“Bridging” is something we often refer and seek to consistently apply in the Ving Tsun system. This quality is required in order to experience the full potential of any of the concepts that involve the actions of striking, assisting, controlling, countering, changing, or recovering. In order for a practitioner to engage the use of their various tools they must first make connection with their opponent. This can be achieved in a variety of ways.
A simple and most ideal example of this is a successful strike to our opponent’s center via contact with the skull, neck, or trunk of the body. However, we need to assume that they are competent enough to defend themselves while attacking us. In order to understand how to contend with such a defense the trainee can experiment and explore through the various distances and angles provided by the list of five specific partnered exercises in the system. They are Paak Sau (Slapping Deflection Hand), Gwoh Sau (Crossed/Crossing Hand), Daan Chi Sau (Single Sticky Hand), Laap Sau (Dispersing Hand), and Seung Chi Sau (Double Sticky Hand). Each of these exercises provides a platform to study the variables and elements that constitute an exchange and allows for us to explore the multitude of instances where the quality of “bridging” can be experienced.
If we were to take one of the five exercises to paint a clearer picture about how a trainee experiences the training and development of the quality of “bridging” we could observe one the most fundamental, Paak Sau. This exercise is typically the first taught in the novice stage of learning and its training is continued through to the advanced stage. The operation of the exercise is as follows: