Training the latch and the cut-down .

mook jong man

Senior Master
May 28, 2008
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Matsudo , Japan
The latch and its sister movement the cut-down have various uses in the Wing Chun I learnt .
  • To control the attacking arm and take it out of play.
  • To clear a path for striking.
  • Trapping , which is related to the first point.
  • They can also be used to increase the impact of your kicks or hand strikes by pulling the opponent off balance and into the strike , this is typically done by using the latch or cut down with a pivot of the body .
  • Hold your arm up in Tan Sau with your palm about your own head height , wrist on centreline.
  • Partner stands in front and places his cupped hand under the point of your elbow .
  • You put on a slight forward force focused towards his centreline .
  • He resists with his hand as you attempt to lower your arm .
  • Visualise a brick hanging from your elbow by string as you sink the elbow .
  • As you start to sink your arm turn your hand from the Tan Sau position to the cut-down position ( Edge of hand pointing down )
  • Make sure to maintain the correct angle of your arm the whole way down with a slight forward force .
  • If you are doing it correct , somewhere near the end of the movement your partner will be pulled in towards you.

  • Your partner holds out a bent arm as strongly and as rigidly as he can.
  • Using your same side arm , place your Tan Sau on his forearm making contact with your forearm a couple of inches before your elbow , this is so you can use the whole length of the forearm and it can build up momentum on the way down .
  • Same as before , you will have a slight forward force to his center.
  • As you start to cut down , turn the edge of your hand facing down as you sink your elbow.
  • Do not try to muscle his arm down by using your triceps and forearm it won't work .
  • Keep the angle in your arm and only use the big muscles of your back - the lats
  • Only bring your arm down to where your forearm is parallel to the floor , in application it can be less than that even , depending on what you are using it for .
The latch and the cut-down are exactly the same movement , they both make use of elbow force . But as a general rule if we are facing our opponent we use the cutdown on the same side arm and the latch is used on the opposite arm . The latch does have slightly better control of the arm than the cut-down , but is best used on the cross arm.
  • This time the partner holds his opposite arm up so that you would be in something resembling a cross arm position , same as before , strong and rigid .
  • Put your arm up in a Fook Sau position on his forearm , making contact with your forearm a couple of inches before your elbow.
  • Using exactly the same principles as before , forward force , angle etc. Keeping your hand relaxed , drop your Fook Sau down sharply.
  • At the end of the movement hook your fingers over his arm
  • Both your cut-down and your latch should have the effect of jerking his arm down and pulling his body in .
  • Once you have the basic movement , start to really whip your arm down , keeping contact all the way as your arm slides down his arm
  • When done properly these moves can dislocate peoples shoulders and cause whiplash to the neck.
Using Cut-Down And Latch With Pivoting In Application
  • Opponent throws a straight punch at your face with right hand.
  • Using your right hand you throw your own centreline counter - punch making contact at the outside of his wrist to deflect his punch off to the side.
  • As your punch is retracted turn it into a Fook Sau and latch his punching arm down , you have to do it fast he's not going to leave it out there all day .
  • At the very instant you start to latch his arm down you do a pivot , which drags him in .
  • As he is dragged in by the latch and pivot you hit him with a palm strike to the kidney region with your other hand .
  • The palm strike is horizontal and slightly cup shaped and the force is directed forward and slightly down so he absorbs all the force .
  • We are at the end of our pivot with our palm strike to his exposed side.
  • From the palm strike our forearm slides up his side or back , depending on his position , keeping contact and monitoring him .
  • Our forearm continues over his shoulder and then down where it does a cut -down onto his bicep.
  • As you cut down on his bicep you pivot back the other way , this will have the effect of jerking him to the side and clearing his arm out of the way for a punch from your other hand.
  • After your last strike , square up your body , then back on guard.