A note on Cantonese

I use the ‘Jyut Ping’ (粵拼) Cantonese writing system as I have found it to be the most accurate.

For an excellent way to learn Cantonese pronunciation, see Fluent Forever. For a dictionary see CantoDict or use the Hanping Cantonese App for Android.

Intro

To recap, the 4 ‘Slots’ are:

  1. Same side, outside (e.g. your left arm to their right punch)
  2. Same side, inside (e.g. your left arm to their right punch)
  3. Diagonal, outside (e.g. your right arm to their right punch)
  4. Diagonal, inside (e.g. your right arm to their right punch)

Notes:

In most cases you will combine a backward move with a forward move with your other hand (e.g. a punch).

All backward moves at their end will have an elbow angle of either 45° (e.g. Hau Paak Sau), 90° (e.g. Laai Daa) or 135° (e.g. SLT/BJ Got Sau).

We train these moves in isolation, however in practice they are used when your front arm is already in a forward position and can go backwards from there.

The examples below are 3 fists (8 Punches) and 1 Hau Paak Sau (as you can’t use a fist to defend diagonally, inside). However as they are simply demonstrating the 4 slots, you can replace them with any backward move that fits that slot.

1 – Same side, outside

刮打/gwaat3 daa2/scraping strike

Gwaat Daa 8 Punch - Practical Wing Chun

How?

  • As the punch comes, use your forearm or wrist to catch the punch
  • Bring your arm down in a circular motion
  • Make sure to keep your forearm pointing at your opponent’s nose
  • Doesn’t matter if your front arm ends up inside or outside of their non-striking arm

2 – same side, inside

穿打/cyun1 daa2/piercing strike

Cyun Daa 8 Punch - Practical Wing Chun

How?

  • As the punch comes, use your forearm or wrist to catch the punch
  • Keep your wrist neutral (Cyun Daa will work as long as they are doing an ‘elbow in’ punch)
  • Your forearm goes straight backwards along the line of the forearm itself
  • Doesn’t matter if your front arm ends up inside or outside of their non-striking arm

3 – diagonal, outside

拉打/laai1 daa2/pulling strike

Laai Daa 8 Punch - Practical Wing Chun

How?

  • As the punch comes, use your forearm or wrist to catch the punch
  • Keep your wrist neutral (Laai Daa will work as long as they are doing an ‘elbow in’ punch)
  • Your forearm goes straight backwards along the line of the forearm itself
  • Zyun Maa (turn body) as part of Laai Daa
  • Doesn’t matter if your front arm ends up inside or outside of their non-striking arm

4 – diagonal, inside

後拍打/hau6 paak3 daa2/behind clapping strike

Hau Paak Daa 8 Punch - Practical Wing Chun

How?

  • As the punch comes, use your palm to catch the punch
  • Your Paak goes directly backwards next to your cheek
  • Doesn’t matter if your front arm ends up inside or outside of their non-striking arm