Why Lok Sao is the Best Self Defence Training for Beginners

Self Defence North London

When you visit a beginner Wing Chun class you will see what could be considered a strange looking exercise. Understandably the sight may be confusing, especially if you come from a Boxing, Kickboxing, or even Brazilian Jiu Jitsu background. Here are three reasons why Lok Sao training is better for you than Kickboxing or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) sparring.

When you visit a beginner Wing Chun class you will see what could be considered a strange looking exercise. Understandably the sight may be confusing, especially if you come from a boxing, kickboxing, or even Brazilian Jiu Jitsu background. What if we told you that Lok Sao training is best for developing your self defence ability. In fact, it is probably better for beginners to Wing Chun than sparring. Looking at the exercise you would be hard pressed to understand why. Here are three reasons why Lok Sao training is better for you than Boxing, Kickboxing, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) sparring.


#1 Lok Sao Improves Your Reflexes

Most people freeze or tense up when being attacked, especially when they are grabbed aggressively. It is natural to tense up and freeze when surprised by an attack. Unfortunately, freezing your body reduces your reaction time to any attack, and limits your natural reflexes to counter attack.

Lok Sao is a simple Wing Chun exercise that vastly improves your reflexes by reducing your reaction time to sudden attacks. The rolling aspect of the hands works to confuse or distract the new Wing Chun student from an impending attack. So, the beginner knows that they are going to be attacked, they just do not know when. In this sense it is as much as a surprise that enhances your reflexes and reduces your reaction time to an attack.

Of course, improved reflexes and quicker reaction times to physical attacks are important for self defence. Developing your reflexes and improving your physical reaction time is more favourable for a beginner to Wing Chun compared to specific self defence scenario training. Many martial arts schools or self defence programs focus on responding to specific attackes in the street. While we do the same, we also try to improve your reflexes in order so that you can respond in any self defence situation or context.

While attacks in self defence situations may differ. The basic requirement to react quickly remains the same. So we spend more time developing this tactile ability from the early stages of Wing Chun training.


#2 Lok Sao Teaches You How to Coordinate Your Hands Together

Lok Sao training also develops your co ordination whilst strengthening your shoulders. It is undeniable that hand coordination is necessary for self defence. The better coordinated you are, the better your ability to defend yourself.

However, key to coordination is not being limited to the dominate side of your body. In other words, not a predetermined preference to which arm you will use to defend yourself against a punch, kick, or grab. After all, you cannot predict how an attack will occur in a self defence confrontation.  You may be forced to use your left hand because you were ambushed from the left side your body.

Regardless, Lok Sao teaches the ability to coordinate both hands together in order to attack efficiently with power and control over an aggressive attacker in self defence. Overall, Lok Sao develops strength in your shoulders and reduces the bias towards only using the dominat side of your body. Be aware that most Wing Chun techniques rely on using two hands together, often with differing functions. So Lok Sao is a good start to developing this skill. Especially, for beginners to Wing Chun.


#3 Lok Sao Teaches You to Deal with Grabbing Attacks

Lastly, new beginners will gain some practical skills that can be immediately applied for self defence. In partcualuar, Lok Sao enhances the ability to cope with grabbing attacks in which you are also punched in the face.

In these circumstances, as mentioned above many people simple freeze up over the dilemma of whether to deal with the grab or the punch. Of course, it makes sense to deal with the punch, however the grab to your clothing or arm may off balance you and this also requires attention. This is a perfect situation in which Lok Sao training is more beneficial than simply sparring for beginners. Here our beginners are able to improve their reflexes, reduce reaction time, and respond effectively to such complex attacks without thinking.


In Summary

Lok Sao is a vital exercise for new beginners to Wing Chun and intermediate and advanced students alike. Not only does it provide a safe substitute to full contact sparring for beginners. It more readily develops the skill set for self defence. Although, many would argue that martial art sparring is best for self defence, we maintain that beginners have no skill to sparring with, so in this sense Lok Sao has more benefits for self defence.



The London Wing Chun Academy is a martial arts and functional fitness gym based in North London. Open 7 days a week with gym and functional fitness equipment. Our gym provides group fitness and martial arts classes in Wing ChunSan Shou KickboxingBrazilian Jiu JitsuWC4 Self DefenceYogaFunctional Fitness, and non contact Fitness kick BoxingMembership starts from £25 per month. Visit our gym today for a taster class. Get Started Now >>


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