Kum Na in Cantonese or Chin Na in Mandarin is the art of trapping, joint locking or manipulating the joints. There are several degrees of Kum Na. These techniques invariably begin with bridging using the “kiu sau or forearm”, leading to trapping of the limbs. Techniques implemented can lead to either neutralising an opponent or in more extreme cases ending in dislocation or the tearing of tendons from the bone depending on the technique or force applied.

Kum Na is essentially understanding body mechanics, knowing how muscles and tendons move to manipulate them where they can no longer bend. Choy Lee Fut mainly focuses on upper torso locks. These can be divide into 3 gates.

First Gate

Second Gate

Third Gate

The first gate is the wrist. The wrist is used for firstly intercepting incoming attacks, locking hands and achieving wrist locks. To achieve wrist locks, the wrist is bent in an L-shape.

The second gate is the elbow. The elbow is used to further lock the first gate as well as the second. To achieve and elbow lock can be completed in two ways, one is via an L-shape bend the other is via a straight arm bar.

The third gate is the shoulder. The shoulder can be locked can be achieved in conjunction with a wrist and elbow lock as well as immobilising the tendons in between the neck and shoulder, near the collar bone.

Kum Na can be used in both attack and defensive mode but is mainly used in defense. This maybe where an opponent has thrown a punch or grabbed a hold of you. Kum Na teaches to intercept or counter lock the opponent. Kum Na does not always rely on brute force but correct placement of techniques to lock the body. Like push hands, Kum Na is about feeling when an opponent has leverage over you to get out of the hold or you have leverage over the opponent to lock and trap.

These upper body locks are also combined with kneeing and kicking. This may involve striking or sweeping the opponent for a takedown.