"No Outside Game," or Another Thread About Hybrid Arts

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by wingchun100, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I was thinking of a video Dan Inosanto did where he said wing chun had "no outside game." He was talking about long-range stuff, of course. Over the last few months I thought about this statement, and it made me wonder: what style with long-range attacks would make a good hybrid with wing chun?

    I don't see tae kwon do being one. In TAO OF JEET KUNE DO, Bruce Lee had some notes about savate, but I have never seen that style demonstrated so I can't say one way or the other. Lately I have been thinking that Muay Thai might be the best mix. It has long-range attacks, but it is also known as the "Art of 8 Limbs" because there are also elbow attacks. Plus Muay Thai fighters are also known for getting up close and personal by getting their opponents in "the clinch."

    Anyway, it was just a thought I had about what long-range style would fit best with wing chun conceptually.
     
  2. wckf92

    wckf92 2nd Black Belt

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    IMHO, WC does have 'long bridge' and 'short bridge'. Now, some may prefer to emphasize one vs the other in some kwoons or families but it is there.
     
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  3. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    And Bruce Lee also said that he doesn't believe in styles. A long game is easy. The whole thing is about managing distance, which is easily the shallowest and simplest part of any martial art and fighting. So 'hybrid' fuss is honestly pointless. Fighting distance (standing) is not dependent on the style anyway — moreso the fighter themselves (or lineages or whatever one may identify with but I'll leave that discussion for another time).
    So I have to disagree on wing chun having no 'outside game' because such thing is impossible.
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    In your experience, which lineages have/don't have much emphasis on "long bridge"?
     
  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    I've long thought Bruce Lee's comments about "no style" were overly philosophical to attempt to train from as a beginner. They are an end point - actually, a fairly common end point. Many long-term (let's say 20+ years) students of the arts I know have reached a point where, when attending a seminar, they look at each new technique, strategy, and principle they are taught and examine it for how it will work for them in regards to everything else they know. Those who do this become more dangerous to their training partners who don't, because they will find a version of a technique that fits nicely into their main art, but isn't really known there, and bring it back in.

    In the end, I think Lee's concept - at it's highest level - is not that uncommon. (Some of the principles within it might be - I'd need to go back and re-read his writings to think about that, and I'm sure there's stuff that was passed along that didn't make it into the books.) Basically, as I read it, he says that techniques aren't the key, principles are the key. So, though someone may study his techniques in JKD, they shouldn't be leashed to those in the long term. I don't think it's a viable approach for beginners - they need specific techniques to learn from and grow upon until they have the understanding to bridge principles beyond techniques. That's where the technical JKD has its place.

    Sometimes I think most instructors (maybe most students - I just don't know many long-term students who don't teach) eventually run into a problem. They are focusing themselves in one direction for learning, and must focus their teaching in another direction, because their students simply aren't at their level...unless they move to only teaching advanced students, where the gap isn't as large. When someone copies their thoughts at that stage - whether from writings, or by repeating their teaching methods (especially if it's how they taught to advanced classes), they may be teaching beyond the beginner's level from the start.

    Back to your point (which I intended to stay on, really!). There's the other side of the aisle: long-term students of an art who work to keep an art pure. If you are trying to preserve some historical point in time (like maintaining some settler's village from the 16th century in America), then that's fine. But that's not the same IMO as continuing to practice it as a functional art. Those folks don't want to add or remove anything, which usually starts from the assumption that the art is wholly perfect, and that changing, adding, or removing will break it. That attitude assumes that some progenitor was an infallible genius, who created a perfect system. Such does not exist, IMO. If said progenitor did well, then they created a whole art that worked well for the time and circumstances in which they found themselves. That art should continue to evolve as the world around it does. That doesn't mean just anything can be brought into an art. As I said (I think) before, an art is a collection of principles, and needs some unifying bridges that let you move between parts of the art. Anything new that comes into the art must fit comfortably. So, for instance, there are strikes from Jow Ga, White Crane, and Long Fist traditions that simply don't look like good fits for NGA, so to me they are not NGA. There are strikes in Goju-ryu, Wing Chun, and Kali that do look like good fits for NGA, so to me they are NGA to anyone in NGA who knows how to use those strikes. The style is simply the set of principles and approaches that collects appropriate techniques and movements under itself.

