3 Ways Bong Sau is For Mistakes
While it is not true that Wing Chun's Bong Sau is ONLY for mistakes, it should be noted that Bong is not your best "Plan A" for thwarting an incoming strike or grab. If your hands are up in a guard position, other tools will likely be more efficient. But this can be turned on its head if certain mistakes are encountered.
Mistake Example #1
You are attacked while your hands are down.
Should you be caught unaware and attacked with your hands down, Bong Sau becomes a very efficient choice for covering the body. If your hands are down at your sides, consider what is closest, your hands or your forearm-to-elbow area? Your will need to cover a much longer distance to use a Taan or Biu Sau, for example, where as for a Bong you need only start turning your wrist and raising your elbow.
Mistake Example #2
An opponent grabs your wrist and pulls down to open your guard.
If your wrist is being controlled you will have a hard time using Taan, Biu, Pok Sau or the likes. However, with proper practice of your Bong Sau, you can still use that arm to defend your head and torso.
Mistake Example #3
An opponent's strike makes it well past your hand/wrist.
From an unbridged position with your guard up Pok, Biu, Taan, Jut Sau and others are superior to Bong Sau for redirect incoming strikes. But if due to angling or timing errors an opponent's strike is out of position to use your first choice, Bong Sau may be a viable and efficient option. Tight hooks and straights that are making past your first gate (wrist) can be redirected with your Bong Sau.
Bong Sau certainly has other uses than those mentioned above. Jamming with Bong sau, steering an opponent's arm, or otherwise controlling an opponent after a bridge has been made are golden uses for Bong. But with all things, consider if you are using the most efficient tool for a particular job. That is what makes excellent Wing Chun.
Sifu Nick Edmonds
Red Light Wing Chun Phoenix, Arizona