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

Arms should be at 135° (mid point between straight and 90°) unless otherwise stated.

左右㩒手/zo2 jau6 gam6 sau2/left right pressing hands

Angles:

  • 3rd centreline in line with the 5th viewed from the side
  • Elbows point straight backwards, fingers forwards

Applications:

  • Opponent grabbing your arm ‘same side, outside’/you step Pin San Maa close to them to break their grip (your elbow goes on top of theirs)
  • Bok Daa (膊打) Shoulder strike – can be trained with a pad. Hand will go in front of your body here, rather than to the side

後撲掌/hau6 pok3 zoeng2/backward leaping palms

Angles:

  • Hit straight backwards from a double low bong preparation position
  • Expose heel of the palm (small surface area)

Applications:

  • Striking on pads – power comes from the whipping of the elbow
  • For hitting someone in the groin behind you

前㩒手/cin4 gam6 sau2/forward pressing hands

Angles:

  • Hands start at the level of the face, then go diagonally downwards
  • ‘Elbow out’ position
  • Thumbs and index fingers touching
  • Hands at the level of your 2nd centreline

Applications:

  • ‘Double, outside’ (from Gaa Caa Sau) – use your 3rd centreline
  • ‘Double inside’ (from Gaa Caa Sau) – use your 3rd centreline
  • ‘Same side, same side’ – use your hands
  • ‘Diagonal, outside’ (from Gaa Caa Sau) – use your hands
  • Can be used 1 handed same side, outside + a strike
  • Can be used high, same side inside against a hook. Other hand gams their back hand at the normal height
  • If done Diagonal, Outside with Zyun Maa, it becomes Laap Sau (擸手). If done using a punch in your other hand it becomes Laap Daa (擸打).

開/hoi1/open

Angles:

  • Gaau Caa Sau angle, palms facing down
  • 3rd centreline in line with your 5th centreline from the side
  • Fingers in line with the chin
  • Slight curve in the elbow direction during the move (so that the arms go up slightly, then down)

Applications:

  • Can be used as a strike to the neck, or defensively against their arm (frontal as well as to the side)
  • If used as a strike, combine with ‘Same side, Outside’ Gam Sau
  • If used defensively, can be used ‘diagonal, outside’ or ‘same side, inside’ (trapping 2)
  • If used in a cycling drill, Hoi over your own arm – Hoi needs to go upwards first, therefore coming under your own arm will trap your own arms
  • Power comes from hinging at the shoulder, thereby increasing the lever length (rather than hinging from the elbow)

合/hap6/close

Angles:

  • Comes back to Gaau Caa Sau
  • Forearms rotate (1st circle)
  • Elbows stay on a horizontal line during the move

Applications:

  • If used in a ‘hap, hoi’ drill, need to open your arm wider after the ‘hoi’ in order that the next punch comes on your inside for the next ‘hap’
  • The direction of ‘hap’ is horizontal from the side – useful if they are putting a lot of pressure on you and ‘zam sau’ is not possible
  • After ‘hap’ you often come under your own arm for the next move e.g. LH hap into RH hoi strike (coming under)

分手/fan1 sau2/Dividing hands

Angles:

  • Left hand comes under right forearm close to your body (elbows out)
  • Elbows finish on the braces line
  • Forearms point straight forward
  • Fingers in line with the chin

Applications:

  • 2 hands forward are used for controlling opponent rather than hitting (see CK Soeng Fuk Sau also)
  • Trains you going from a collapsed position with the elbows out, into getting your elbows in and reestablishing 135°
  • When drilling, make sure to prepare your ‘diagonal outside’ arm with the elbow out and the hand close to your body, even though it might seem inefficient. Again this is in order to practice going from a collapsed position to 135°

鏢指/biu1 zi2/darting fingers

Angles:

  • Elbow angle at 175° (fingers need to reach the opponent’s eyes)
  • Fingertips at your eye level
  • Wrists turned in 90° (palms down)
  • Thumbs touching
  • Fingers curved naturally (not completely straight)

Applications:

  • Train by striking to the neck for safety
  • Use only 1 Biu in application
  • Common combinations are with ‘same side, outside’ Gam sau or Zat Sau
  • Can also use the thumb to attack the eye

窒手/zat6 sau2/blocking hands

Angles:

