Be Your Own Bodyguard ... and Walk Away Alive



The jam sao is the sinking hand and it is invaluable as a defensive tool. It is incredibly useful and simple to do.



The sinking hand motion thwarts an oncoming punch easily and quickly while immediately leaving an opening for your attack. It is used when the punch comes from disconnection as when you and your opponent are not touching or entangled as in a boxing clench/tie-up or when your forearms are pressed against each other. It is even better to use if you are connected or entangled as when your forearms are pressed against each other.


The jam sao sinking hand is usually performed when in a single side lead because most fights start and continue with having one leg and arm out in front. In this common scenario the sinking will be done with just a lead hand.


But both hands work quite well together when in a neutral stance with both legs and arms equally facing your opponent. Here the double sinking action leaves your opponent shocked and totally vulnerable to your attacks. A novice fighter will bend the chest to bring the opponent downward by forcing weight onto the opponent. Even worse, the novice will use the whole body to force more dead weight into the sinking motion. Effective but puts both fighters in jeopardy due to their both being off balance and bent over. Even more, it takes away your timing and speed.


Worse case scenario is if your opponent does not sink. Now you will be in trouble because you are caught off guard and shocked by the returning power that you used while failing to force down your opponent. The rigidness of your opponent is like a brick wall that sends the power right back to you.


The right way to do the sinking hands is to just have your forearms do the sinking action. Think shaking a hand and with a deeper, firmer down drop. Only the lower, forearm and hand move, not the body. A solid frame enables the shake to have all the power come up from the ground and into the shake. Simply put: the more solid your base then the better it will work.


The sinking action is designed to sink the forearms of your opponent and it does it quite well. It is not limited to this as it is very useful in sinking the upper body of your opponent, too. Here two hands are best to use as they have more forceful weight in bringing down your opponent. If your opponent is leaning toward you or charging at you, the sinking action is significantly easier to perform. This scenario does require you to have a proper opportunity as described. Another extension of this scenario is if your opponent is somewhat shorter than you and you can extend your hands and arms out above the shoulders of your opponent.


After executing a jam sao sinking hand you are in a perfect lead for a trap. With one hand of your opponent down you can use one of your hands to trap that down hand of your opponent. If both hands are down you can trap both of them, leaving your opponent totally at your mercy.

To perform the jam sao sinking hand your hand is out in front, ideally with the knife edge of your hand facing down, your palm is completely open and facing the middle of your body, fingers straight out and together, thumb is tucked into your palm, your foream is at a 45 degrees upward angle, your elbow is pointed straight down and tucked into your body between your kidney and middle of your chest, and your upper arm is tucked into the middle of your body and providing a few inches between your chest and your elbow. Your hand and forearm move straight down, hence “sinking”, to about your belly area. The distance covered can be only a few inches as the goal here is to create an opening for your next move which will usually be a punch. However, a deeper sink will require more time and distance for your opponent to retaliate. It also applies to you but you will have the upper hand and surprise. Additionally, your opponent should be jolted off balance which will further your advantage.


The jam sao sinking hand is one of your best defenses because it causes the attack of your opponent to be deflected downward so it loses and misses its mark. More so, it frequently unbalances your opponent both physically and mentally. It is a great move used to protect yourself and disable your opponent. Use it frequently.


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...Sifu Mike