Wing Chun Basic Hands - Taan Sau

Master Tse’s Wing Chun Notes #13

Taan Sau 攤手

Taan Sau攤手is the first hand technique we usually learn in Wing Chun. Actually In my opinion, after we should learn Wu Sau護手first. After learning how to punch and the Wu Sau then the first hand technique we learn must be Taan Sau. What is Taan Sau?

Wing Chun Basic Hands - Taan Sau

Taan means open, Sau means hand, so in English Taan Sau means, “Opening Hand”.  When we open something like a book or newspaper we open it either side from the centre. So Taan Sau opens from inside, from the centre of our body to the outside of the body.

The Taan Sau’s position is palm up, elbow in and the elbow is two fists away from the body.  The thumb should be closed and the middle finger should be level with your throat, but when we use the Taan Sau the middle finger of the Taan Sau should point to the opponent’s throat.  If the position of Taan Sau is lower then it is weak and the opponent can punch into us.  We make contact with the opponent’s hand with the forearm, on the thumb side around two horizontal fingers below the wrist.  This is the best area to contact the opponent’s hand or attack. When using Taan Sau the strength should be in the elbow and palm should be little bit loose.

Taan Sau can be used to block the opponent’s attack or to just make contact with their hand and wait for the situation to change then we can change to another hand, for example Laap Sau 擸手, or even hit directly with a punch or palm strike.  We can even hit with the other hand the same time as we block with the Taan Sau.

Michael Tse

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