The "Thrusting-Fingers" Form
The third empty-hand form of the Wing Tsun system is called Biu-Tze. Meaning "Thrusting-Fingers," this form centers on the delivery of focused force into the opponent at extremely close ranges. Its use revolves around the delivery of permanent (sometimes fatal) injuries.
Some schools teach that Biu-Tze’s “emergency” techniques were created to help you regain the centerline if you have lost it; however, this is incorrect. Why? Because we have already learned this principle in everything leading up to Biu-Tze.
Beginning with the Siu-Nim-Tau, everything we do revolves around the centerline and how important it is for effective protection and attack. The Chum-Kiu expanded this further by teaching us varying angles and how to regain the centerline so as to place us in a more efficient position. This was reinforced even further through Chi-sau and Lap-sau, for anyone that loses the centerline will immediately tell you that you are in a bad situation.
"... Biu-Tze is not for recovering the centerline..."
This knowledge of the centerline is a prerequisite for learning the Biu-Tze vs. learning how to regain it. So at the AWCA, we follow the Yip Man concept that Biu-Tze is not for recovering the centerline; instead, it is for the delivery of permanent/fatal attacking actions.
Because of the nature of this curriculum and the concepts that it represents, the Biu-Tze is never taught to anyone that has not first demonstrated an extremely strong and upright moral character. Prior to utilizing any of these movements or employing its concepts, a practitioner must already have a refined force in which his/her power can lash out with a great deal of elasticity. Even the slightest stiffness or tension will create a hole in your defense, which is why you will hear that the movements from this particular form can actually get you hurt if you try to do them without being taught how to use them.
In other words, the movements by themselves mean nothing. It is the concepts behind the movements and how they are being used that creates the effectiveness of Biu-Tze.
Therefore, I must caution everyone that you should never employ these movements in a real situation unless you have been properly trained by a skilled and knowledgeable teacher. Not only can you create irreparable harm to someone if used inappropriately, but you can also get fatally injured yourself without knowing the why’s behind it. This is not a game. This is real life, and it is permanent.
Biu-Tze is very interesting to a Wing Tsun practitioner in that we expand our skills of explosion to generate a penetrating explosion of force in everything that we do from this point on, which is extremely valuable to close-quarters fighting (as well as for fighting multiple armed attackers).
A practitioner can wedge into the opponent via angulation, thereby penetrating his or her defense and capitalizing on this close distance. An extremely competent Chum-Kiu is required before even thinking about learning Biu-Tze, which is why the Chum-Kiu is said to be the “bridge” between the Siu-Nim-Tau and the Biu-Tze.
Drills & Applications
It has been said that the Biu-Tze’s purpose is the employment of deadly force, and I feel that it is important to clarify this statement further.
A Wing Tsun practitioner is trained in a variety of concepts to appropriately and effectively deal with either one or multiple opponents, as well as fighting in all ranges. If that is true, then why would a concept such as Biu-Tze even be necessary? What would be happening to make such a lethal form of training relevant?
Downward Overhead-elbow/Rib Penetrating-hand/Palm Up-arm with Spade-hand
As the opponent's square off...
... the attacker launches a Kup-jarn attack. Kup-jarn is defended with Pak-sau and Ming-tou-sau.
The arms are immediately changed to Tan-Chang-sau, which is a combination of Tan-sau to keep the upper pressure, and Chang-sau to strike the same place as Ming-tou-sau.
So what would be happening to make such a lethal form of training necessary? The answer is simple. There is no way for us to know what situation we might find ourselves in. In most cases, we will simply walk away, which is always the best course of action for any situation. Sometimes, however, that is not possible.
Today’s attackers are armed cowards running in gangs. Because they have no morals or standards by which an upright human being lives, they live by a code of cowardice, arming themselves to take advantage of the weak.
In these situations, it could very well be a cause of life or death for us. If we do not employ methods to disarm them and account for their armed friends, then we place ourselves in a grave situation.
The Biu-Tze requires elastic force in which to explode into these movements so as to render the attacker immediately injured, while also taking into account the ever-changing positions of their armed friends.
"The Biu-Tze requires elastic force in which to explode into these movements..."
Therefore, there are times when the protection of self from literal life and death situations could become a reality. And in these cases, this is what the Biu-Tze was designed to accomplish.
Thrusting Fingers-strike/Spade-hand/Throat Cutting-hand
As the attacker drives in with a punch, the defender explodes Biu-Tze-sau into the punch to deflect it, which simultaneously continues into the eyes. Due to the nature of these drills, notice that the attacker is wearing protective eyewear and a caged head guard.
Note: Biu-Tze-sau is also called Biu-sau or Bil-sao by some.
Biu-Tze-sau changes to either Fook-sau or Lap-sau (both are acceptable) while the other hand explodes with Chang-sau to the underside of the attacker’s jaw.
Chang-sau changes to Lap-sau in order to hold the opponent in place – as well as pulling him in – to the other hand exploding with Shat-geng-sau to the side of the attacker’s neck.
