A note on Cantonese

I mostly 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.

前拍手/cin4 paak3 sau2/forward clapping hand

Angles:

  • Use the 1st circle to rotate the forearm from a palm up (fist drawn backwards) to a Wu position
  • Arm goes forward as directly as possible

Applications:

  • In Saan Sau, use your 3rd Centreline to make contact either Same side, Outside or Diagonal, Inside. Using your hand means you don’t have a free hand to deal with their 2nd punch.
  • You can combine a Hau Paak Sau (dealing with their front punch) with a Cin Paak Sau (dealing with their rear hand). This can lead into twisting their arms up with either their front or back arm on top.
  • In Chi Sao, you can use your Paak Sau hand on the Diagonal, Inside – as long as your forearm is on top of their other arm. You can combine this with a Fei Zaang Punch to make Cin Paak Daa. You can’t use Maai Zaang however as it will mean your forearms hit each other.

割手/got3 sau2/cutting hand

Angles:

  • Arm remains at 135° as it lowers, so that your hand covers your groin
  • Wrist angle changes so that fingers are pointing outwards – common in the Biu Zi form
  • Same move as in Biu Zi form but without Zyun Maa

Applications:

  • Diagonal, Inside and Same Side, Inside
  • Combine with an upper move such as Wu Sau (if using Got Sau diagonally)
  • Sets up the next move in the form – Dai Waang Zoeng

低横掌/dai1 waang4 zoeng2/lower horizontal palm

Angles:

  • Forearm points downwards, aiming for the level of the lowest horizontal line on your own rectangle (around the level of your own groin)
  • Fingers point horizontally sideways (hence ‘横’)
  • Elbow in line with your 1st centreline

Applications:

  • Make sure not to hit too centrally in practice in case your fingers make contact with your opponent instead of the heel of your palm
  • Practice with pads set up at the correct angle – facing diagonally upwards and at an angle so that your fingers don’t hit first
  • Wrist angle goes from flexed to extended helps further expose the heel of the palm when hitting
  • Can be combined with any palm to make 抱排/Pou5 Paai4/Embrace Row

挑手/tiu1 sau2/poke hand

Angles:

  • Open hand, palm facing downwards before move starts
  • Goes diagonally forward and across your body until the elbow angle is at 90° and the 3rd centreline is in line with your 1st centreline
  • Then the palm goes up (45° forearm angle) and the elbow finishes in line with your ‘braces’ line (only in the form)
  • Fingers end in line with your shoulder
  • Tiu is a mirror image of Zam

Applications:

  • Diagonal, outside and Same side, inside
  • Use ‘blade’ of your forearm (thinnest part underneath)
  • Use a quick Hau Paak Sau for outside
  • Can combine with Daa/Cin Paak/Pai Sau/CK Gam (see CK 3rd Section)
  • Tiu Daa – use Laai Daa to transition to next outside Tiu Daa against cycling punches

後圈手/hau6 hyun1 sau2/backward circular hand

Angles:

  • Forearm and elbow come straight backwards (touching your side) as wrist makes a circle in a flexed position
  • Different from Cin Hyun Sau in the 1st Section

Applications:

  • Diagonal, Inside and Same side, Outside
  • Train against a stiff fist to make sure the forearm stays straight as it draws back and affects your opponent’s balance
  • Hau Hyun is better for higher strikes e.g. to your nose, as your Hyun goes backwards
  • Cin Hyun is better for lower strikes e.g. to your upper 3rd centreline (sternum) as the Hyun goes downwards
  • He Punch/You Hyun (either side)/He Punch/You Hyun (either side)
  • Punch/diagonal Hyun/Punch/Laap Daa
  • Punch/diagonal Hyun into same side Cin Paak back hand/Punch/1 in 1 out Paak Daa
  • Hyun into Pou Paai is also common

平横掌/peng4 waang4 zoeng2/middle horizontal palm

Angles:

  • Forearm points horizontally, aiming for the level of the lowest horizontal line on your own rectangle (around the level of your own groin)
  • Fingers pointed horizontally sideways (hence ‘横’)
  • Elbow in line with your 1st centreline

Applications:

  • Make sure not to hit too centrally in practice, in case your fingers make contact with your target instead of the heel of your palm
  • Practice with pads set up at the correct angle – facing horizontally and at an angle so that your fingers don’t hit first
  • Wrist angle goes from flexed to extended helps further expose the heel of the palm when hitting
  • Can be combined with any palm to make 抱排/Pou5 Paai4/Embrace Row

耕手/gaang1 sau2/plough hand

Angles:

Applications:

