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Terminology


As in every other discipline, such as math or science, proper terminology is important so that explanations related to Wing Chun are clear and concise. Chinese terminology is sometimes useful, because it offers a shorter way to describe things. There is no need to get carried away however, by referring to everything in Chinese. Thus, a punch should be called a punch.

The following terminology uses the most common spelling which has appeared in the literature.

  1. Wu sau - Guarding hand
  2. Tan sau - Palm up hand
  3. Bong sau - Wing hand
  4. Fook sau - Bridge hand
  5. Pak sau - Slapping hand
  6. Lap sau - Grabbing hand
  7. Gan sau - Dividing hand
  8. Kwun sau - Trapping hand
  9. Huen sau - Circling hand
  10. Gum sau - Pressing hand
  11. Chum sau - Sinking hand
  12. Jut sau - Jerking hand
  13. Lan sau - Bar hand
  14. Bil sau - Poking hand
  15. Jip sau - Receiving hand
  16. Mun sau - Searching hand
  17. Tie sau - Lifting hand
  18. Tok sau - Uplifting hand

Note: a thrusting hand, or poking hand, or pointing hand, or just a poke is called Bil sau. In Cantonese, the term sounds more like "Biu sau"; therefore you will sometimes see this spelling. For the non-Chinese, it is easier to pronounce Bil sau, so we prefer the latter spelling.

We recommend using the simplest spellings. Therefore, use Tan sau, rather than Taun sau or Tahn sau.

TIP: use Pak Sau, Lap Sau and Huen Sau to deal with obstructions

Techniques can now be described as follows: Person A throws a punch. B uses an outside poke or outside Bil sau to defend.


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