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How to Do a Man Sau aka Asking Hand in Wing Chun

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


Okay, so the Man Sau technique is a very unique technique within the Wing Chun system. Now Man Sau is actually kind of an idea, it's a concept. So Man Sau Chi takes many forms. As I explained in another video, our en garde is called Man Sau Wu Sau. So the front hand is called Man Sau, because whenever we're attacked in Wing Chun, our idea is to send our hands forward towards our opponent. So either we run into them and punch them or we run into their arms which would engage some kind of Chi Sau.

But the idea is the arm goes forward and asks the way. That's why that hand is called Man Sau. But there are different types of Wan Sau within Wing Chun or ways that Man Sau can be applied. One of the ways that's unique to the WT system is we actually have a Man Sau movement in the Chung Kiu form. At the end of the low Bong Sau series we do something called double Man Sau, which is when both of your arms go out completely stretched.

This is basically, when your bong sau is released, this one is going to continue and go here. Now this movement is also unique because it was added into the Chung Kiu form a little bit later. In the original Chung Kiu form that Great Grand Master Ip Man used to teach this movement didn't exist. However, there was a problem. There are certain Kung Fu styles that give a lot of overhand punches and without the Man Sau movement there wasn't a very suitable way to defend it.

In fact, some styles they teach an upper block like this to stop these kind of overhead punches, but there's certain styles of Kung Fu, for example, Choy Lay Fut who have designed certain punches to get around this type of guard here. So using a Bong Sau or using an upward block or using a Lan Sau to stop an overhead punch is not really suitable, because a lot of those guys can still sneak over and slam that punch in there. So what we do instead is we actually borrowed a movement from the Knife Technique. So it's actually from the fifth section of the Bat-Cham-Dao form.

The fifth section of the Bat-Cham-Dao form has a movement called Man Lau Dao, which means basically the asking sword. And it's used against an overhead attack with a weapon. So this movement was modified from the Knife Technique to a hand technique, so when he gives me an overhead swing, I use the Man Sau here basically as like a roof for this to slide down and then afterwards I can follow up like this. So instead of using it to block the overhead swing, which is very dangerous, because that thing's very powerful, I actually will outstretch my arm and let this one slide and position myself out, and then come in like this. So this is a common application for Man Sau.

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