  • Same side, Outside (no Zyun Maa) or Diagonal, inside (Zyun maa)
  • Combine with Zam Sau or Daa (punch), otherwise if you have no upper hand and they can upward Bin Kyun you above your 2nd centreline
  • Train against a stiff fist to practice keeping your elbow in and effectively compromising their balance
  • Gaang Sau/Daa covers incoming strikes both above and below your 2nd centreline
  • Ideally only use if you already have 1 arm extended to 135° – otherwise you have to go forwards first and then downwards

枕手/zam2 sau2/pillow hand

Angles:

  • Prepare by having your elbow by your side, elbow angle at 45° and your palm facing forward
  • Rotate your forearm slightly as you Zam to use the ‘blade’ of the forearm
  • In the end position your elbow will be on your 1st centreline and your fingers will be in line with your shoulder (form only)
  • Zam is a mirror image of Tiu

Applications:

  • Same side, Outside only with Zyun Maa (turn body)
  • In practice when you Zyun the end position will be your nose, elbow, hand and their shoulder all in a line
  • Can combine with Daa (punch) to make Zam Daa

高横掌/gou1 waang4 zoeng2/high horizontal palm

Angles:

  • Forearm points diagonally upwards, aiming for the level of the highest horizontal line on your own rectangle (around the level of your own chin)
  • Fingers pointed horizontally sideways (hence ‘横’)
  • Elbow in line with your 1st centreline

Applications:

  • Practice with pads set up at the correct angle – facing diagonally downwards
  • Wrist angle going from flexed to extended helps further expose the heel of the palm when hitting
  • Can be combined with any other lower palm to make 抱排/Pou5 Paai4/Embrace Row

膀手/bong2 sau2/wing (shoulder) arm

Angles:

  • Starts by elbow dropping down by your side, elbow angle at 45°
  • Forearm rotates from palm up to palm down position
  • Forearm end position is same as 1 hand Gaau Caa Sau – however is palm down and hand is relaxed (flexed wrist)

Applications:

  • Combine with Wu Sau and Zyun Maa
  • Only have fingers exposed at your 3rd centreline – they can Laap you if your whole hand is showing
  • Know that from Bong you have to change quickly, as you have 2 hands under 1 of theirs
  • Train Bong into Laap + Hoi
  • To cycle Bong in a drill, Bong hand does a Reverse Hyun under your forearm to form the next Wu Sau
  • Train where your hand is back and they are putting pressure on top with Fuk Sau – Bong to put the pressure back on them
  • Punch/Bong Sau/Punch/4 slots (e.g. they punch inside or outside of your Wu or Bong hand)
  • Punch/Gaau Caa Sau (1 or 2 hands)/Punch/Bong (or switch the moves)
  • Punch/Paak + Cam Zaang Taan Sau (see below)/Punch/Bong (or switch the moves)

沉踭攤手/cam4 zaang1 taan1 sau2/sinking elbow taan sau

Angles:

  • Same as Taan Sau except elbow angle is 90°

Applications:

  • Punch/Bong/Punch/90° Taan (Diagonal, Outside) + 135° move (e.g. Punch)
  • They grab you Diagonal, Outside/90° Taan (makes their elbow go up) into e.g. CK Laap Sau

低掌/dai1 zoeng2/lower palm

Angles:

  • In the form from the Taan, hand drops (wrist extends), then elbow angle opens up to 135°

Applications:

  • In the form the true target of the groin is concealed
  • Can grab or hit the groin
  • Can be applied Diagonal, Outside or Same side, Inside where your forearm is on top of their arm or hand
  • Can be combined with any other palm to make 抱排/Pou5 Paai4/Embrace Row

轉臂削手/zyun2 bei3 soek3 sau2/turn arm pare hand

Angles:

  • Starts with 1 arm at Haa Gaau Caa Sau, 1 hand palm up touching the other elbow pit
  • ‘Reverse Hyun Sau’ with forward hand as you scrape forward upwards
  • Upper hand ends with upper 1 hand Gaau Caa Sau (palm down)
  • Front hand drops down to Haa Gaa Caa Sau to begin the 2nd Zyun Bei Soek Sau

Applications:

  • Grabbed Outside, Diagonal – use reverse Hyun to make their elbow go up, then Soek their elbow to twist them away from you
  • Reverse Hyun can also be used on its own if they are grabbing you Same side, Inside, and you want to get back on the inside

埋踭出拳/MAAI4 ZAANG1 CEOT1 KYUN4/ ‘ELBOW IN’ PUNCHes (6)

轉馬埋踭出拳/zyun2 maa5 MAAI4 ZAANG1 CEOT1 KYUN4/turn stance ‘ELBOW IN’ PUNCHES (6)