Is interest in WC declining?

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by geezer, Nov 14, 2017 at 10:47 AM.

  1. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    I've noticed getting fewer inquiries regarding WC and no new students at our club in a while. And even though we have always been an adult class, the average age seems to go up every year. And I think I'm seeing something similar on this forum. :(

    Maybe it's just the way things are going lately. Any thoughts?
     
  2. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    don't think its just wc? A lot of arts are being squeezed out by those with better pr. TKD seems to have the kid market sewn up and if they stick with ma, they are likely to stick with tkd, mma has the young male market and bjj the young female market.

    every one else's is fighting for scraps and of course wc doesn't help its self by looking silly
     
  3. Eric_H

    Eric_H Black Belt

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    Yes, it's in decline right now. Most TMA are going down in a post MMA world, and WC doesn't have a good rep, doesn't have a competition outlet and the only way to get any return on it is to teach it. It's the art history degree of martial arts =/
     
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  4. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Ouch. That's pretty much me. BA in social anthropology with a minor in art. Then an MFA in visual arts. The best paying job I had until I was about 40 was the one I got right out of high school. :(

    Now I'm a high school teacher with 22 years in and "earned PhD" rank ...and I make less than the national median wage. When I retire I'm moving to Mexico so I can afford to eat. Good thing I really like beans and tortillas. :)
     
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  5. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    You know, I even think FMA is declining (I also teach Ecrima). Seems like a lot of the kind of folks that used to take up Escrima are going into HEMA instead. Come to think of it, if real HEMA (not sport fencing and not that SCA stuff) had been around when I was getting started, I might have gone that route myself.

    Fortunately, Escrima is connected to HEMA. I see it (at least what we do) as a global martial art with Filipino and European HEMA roots.
     
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  6. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    This is probably a marketing issue. I only say this because Jow Ga Kung Fu isn't known yet when I do marketing for the school, we see an increase interest. When I'm not doing marketing for the school, like now. Then there is little interest. We went from having inquiries every month to 6 months without anyone contacting us about classes.

    Not to insult anyone but most Martial Arts school do a really horrible job with market especially online marketing.

    TKD has excellent marketing but for most traditional martial arts schools, it's not the market that we want. TKD usually addresses child discipline and less function. Most of us are probably the opposite. First function and discipline is a by product of training function.

    MMA beats out TMA for the same reasoning; good marketing. MMA markets functionality. TMA does not. There are a lot of other things that TMA does but I can't share because that's a marketing secret for me. But I will give this much.

    Look at your TMA. Look at how you market yourself and your school. Ask yourself, "Who cares?" If you come up with a small market segment then you have identified why there is a loss of interest.

    It used to be that Movies promoted TMA, but these days it's going to take a lot more especially for kung fu, who repeated has "kung fu masters" get their butts handed by people who just punch. I think the last 3 "kung fu masters" that I saw were defeated with punches. They didn't even last long enough for the MMA fighter to use BJJ. It was simply just punches that anyone can do. This doesn't give TMA a good image at all and it's difficult to repair an image like that.
     
  7. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    HEMA biggest attraction is probably that it's European Based. This brings to mind right away the image of knights, honor, valor, heroes, battles, warriors, and other awesome conceptions and ideas that we may have about that time period. It's difficult to compete with that, especially if people are seeing it as an ethnic identity that is a part of their ancestral identity. With TMA we have non Asian embracing Asian Cultures. With HEMA you have people of European descent embrace, European Culture. By that definition alone I should have more pull towards Capoiera than Chinese Martial Arts. I think the only reason I don't is because. I already know my historical culture and I have a natural interest and enjoyment of exploring cultures that aren't mine. I think this is the exception and not the rule. Most people's comfort is with their own because it's something they can identify with. For people like me, we like to play outside of the box and our life often reflects that willingness to go beyond our own culture.

    I personally think HEMA is cool and of value, to the point that I hope other cultures will look back and to the same with some of their forgotten fighting systems.
     