  • Use the 1st circle (rotation of the forearms) as you Zat from a ‘palms up’ position
  • Angles are the same as Gaau Caa Sau, palms down
  • Make sure to lead with the elbows (not where your arms meet as your elbows will flare out)
  • Check that your elbows are on the ‘braces’ lines and that the tips of your fingers are still in line with your chin

Applications:

  • Double Zat to a punch
  • Single hand Zat can be ‘Same side, Outside’ or ‘Diagonal, Inside’
  • Combine with a punch to become Zat Daa – punch may need to be higher to ensure it doesn’t clash with the Zat
  • Can Zat 1 or 2 fists into double Dau Sau

逗手/dau6 sau2/lifting hands

Angles:

  • Elbows in ‘elbow out’ position
  • Hands on your 2nd centreline
  • Fingers touching

Applications:

  • Same side, inside or outside to a 2nd move of theirs, not to an initial punch
  • Brings their arm across your own body (unlike BJ Laap which only pulls your arm backwards)
  • Can follow-up by coming under your own arm into a ‘diagonal, outside’ move (e.g. CK Gou Laan Sau)
  • Can be used from Ci Sau ‘diagonal, inside’ to their upper arm – however only if their force is going across your body
  • Can train against 2 extended stiff punches of theirs to mimic the form -double Zat into double Dau
  • Aim for their elbows rather than their 3rd centrelines
  • Can be used to straighten 1 of their arms into their shoulder and then pull straight downwards with a BJ Laap in your lower hand
  • Can be used as a wrist lock with your thumbs on the knuckles of 1 of their hands

下撲掌/haa6 pok3 zoeng2/downward leaping hands

Angles:

  • Prepare by crossing your 3rd centrelines at the level of your chin, elbows out, wrists flexed
  • Heel of the palms strike straight downwards to the level of your rectangle’s 3rd centreline
  • Elbows remain out and your hands are extended to expose the heel of the palm

Applications:

  • Can be trained on 2 low pads to mimic the form
  • The crossing is so that you can do the move diagonally, as well as on the same side (e.g. Punch/You cross as in the form (inside or outside)/Low Punch/You Haa Pok Zoeng their Low Punch)
  • Can be used as a follow-up strike to their head after a pull (e.g. the Dau Sau pull above) as well as a defense against an attempted leg takedown

上鞭拳/soeng5 bin1 kyun4/upwards whip punch

Angles:

  • Prepare by crossing your 3rd centrelines at the level of your rectangle’s 3rd centreline, elbows out, wrists flexed, hands soft
  • Hands move forward and away from your body during the move
  • Think of your elbows as someone gripping the handle of a whip, and your bottom 3 knuckles as the tip of the whip
  • Fists end with the wrists extended, close to each other at the level of your chin
  • Elbows remain in the ‘elbow out’ position

Applications:

  • Can combine with Hau Paak Sau in the same 3 positions as Paak Daa
  • Can combine with ‘same side, outside’ Gam Sau
  • Can be used to strike lower than the chin (e.g. the groin)
  • Can be trained with 1 or 2 pads at the level of your chin, facing straight downwards in order to mimic the form
  • Can do Bok Daa into Soeng Bin Kyun + Outside Hau Paak Daa
  • Can use the elbow of the Bin Kyun as a strike – when you are close to them in Pin San Maa (e.g. Kwan Sau/Bok Daa etc)

下鞭拳/haa5 bin1 kyun4/downwards whip punch

Angles:

  • Prepare by crossing your 3rd centrelines at the level of your nose – elbows out, wrists flexed, hands soft
  • Fists move move diagonally downwards to the level of your upper arm 3rd centreline (i.e. your sternum)
  • Bottom 3 knuckles are the focus of the move, elbows end in an ‘elbow out’ position, wrists extended

Applications:

  • Can be applied ‘diagonal, outside’ or ‘same side, inside’ (trapping 2) – both hitting and defending with the Bin Kyun
  • Can combine with ‘same side, outside’ Gam Sau
  • Can be trained with 1 or 2 pads at the level of your chin, facing straight diagonally upwards in order to mimic the form
  • While training with pads, start Bin Kyun in a ‘reverse Haau Paak Sau’ (i.e. palm facing your own face) position (see the 2 CK upper Bong Saus)
  • Power comes from hinging at the shoulder (like Hoi) rather than hinging at the elbow