How to Beat Yang the Leader, Sanctuary Boss – Sifu

A huge step up in difficulty from the previous bosses, Yang is a true test of your Kung Fu mastery. In this guide, we’ll go over all of Yang’s moves, and give specific strategies as well as general tips and tricks for dealing with him.

Note that the following is only applicable after beating the game once and being sent back to the Wuguan.

SPARING BOSSES: During the second phase of boss fights in Sifu, you can choose not to use the finishing move on them once their structure is broken. If you do this twice, you’ll be given the option to spare them if you stand close enough (while their structure is broken and they’re ready for a finishing move). In order to accomplish this, you’ll need to make sure you don’t reduce their health bar to zero in the process — if their health is close to gone, you’ll have to parry them instead of attacking to break their structure.

Sparing every boss is the only way to truly beat the game.

General Tips

  • If you are entering this fight over age 30, you’re going to have a bad time. Go back and beat the other bosses with less deaths before attempting to defeat Yang.
  • Since parrying is essential in Phase 1, you’re going to need to do this boss fight a few times in order to learn his moveset.
  • Some of Yang’s faster moves require spamming the block or avoid button, which is unique to this fight.

Phase 1

Yang is very defensive during this phase, and it can be difficult to do damage to him. For that reason, you should focus on parrying his attacks. Since we’re trying to wear his structure down, it’s important not to back off to regain structure — he is the only enemy that quickly regains his own structure. It’s better to die than let him regain his structure; stay in his face and keep parrying, and attack only if you stun him or avoid the end of a combo.

He ends a few combos with a sort of pawing slap attack. This cannot be blocked, only parried or avoided. You may also have to attack him just to get him to actually attack you, but don’t commit — do a single light attack and then prepare to parry/avoid. Attack him only when you’ve stunned him or avoided an attack:

leader strategy sifu gif


Front Kick Combo

He sometimes ends the combo early, after the third attack.

leader front kick comb 2 sifu gif

Front Kick Guard Break Combo

Like the previous attack, but without a side-step. There’s a quick attack after the guardbreak that you also need to avoid/parry.

leader front kick guardbreak combo sifu gif

Sliding Sweep

His easiest attack to predict and avoid, only utilized when far away.

leader sliding sweep sifu gif

Eye Poke Combo

You’ll only see this combo if you avoid the eye poke (which sometimes is used as the first move in this combo, instead of being preceded by a stomach punch). If you eat the eye-poke, you’ll instead get stunned and tossed across the room. Parrying the eye-poke part of this combo will stun Yang.

leader eye poke combo sifu gif

Staggered Punches

This one is awkward, mostly thanks to the weird delay between some of the attacks. There are 7 in all, and the first one begins after a long windup. The timing between each one is slightly different, and the final swipe comes very quickly after the attack it follows.

leader staggered punches sifu gif

Side Step Flurry

Almost always done following the eyepoke attack — mash down avoid or parry as fast as you can once he begins his flurry of attacks. The final punch is unblockable and must be parried or avoided.

leader side step flurry sifu gif

Triple Punch

He frequently leaps backward after this attack, chaining it into a gap-closing move. The final punch is unblockable and must be parried or avoided.

leader triple punch sifu gif

Uppercut + Overhand

This attack is only seen when very close to Yang.

leader uppercut overhand sifu gif

One Two

Another attack you’ll only see when close to him; both attacks come very quickly.

leader one two sifu gif

Phase 2

Yang is much more aggressive during this phase, so you can block and/or avoid rather than parry whenever you aren’t confident on the parry timings, or if you don’t recognize the move. Sweeps end a number of combos, so block if you aren’t sure what’s coming next. If you are knocked down, he will immediately attack you, so either dodge as soon as you hit the ground or — if you have the necessary skill unlocked — parry.

The following moves remain from Phase 1: Triple Punch, Eye Poke, Staggered Combo, Side Step Flurry, One Two. Some of these have guardbreaks thrown into the middle of them, so avoid rather than parry if you’re low on the structure. Sometimes he ends the Frontkick Guardbreak or the Triple Punch with a guardbreaking sweep, so dodge backwards, avoid up, or parry after the “final” move in these combos. Here’s the eyepoke combo interrupted by a guardbreak sweep:

leader punch sweep sifu gif

In addition to ending combos with a guardbreak sweep, he will sometimes end a combo early and do a different one. Here, he starts one of the Guardbreak Uppercut combos, then does a triple punch instead of finishing it:

leader guardbreak uppercut combo sifu gif


Guardbreak Triple Punch

A very telegraphed wind-up, but you’ll need to spam avoid down once he comes in, since the three attacks in this combo come incredibly quickly.

leader guardbreak triple punch sifu gif

Guardbreak Uppercut + Sweep

If he does his guardbreak uppercut and doesn’t dash after the first attack, avoid up on the final attack.

leader guardbreak sweep sifu gif

Guardbreak Uppercut + Highkick

Begins like the previous move — the dash is the hint he’s going to high kick instead of sweep.

leader guardbreak highkick sifu gif

Leaping Guardbreak

A fast attack, but you know it’s coming when he jumps towards one of the beams.

leader leaping guardbreak sifu gif

Phase 3

If you’ve spared all of the previous bosses, you’ll be able to spare Yang as well. This will begin a third phase of the fight, in which neither you nor Yang have health bars. However, he regenerates his structure very quickly. Attacking him is generally a waste of time — instead, parry constantly, and only attack if you stun him. He’s very aggressive, so you won’t ever need to attack first.

Once you break his structure, you’ll be able to do a finishing move on him. You don’t need to spare him here — press the requisite button(s) to take him down and see the game’s true ending.


Once you defeat Yang, you’ll see a cinematic and be returned to the Wuguan. Both the cinematic and a new item in the center of your Detective Board hint at how you might break the cycle…

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Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.

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2 years ago

These tips were good but the only thing I have a problem with is that it tells you to rather suicide rather then go back and recover. you should always recover after your structure is broken. You dont want to be hyper-agressive with this boss because he can shut you down real fast and your deaths keep building up, meaning the more you die the more years youll age. Just take your time.