Wing Chun has a number of punching methods. Of course it's most known for the chain punch or the straight punch. However, this isn't the only method we have in Wing Chun for punching. Sometimes your opponent gets so close to you, you're not in the position to give them a straight punch or to give them a chain punch, so you have to use some different punching methods.
In the Chum Kiu form, which is already the second form which a student learns very early on, we have something called the lifting punch. Now a lifting punch is similar to what you have in boxing that's called an uppercut, except that uppercuts in boxing don't only go to the face, sometimes uppercuts can also go to the body.
In Wing Chun normally we only use the lifting punch to the head, so that's why it's a little bit more specific, although there are some sifu's that teach lifting punches to the body as well, but primarily, it's meant to go to the face or to the chin or to the jaw. Now it goes on a very, very tight arc and it lifts at the end very slightly, by a slight spinal flexion here in your t-spine. You actually just extend a little bit to lift up in there. So it has both the hip and the spine extending in there when you go through the punch.
One potential application for the lifting punch would be in a situation where maybe somebody is trying to grapple your neck or hold on to you and you're just in a situation where you're unable to do a straight punch or do a straight punch to great effect. So the lifting punch can actually fit in here really nicely with this arm or this arm here and can go right to the chin. You should use your partner's chest basically, as a guide or a scope to go up here and to hit the face that way.
It can also be done too, if you're in a situation where you're holding somebody here and their head is very close and you just want to slip this one in here like that. So the lifting punch works very well here, especially in combination with a neck pulling hand, so that he can't move anywhere when I give him the hit. So this one works really nice, works really nice against a clinch. There are some people that would like to teach their students to do lifting punches under the arm.
This can work in theory. I'm always a little worried about the guy coming in and hitting with the elbow, so I generally stay away from this, and the other problem with this one is that, if you punch underneath, he can clamp my arm, and then suddenly it's stuck. So although this is an application taught by some sifu's, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a top application for the lifting punch. Generally, whenever your hands are down and you want to punch in an upward fashion, the lifting punch more than suits the bill for that.