilst doing the move, could you explain it a bit more for me? Imagine a 3 year kid asking....I am not great at visualizing either ;-)

Damn you all and your camera shyness!!
 

geezer

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How Geezer?

I was taught (long time ago!!) to use the neck pulling hand in conjunction with a headbutt. How would this affect your structure? In fairness it was that long ago and my memory is hazy that it could be a fook around the neck and pulling that in. But if you step in whilst performing this and hold your structure whilst doing the move, could you explain it a bit more for me? Imagine a 3 year kid asking....I am not great at visualizing either ;-)

Damn you all and your camera shyness!!

OK, first off there are a couple of situations in which I actually think a headbutt is a practical option, but my instructors have always derided butting since a. it violates the tenet of keeping an upright posture and erect head, and b. because it can put you at risk of injuring your own head or face if your opponent counter-butts at the same moment. On the other hand if you can make it work, I'm not going to spout off and tell you to do things differently. For me, practicality always trumps theory.
 

bully

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Thinking about it I can see where you are coming from, a head butt usually should go down onto the recipients bridge of the nose, so yeah I reckon it could upset your structure. It is a big commital especially when it goes wrong.
In my old system we were taught to butt when we got in close, I dont think it is in the system but hey!! Anyone else get taught to use it??
 

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We use head butts all the time. I understand if you don't (head like glass) I look at it as emergency technique and it is good to have head butt's thrown at you so you learn how to deal with them in chi sau.
 

zepedawingchun

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We use head butts all the time. I understand if you don't (head like glass) I look at it as emergency technique and it is good to have head butt's thrown at you so you learn how to deal with them in chi sau.

Head like glass doesn't mean your head is fragile, like glass. It means your head is clear like glass and there is nothing in it for your opponent to see. Meaning, there is no thought or pre-determined idea of what you are going to do. Your thoughts and intentions cannot be seen because you have none. Your mind is empty of any and all predetermined technique and you flow with what comes to you from your opponent.
 
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