Basic Blocks → Jak Jeung 側掌

Jak Jeung 側掌 – to slap aside without bringing down, allowing you to counter underneath – good for outflanking a strong high arm

Jak Jeung 側掌 (‘side palm’) is a high sidewards slap, usually accompanied by counter striking underneath the attacker’s arm, as an alternative to slapping it down and punching over the top. For when your attacker is punching too high, or seems too tall or too strong for bringing their hand down and punching over it – in this case you can step more, press less, by slapping it aside and countering underneath while still flanking or standing your ground if you insist.

It doesn’t bring their arm down, it just slaps aside on a constant high height and counters underneath.

This is also a form of Pak Sau 拍手 (slapping hand).

Bruce Lee demonstrating Jak Jeung 側掌 on the wooden dummy
Bruce Lee demonstrating Jak Jeung 側掌 (side palm) with low counter punch, on the Wing Chun wooden dummy. This is a form of Pak Da 拍打 (slap & hit).
Bruce Lee doing Jak Jeung 側掌 on Dan Inosanto
Bruce Lee doing a Jak Jeung 側掌 side palm on Dan Inosanto. This is a High Block, Low Punch variation of a Pak Da 拍打 slap & hit. Dan may have thrown an elbow, or he may be changing his punch into an elbow to counter Bruce’s slap. If Bruce manages to slip down the flank and get behind Dan, he can achieve the most dominant position possible – the Rear Naked Choke Hold. But if he passes the elbow and can’t get fully behind, he could still go for the Side Choke.
Bruce Lee doing a Jak Jeung 側掌 vs Dan Lee.
Bruce Lee doing a Jak Jeung 側掌 side palm vs Dan Lee. This time he’s doing a high counter but still striking from underneath Dan’s punch rather than bringing it down.

Use the Adjacent Hand, to block on the Outside Gate

As with the Down Slap (Gam Sau), the Side Slap (Jak Jeung) should also normally be done using the directly opposing adjacent hand, not the diagonally opposite hand, as this is a more risky move requiring much more precision and a bit of good luck.

Bruce Lee doing a High Inside Pak Sau (or Jak Jeung, side palm) with Low Counter on Taky Kimura
Bruce Lee demonstrating a risky High Inside-Gate Side Slap with Low Counter on Taky Kimura, one of his early students in Seattle. This is a risky move because the punch could potentially hook around your slap, especially if your counter punch is not powerful enough to stop them closing the gap, or if they have unexpectedly long arms. Here, Bruce is using his PIP Knuckles to extend the reach of his punch, but in turn, this will massively reduce the power of the punch, so I would not recommend this move personally. But that’s not to say Bruce couldn’t make it work. This could have been a waiting move, just holding Taky at a distance until he throws his next punch or does something else – after all, Bruce is controlling the centre so he still has the dominant position here. His lead hand could easily move up for a throat grab. And he’s well poised to throw a kick between the legs – he’s sitting mostly on the back leg, his front leg is pointing roughly towards the target, he’s got the right range for it, and the target is wide open. Taky on the other hand, can’t kick with the front leg because his weight is on his front leg, is leaning forward so can’t reach much further without stepping, and can’t easily see the target between Bruce’s legs because Bruce’s stance is bladed away and his front knee is ready to check anything that comes in.