Wing Tsun's Deflecting-arm Training
During the Chi-dan-sau and Chi-sheung-sau curriculums, a practitioner will also learn Lap-sau, or Deflecting-arm. Not all lineages utilize the Lap-sau curriculum, but for those that do, they find an immediate advantage for translating Chi-sau concepts to street tactics that include sensitivity training.
The Lap-sau drill is the beginning drill for learning how to absorb and deflect force via Bong-sau. It also teaches us how accept incoming force, as well as deliver it.
1a. Lap-sau Drill
The Lap-sau drill starting position. One practitioner is in Bong-sau while the other is in Yat-chi-chung-kuen.
1b. Lap-sau Drill
The practitioner on the right changes Wu-sau to Fook-sau and presses the opponent’s arm into a Bong-sau position.
1c. Lap-sau Drill
Immediately following this, he punches into the Bong-sau arm.
1d. Lap-sau Drill
The practitioner on the left changes Wu-sau to Fook-sau to press his partner’s punch arm into a Bong-sau position…
1e. Lap-sau Drill
… and launches a punch. The drill is repeated over and over in order to work fluidity and easy changes.
A practitioner will start with Chi-dan-sau and progress to Luk-sau. Along the way, there are multiple elements introduced to bring about a more comprehensive reaction process, with Lap-sau being used for learning attacks and defenses for a more combative nature vs just sensitivity.
In other words, Chi-sau trains the sensitivity side while Lap-sau trains actual applications and what to do with that feeling. Combined, we teach the body to act as one unit vs. a “collection of parts”.
After the basic Lap-sau drill is learned, we apply this drill to various Chi-sau elements. For example, when a Chi-sau session is being trained, periodically the arm of one opponent will feel that they can push their way out of it. When this occurs, it is an easy transition to the Lap-sau.
By training in this manner, we find that we can train an additional response correctly without having to force an option, thereby improving what we can feel and how the arms can interpret even more force.
1a. Lap-sau Section 1 Attack
The practitioner on the left has just punched and placed the practitioner on the right in Bong-sau.
1b. Lap-sau Section 1 Attack
Rather than pressing the opponent into Bong-sau and then punching (as we would with the regular Lap-sau drill), the practitioner on the right changes Wu-sau to Yan-cheung (or Pak-sau as called by some).
With a combination of a fast, exploding forward step, the hand traps the opponent’s Wu-sau to his lead arm…
1c. Lap-sau Section 1 Attack
… and the attacker’s previous Bong-sau strikes with Chau-chong-kuen, or Lifting-punch.
Section 1 Defense
1a. Lap-sau Section 1 Defense
As the attack begins, the defender turns via Chuen-ma to Juk-sun-ma while simultaneously driving Jut-sau across the centerline.
1b. Lap-sau Section 1 Defense
Turning to the other side with Gwat-sau…
1c. Lap-sau Section 1 Defense
… the defender simultaneously launches a straightline punch. For the drill, the opponent will enact Bong-sau as shown in order to defend. At this point, the practitioners pick up again with the Lap-sau Drill on the opposite side and repeat the attack/defense. To continue the drill, though, we can also enact a counter-defense.
1d. Lap-sau Section 1 Defense
The previous steps defended section 1, but we continue the drill in order to bring out more qualities of counter-response. For the attacker, as Gwat-dar is enacted by the defender...
1e. Lap-sau Section 1 Defense
… Bong-sau defends the punch.
1f. Lap-sau Section 1 Defense
The defender now presses Fook-sau into the arm to force his partner into Bong-sau…
1g. Lap-sau Section 1 Defense
… and launches a punch. The practitioners are now on the opposite and can enact the Lap-sau drill, section 1 attack and defense, or any other combination desired/felt.
Concepts & Theories
There are six sections of Lap-sau attack and defense sequences that we train in, each bringing out a unique method of response to varied situations. Lap-sau ties directly with Chi-sau, but Lap-sau does not rely as heavily on sensitivity as Chi-sau does.
The best way to view Lap-sau is from a sparring point of view. Chi-sau teaches us to feel what is happening, and Lap-sau allows us to put that into play by expressing our actions in a more non-controlled element. Non-controlled in this sense is that we are not bound by any limitations.
If your guard is down or you are not where you should be, then you get hit. And it is quite common for a few injuries to be seen when engaged in Lap-sau sparring; therefore, we learn a lot about fight training solely through this action.
For More Information...
To learn more about the Lap-sau curriculum, Volume 3: Chi-sau introduces you to an in-depth look at not only what Lap-sau is but also how to properly train it. From step-by-step attacks and defenses to incorporating it into your Chi-sau training, this in-depth video-illustrated workbook takes you through the complete Lap-sau curriculum from start to finish.