Weekend Wonderland


wing chun sydney


Even as recently as 200 years ago, in China  not many people read or wrote, as a result any important ideas or information was passed on orally, and the most reliable way of passing on information orally was to build it into the narrative of a story.

I think by now everyone knows that there never was a Nun, a Crane, a Snake, a Tofu Seller’s Daughter or a Warlord, they were and still are convenient symbols, but we also realise that the story holds some important keys to understanding the early days of Wing Chun, keys that can still be of great use today in unlocking the nature of this thing we do.

The Nun observed the Snake attacking with quick, direct, straight attacks, and it showed the Crane using its wing to redirect the Snakes strikes offline. This became the foundation of our defence, using our Wing {Bong Sau = Wing Arm} to redirect incoming force.

The second half of the story shows a working class female that with just 12 months dedicated training could defeat an experienced and aggressive Warlord. Implying that through Wing Chun training you could be Battle Ready in a short period of time, and not like the competing Shaolin Kung Fu’s that required a lifetime, it was an advertising campaign aimed at young men, after all if a girl could do it they could do it better, very much a desired skill in Qing period.

In our present age of instant information and the web, with Youtube Video’s and 1,000,000 web sites dedicated to Wing Chun we would do well to look back to the simplicity of the original story, especially the first part {every man and his dog are retelling the second part in their own words} with the Crane and the Snake.


There is only one move in Wing Chun, and that move is Bong Sau, the Wing Arm.

The original story does not say how the snake attacked, high, low in the middle and it does not matter because every strike was deflected with its Wing.

Deflect up, deflect down, deflect into centre or deflect out from centre, redirect or control all with the same moving, Flapping Wing.

In early training we speak often of the “Ultimate Angle”, this is just the Crane opening its Wing prior to flapping it, everything we do is accomplished by flapping the Wing.

Everything is Bong Sau, the Wing Arm.

In application we talk about Tarn Sau, this is using the Flapping Wing to redirect incoming force.

We talk about Fook Sau, this is using the Flapping Wing to control incoming Force.

We talk about Garn Sau, this is sweeping {or ploughing} away incoming force with the Flapping Wing.

We talk about Jit Sau, this is slicing through the incoming force with the Flapping Wing.

Every action is just a description of what we hope to achieve by using the Flapping Wing.

Everything is Bong Sau.

The 108 moves {depending on lineage} of the Siu Nim Tao are teaching you how to manipulate your Bong Sau to fit any situation, they are not stand alone moves.

Making the connection of how each move is Bong Sau will save you many years of fruitless training.


If you think about how a snake strikes it is not always from the same place or same position, but it is always straight at the target from wherever it may be, this is the driving idea behind all Wing Chun Strikes, the Fist moves from where it is to where it needs to be going in a straight line with no chambering, this is the idea expounded in the Sun Fist movement in the First Form, but our Arm could be anywhere, from any shape of the Flapping Wing we can strike straight at the Target as is the case with a side slash, in fact we would be unlikely to ever find ourselves in the position as performed in the Sun Fist movement, like all other aspects of the First Form this is just introducing the Concept.


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