How to Do Bong / Taan Gerk aka Leg Defenses in Wing Chun

Learn how to do Bong / Taan Gerk aka Leg Defenses from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast Wing Chun video.

Now we’re going to talk a little bit about using you legs to defend types of attacks that your opponent can do with their own legs. Now, there’s a lot of confusion about this in Wing Chun, because you see, some Wing Chun Sifu’s teach their students to use their legs a lot to defend incoming kicks or incoming knee strikes. Other Sifu’s basically tell you not to do it at all.

There is definitely a time and a place for using your legs to stop leg attacks, but it’s not the most common situation. I don’t recommend using your legs to stop kicks at distance, Okay. Nowadays, you have people that give you very powerful low shots. If you try to lift up your leg to block a kick, they can put you in a lot of pain, because unless you’re kicking banana trees all day and your shins are really hard, I would not using your shins to stop somebody’s low Muay Thai kick because the results are going to be quite disastrous.

In fact, it’s not even necessary. If somebody wants to give you a kick, just like any other attack, if I stay in the same place and block it with my leg, I’m eating this full power and this is not recommended. It’s real easy, if he wants to give me a kick and he steps in, all I need to do is step in and punch him. I don’t even need to worry about blocking his kick or stopping him or doing anything like that. It’s a lot less power intensive and damaging to my own body.

If we’re in a situation where we’re up close, let’s say he’s holding on to my arms. I’m not able to punch him. My arms are not free to defend. I’m not free to go forward. And he were, for example, to give me a knee strike to the side. This would be a situation where I would have no choice but to use my leg to defend.

The inside leg, we call this one Bong gerk, because it looks similar to the Bong Sau movement. I’m using this on the inside thigh instead of the shin. So, this is Bong gerk. I would attack him with it and then immediately counter-attack this way here.

If he gave me a knee on the other side and I used the same leg, we would use this one here. We call this one Taan gerk. This again, opens up this line here. I’m nice and protected. Then I can immediately follow up with a knee attack here.

So Bong and Taan gerk actually work much better as knee defenses at close range than they do as kick defenses at long rage. They can be done and can be used as kick defenses. However, I would not recommend it.

If he gives me a straight kick and I’m not able to move forward, which is my normal MO in Wing Chun, and I’m basically caught flat footed, then I do have the option to use my leg to defend and then go in and go forward. But, if you notice I’m not actually blocking my shin against his shin here. As his kick comes in, I circle, I let this one ride and I go into a stance and I follow-up.

This Tanger, by the way, is often confused with something called Yap gerk. There’s actually no such movement in Wing Chun called Yap gerk. Yap gerk, in Cantonese, just means to insert your leg into your opponents stance. So, when you use a Taan gerk and you step in, this action is a called Yap gerk, but the movement itself is not call Yap gerk. This is called Taan gerk. There’s really no such leg movement called Yap gerk. It’s a very common misconception about the leg technique.