Hung Ga’s Twelve Bridges Explained in Twelve Lines (Practical, Plain & Simple)

Hung Ga Kyun Twelve Bridges

Question:  Sifu Macek, can you please briefly explain the “Twelve Bridge Hands” of Hung Ga Kuen? As your school is called Practical Hung Kyun, I would appreciate some practical examples of how to use the “Twelve Bridges” in training or a real fight.

Jorge C.

Answer: First two Bridges – Hard, Soft (Gong, Yau) and the last two Bridges – Control, Adapt (Jai, Ding) are a general Yam/Yeung (Yin/Yang) framework of the remaining eight. We at Practical Hung Kyun want to end up the confrontation as fast as possible, using hard power and total control. If we meet a stronger opponent, we use soft power and adapt to the opponent’s action.

I took your question as a challenge, and tried to explain the “Twelve Bridge Hands” of Hung Ga in twelve lines/paragraphs.

Here we go:

  • Hard (Gong): End up the confrontation as fast as possible, using hard power. Strike hard with “Heavy Hand” and finish it right here, right now.
  • Soft (Yau): If you meet superior force, “borrow” his strength and use it against the opponent; you still need (some) strength though!
  • Press (Bik): Press the opponent to his heels, force him to retreat and defend, because – defending is loosing.
  • Straight (Jik): If you lose contact, continue like a spring with straight attacks.
  • Separate (Fan): Separate and break the contact if you need to.
  • Fix (Ding): If you want to use your close range (or precise attacks) weapons (like elbows, finger pokes, etc.), fix the opponent first so you don’t miss.
  • Inch (Chyun): See above – he can’t evade because you fix him, so attack the vulnerable spot (fingers to the throat, thumb in the eye… ).
  • Lift (Tai): Lift him up (literally), or lift him up with your upward attacks.
  • Keep (Lau): “Receive what comes”, and once you get ahold of him, don’t let him leave, continue with the beating – nowhere to escape!
  • Send (Wan): Does he presses you? Don’t resist, use his strength against him and pull!
  • Control (Jai): Subdue the opponent, control him, completely!
  • Adapt (Ding): Don’t get fixed to “if he does this, I do this, and if he does that, I would do that” – adapt to the opponent’s actions.

How about a video next time? Readers, would you be interested?

Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun

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