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How to Do a Kwan Sau aka Rotating Hand in Wing Chun

Learn how to do a Kwan Sau aka Rotating Hand from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast Wing Chun video.


All right, so the next one we're going to cover is Kwan Sau. Kwan Sau is a unique movement in Wing Chun in that it's both, basically a noun and a verb. It's a position of sorts, although we don't really have fixed positions in Wing Chun. But it is kind of a position and it is also a movement as well. It basically means, rotating hands or like an internal rotation, and it's often used when somebody is trying to trap your arms, and you need to unbundle your arms, so you can get them out and avoid being trapped. But it can also be used to defend more complex movements, especially at the BUT and Wooden Dummy level.

But there's actually nothing really mysterious about Kwan Sau or really super advanced about it. It's just a simple body mechanic. Wei Chi have it in the opening of all the forms. When we do the Gan Sau, we do the internal rotation and then we come up here. This rotation is actually the Kwan Sau rotation. If you were to do it, just with one hand and turn to the side, then you would see the Kwan Sau position. Now the Kwan Sau position is comprised of the Cross Tan Sau, which is the beginning of the form and the low Bong Sau, which comes out of the Chum Kiu set. When we combine these two movements together, then we have what's known as Kwan Sau.

Now your wrist should be in one straight line, okay? They shouldn't have the Bong Sau hand back here or the Tan Sau hand here. They should actually form one line and one of the reasons for this is that when somebody tries to trap your arm, you want to unbundle them here, close to the wrist. If you have them cross too much, and somebody traps you, it's going to be very difficult for you to get your arm out in time. So the rotation needs to happen very close to the wrists. Now a simple exercise for that is, somebody's going to grapple your arm done and punch you, you send your back hand forward, as Tan Sau and turn. As always in Wing Chun he's using my force to turn as opposed to just turning by default.

Now if I try to grapple his arms here, he's going to bring the other one back behind. He runs into my arm and then when I give him force, he turns. In case you didn't notice, he's only turning once he gets the pressure from my punch. If I were to just grapple him and stop here, he could actually counterattack me. He wouldn't need to turn. He needs my force in order to turn. So a very simple Kwan Sau exercise would look like this. All right, this is something very simple, very basic. Kwan Sau, this is the outside Kwan Sau. Kwan Sau can also be used on the inside, if I give him an aggressive attack, for example double punches or a scissor Kang Sau. He can use the Kwan Sau on the inside here, and this is a slightly different setup, but it's the same movement. All right?

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