Equally important is the moment, which can change from situation to situation. The environment, your physical condition at that time, even your emotional state. These and many other areas all play a part in how you will fair at the time your skills are needed. And this is the mindset that a Wing Tsun practitioner will address in his or her daily training.
1. Bong-sau/Zhoung-bu-pie Jum-sau/Au-chong-kuen
Wing-arm/Middle-hacking Descent-force Sinking-arm/Hooking-punch
As the attacker launches a punch, it is defended with Bong-sau.
2. Bong-sau/Zhoung-bu-pie Jum-sau/Au-chong-kuen
Wu-sau changes to Lap-sau in order to provide a barrier for control while Bong-sau quickly swings above the attacker’s arm.
3. Bong-sau/Zhoung-bu-pie Jum-sau/Au-chong-kuen
Zhoung-bu-pie Jum-sau crashes down on the clavicle with enough force to break it.
4. Bong-sau/Zhoung-bu-pie Jum-sau/Au-chong-kuen
Continuing the attack, Zhoung-bu-pie Jum-sau changes to a neck grab (which is actually Man-geng-sau from the wooden dummy) while Lap-sau changes to Au-chong-kuen.
5. Bong-sau/Zhoung-bu-pie Jum-sau/Au-chong-kuen
Au-chong-kuen slams into the attacker’s throat. This is a combined-force action since the neck grab is pulling the opponent into the Hooking-punch.
During the creation of Wing Tsun, it was not so uncommon that a situation could turn into a life-or-death event. The founders of the system realized that there were, in fact, times when a practitioner would simply have no choice but to inflict fatal injury in order to survive.
Ergo, the Biu-Tze.
There are many practitioners around the world that periodically face these situations in today’s society, so the Biu-Tze continues to be a reliable response. These events involve not only multiple attackers, but multiple armed attackers. It must be understood, however, that the Biu-Tze is never taught to anyone who hasn’t first demonstrated an extremely strong moral character. It said that some practitioners have gone their entire lives and never learned this form or the concepts that it teaches.
Concepts & Theories
The term emergency is, for some, a confusing issue. Some feel that it relates to the situation of if we lose our centerline, we are in danger of losing the fight. Therefore we must employ emergency techniques in order to regain it. Others, however, feel that the term emergency relates to a life-or-death situation, such as the premise of us being unarmed and our attackers are armed.
The AWCA continues to teach what was passed to us, and we were taught that the term emergency relates to the latter.
For example, the Siu-Nim-Tau and Chum-Kiu curriculums have expounded heavily on the concept of the centerline. In order to even begin learning the Biu-Tze, a great deal of competence must already be present. And part of this competence is that the centerline is paramount to everything we do.
If we lose the centerline, we have already learned how to regain it and put ourselves back into a positive vs. negative position. So if this is true, then how could the third form revolve around a concept that was already learned?
"The term 'emergency' as it relates to Biu-Tze training is that our lives are in peril."
The term emergency as it relates to Biu-Tze training is that our lives are in peril. The possible scenario of being unarmed and facing an armed attacker was not uncommon in the days of our ancestors, nor is it uncommon today. It does not automatically mean that you have to employ deadly force, and naturally we want to refrain from this.
But in the end, you do not get to pick-and-choose who, how, or when you will be attacked. And if you are unarmed and your attacker(s) are armed, you must do what needs to be done. You didn't choose it but you "do" have to respond to it. The Biu-Tze was created for this situation, and as a Japanese martial saying exclaims, “You will take them to the destruction they seek."
"Biu-Tze Does Not Go Out The Door"
Because of the nature of Biu-Tze and what it teaches, our ancestors designed a simple saying to stress the importance of this training: “Biu-Tze does not go out the door.” This means that not everyone was honored by learning it, and if you were fortunate enough to have learned it, do not let anyone else see you training it. Why?
As every student of Wing Tsun knows, every attack has a defense. Even those that seem to be undefendable by an opponent actually has a defense. And in many cases, the defense lies within the very form that the attack is in. With some actions, however, the Biu-Tze – the final empty-hand form – is where you will find the most advanced concepts of defense.
The Biu-Tze is not just a collection of actions; instead, it is using attack as defense. And because of this, one schooled in its use can expediently defeat an otherwise undefeatable opponent. Therefore, “Biu-Tze does not go out the door” keeps this training protective for the use of Wing Tsun practitioners.
In today’s world, however, there are very few secrets of Wing Tsun, so this particular saying does not have the same premise as it once did.
For More Information...
The final empty-hand training of Wing Tsun is paramount for all practitioners, but it should never be trained until the first two curriculums are fully competent. If you are at this level, though, and you are ready for the next phase of training? Then Volume 4: Biu-Tze of the AWCA’s eBook Training Series is what you are looking for.
This in-depth video-illustrated workbook takes you through the complete Biu-Tze curriculum from start-to-finish, including the form, drills, applications, and concepts. A lot of questions exist as to “what’s what” where the Biu-Tze is concerned, and Volume 4 answers those questions by taking you step-by-step through this fascinating study of Wing Tsun training.