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How to Do a Long Pole Grip in Wing Chun

Learn how to do a Long Pole Grip, Wing Chun vs. other styles, from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast martial arts video.


Okay, so now I'm just going to explain something, a real small, but important detail about the long pole practice in Wing Chun. Of course, the long pole is one of the more advanced parts of the Wing Chun training system and there's a lot of variation, especially among the different students of great grand master Yip Man in terms of not even just the form, but also even just how to hold the pole.

There's a short video clip which is available online which actually shows great grand master Yip Man doing the long pole stab and you'll notice something very unique about the way he does it. When he holds the pole and when he thrusts it, first of all, the pole grip should only be about as wide as your body, it shouldn't be like this except for some special situations. But for the most part, the pole grip is like this. Some different systems use different ways of grabbing it, but in the Yip Man long pole system, we use a close fisted grip like this.

Now, when the pole is actually darted out in the Biu Gwan movement, which is basically the thrusting, attacking movement in the long pole, it's important to pay attention to how the grip changes, or sorry, how the arms are held when it's thrusted. So, when the pole is thrusted, if you notice my back hands, okay, I'm exaggerating now, I'm opening it. But it works like a pendulum here to balance the pole.

What you don't want to do when you thrust the long pole is twist this one here in the end. A lot of Wing Chun people do it because they feel that it gives them more power, but the problem is, when you're practicing the long pole against somebody else and if you twist the long pole like this and somebody smacks your pole down, it's going to go through your grip this way here. So, what's better is to keep the back hand down like this and you can use it like a counter balance.

If you notice my shoulder and my elbow are here low. This is another common error which is to hold the elbow high like this. Here you don't have much power and much structure. When you hold this one down here, you can dart the pole out and you have a very stable structure back here, which you don't have if your elbow's up and you don't have if you twist it like this.

And if you look at the video clip of great grand master Yip Man when he does the long pole thrust, you'll see that he actually holds the grip this way, he does not twist it this way, which you see a lot of people do. So, that's just a small tip for the Wing Chun long pole.

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