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  8. Eric_H

    Eric_H Black Belt

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    As someone with a B.A. I can relate. Let me know how Mexico turns out ;)
     
  9. wckf92

    wckf92 3rd Black Belt

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    good you had to add that last bit eh :rolleyes:
    well done lad...golf clap...
     
  10. MA_Student

    MA_Student Brown Belt

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    Fact is a lot of people don't do martial arts to learn martial arts. They do it more for a workout than for fighting and things like boxing and Muay Thai etc will mostly (not the case with everyone) be way more intense than a traditional class e.g karate, wing chun etc. I train 3 styles and by far the karate is easily the easiest class physically I mean sometimes I feel like it's a waste of time washing my gi as we don't sweat at all. There's to much theoretical stuff and talking about principles of motion and things like that and frankly that stuffs boring to a lot of people. They want to sweat, they want to spar. I bet this will bring up the argument of not being personal trainers etc but well you can't argue with how things are right now.

    These days people these muscular athletes with 6 packs and bulging muscles in mma/ boxing gtmsmetc and then they go to wing chun class and see a middle aged guy with a stomach on him. They'll choose to train with the in shape guy. I'm not saying that's the best idea because when it comes to teaching body type doesn't really matter but to a new guy whi doesn't know a punch from a kick it does matter that's just society today.

    Also Im not saying all traditional places are theoretical and don't work hard as I know that's not the case but that's the reputation it has.
     
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  11. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    OK Jobo, now you made wckf92 mad. Bad Jobo!

    Oh well. What you said is true enough. I remember the first WC class I watched back in 1979. When I saw poon-sau being practiced (without understanding what it was for) I actually had to stifle a laugh. Same for their sparring.

    Still, after researching the system a bit, I decided to give it a try, and soon got hooked. I don't know if I'd make the same choice again if I were a young guy looking to start MA training, especially given the options available today. Actually, I rather doubt it.
     
  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yet the RSBD crowd get away with not being able to fight. And some of those guys charge through the nose.
     
  13. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    HEMA actually fight. If I was going to do a weapon art it would be HEMA because their validation Methods are the same as mine.
     
  14. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Two reasons for that.
    1: They aren't getting into any televised fights, so people don't know if they are bad.
    2: They still market functionality even if they don't fight. In fact (in general), they market a functionality that they state you can't test in a ring fight. No clue if that's accurate, or beneficial, just what I've seen from there marketing.
    As a side, I'm sure there are RSBD that do fight, although not sure how many do official competitions.
     
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  15. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    You’re sure? Or are you giving the benefit of the doubt?
     
  16. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Senior Master

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    I think RSBD is a different animal all together. But I'm sure they will go through the same filter. Right now it's called RSBD, but what will it call when the quantity of bad RSBD instruction is larger than those who do valid RSBD? Probably the name will change and the cycle will restart again.

    We kind of already see this with stuff like, Combat TKD, Functional TKD, and Combat Tai Chi. I agree with you thought. I've seen some RSBD stuff that made my skin crawl, both from the techniques being used and from the cost.

    Some kung fu schools do it. Not many. I think more will do it once the weapon amor development gets better.

    If I had the cash I would be wearing this and doing weapon sparring at least once a week
     
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  17. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    They still have that deadly without effort appeal. Which is what the mass market wants. I mean even in the MMA world people all want to be fighters. They just don't want to train hard.
     
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  18. wckf92

    wckf92 3rd Black Belt

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    When you guys say RSBD...are you really meaning RBSD(?)
     
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  19. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Actually some of HEMA guys spar, depends on the crowd. I fought in a HEMA tournament last weekend and got to hang out with the tournament director after. He said that actually many HEMA groups don't spar because, you know tournaments don't reflect the "real fight" and you don't see people pull off the techniques that are in the manuals very often. He calls those guys HEMA-lite. :D
     
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  20. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    The second one.
     
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