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How to Do a Lap Sau Drill in Wing Chun

Learn how to do a Lap Sau Drill from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast Wing Chun video.


So the next exercise we're going to show here is called the Lap Sau drill or a Lap Dah exercise. This is a very fundamental Chi Sau drill. Again, depending on which lineage of Wing Chun you practice or what your Sifu teaches you, there's always variations for this one here. What I'm going to show you is the standard form in the WT system of Wing Chun. So when we start in the Lap Dah one partner's in Bong Sau. The other partner is actually going to use a footboard jutsu, as opposed to a full-on grab.

If you totally grab your opponent's arm, you're also kind of binding yourself to them, and you give them a chance to come in and hit. As long as your hand is open, you always are free for other options and to be able to change things around. So we start like this using the Fook-Sau or Sat Sau from the form. The other hand is going to be here in the middle. This actually comes from the second form Chum Kiu and you're going to ride over the bridge, over your hand and at the last moment, you close your fist like this.

Now, of course in real fighting, my intention is to go in, step in and punch him, but this is just a drill for teaching the students movements one-by-one. So we start like this, I'm going to punch and then he's going to do the same thing to me. Now when I go forward, I'm actually going to take my Wu Sau hand and bring it like this, so I can slip it on the inside, all right? Once this goes in, I turn this one flat, and then I'm going to punch this, right here. It's important not to go forward with your hand wide, because then you have to go off the center line to go forward.

If you go in here with a narrow hand, you can press this one down, put this one on top and punch like this here. What we want to avoid is grappling and doing a back fist which is a very, very common error. Because again, our goal is not to grapple our opponent's arm and give them a back fist on his hand. What we want to do in fighting application later is obviously, go in and step and control. So it doesn't make sense for us to do something like this. Also, the problem with this style of Lap Sau is that it teaches the students to have two hands on one. If he grapples my arm and gives me a back fist, he has two hands on one which leaves a whole bunch of options for me to counter here. So we want one arm there at a time, like this.

If you notice when I punch, I keep my elbow low, this is for training the low elbow force. We call it in Cantonese Chung Tai, like this way here. So we practice it a lot. But here we can start first on one side. Of course, later you can build in some simple switches, so that you can practice it on both sides this way here. Because you want to practice the Bong Sau reaction, as well as the whole Tiu Sau process and punch here on both sides. All right, and that's how we practice the basic Lap Sau drill.

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