    (That's more writing than I'd planned to do. Whew!)
     
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  6. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    I haven't seen a version of Wing Chun yet that demonstrated an actually effective "outside game." Would love to see it if it exists! But as far as your question....you hit on it above! Bruce Lee recognized that Wing Chun typically doesn't have a good outside game and sought to fix that. So JKD makes the perfect "hybrid" in that regard....giving Wing Chun an outside game. I think this is one of the reasons Wing Chun typically looks like crap when sparring. No real outside game.
     
  7. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Right, but then you never hear people critique how tae kwon do has no "inside game" because it favors kicks.

    This is what I have always said: if I practice Wing Chun, then I am going to learn how to bridge the gap so I can be in the proper range. If I practice Tae Kwon Do and I would rather kick, then I am going to do what I have to in order to stay in THAT range.

    My point is, I think the lack of outside game can be compensated for by learning entry techniques. Everyone has to learn how to make the opponent play THEIR game. (By this, I mean if you know you are fighting someone from a different style. Obviously in a TKD vs. TKD tournament, you won't have this problem.) A boxer has to get in punching range...a grappler has to get in grappling range...so on and so forth. Therefore, I am not sure learning another art that DOES have outside game is the answer. I think you can learn things that will get into the range where your style functions.

    Then again, maybe I'm just trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. I have yet to prove or disprove this theory...well, for myself anyway.
     
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  8. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I have always thought this myself, meaning what you said in the beginning.

    I believe you have to KNOW the rules before you can break them.

    Back to the original thought I was expressing, you have the flip side of the coin, with a guy like Dom Izzo who posted a video one time saying, "If you don't think the art you're doing is the best, then get out of it. You have no business in it."

    Like many things, in the end it is all personal preference, with no real right or wrong answer.
     
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  9. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I don't agree with it either, but the statement struck me as one that could start an interesting discussoion. Happily, I was proven right. :)
     
  10. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I just want to say though, that Bruce Lee recognized HIS Wing Chun training had no outside game. He left China long before he could complete the system. From what I have heard, I think he started Chum Kiu but might not have finished. When he went back to China for the movies, I think he asked to learn the wooden dummy form, but he did not get all of that either. (My memory of these things is admittedly a bit hazy, but it would be easy enough to refresh them. It is so cool to know people who trained with him!)

    In any event, my point is we will never know what Bruce would have thought of the system if he had actually learned all of it.
     
  11. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    Kickboxing would be a long range style as it uses only long range weapons kicks and punches and knees which normally are short range but in kickboxing you step in with them from a distance
     
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  12. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    From what I have seen of his videos, where he often has opponents who are MUCH further than arm's reach from him, Emin Boztepe includes a lot of long bridge stuff. Then again, judging by his chi sao videos, he is also good at short bridge. I like his balance. Also, I believe he is from the Leung Ting lineage.
     
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  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    The theory is sound, at the very least. A boxer with short reach fighting a boxer with long reach cannot afford to let the long-armed opponent dictate the range. He must get inside. That means he has to find his entry techniques to get inside, where he can play his game. This is a sound theoretical approach.

    Where it breaks down some is when you can't defend against the other's game. So, that same boxer facing a BJJ expert cannot simply afford to say he'll keep things at striking distance. The Gracies showed pretty clearly how many good strikers failed at that strategy. So, learning some methods for controlling and countering their techniques becomes necessary to staying in the striking game.

    I don't think full hybridization is necessary. I think most people can be very well served by a single, solid art. If they want to defend against other arts, they may want a small amount of cross-training in counters.

    Part of my view is that the entire idea of a "pure" art is theoretical. An art is originally only whatever parts the founder included at the time. What we today view as "hybrid" arts (like NGA) are only perceived as such because the source arts are visible to us. Every art was originally an amalgamation of techniques from different sources (what they saw others do, what they'd done by accident, what someone else taught them, etc.).
     
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  14. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Yes, what you are saying is in perfect alignment with what I am thinking.
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    I always laugh at myself a little when someone says "I agree with you" and I click "like". I like it when people agree with me.
     
  16. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    Bruce is said to have known up through the first section or two of the dummy. Ip Man is often quoted as saying something along the lines of if his Chum Kiu level students couldn't hold their own, then there was a problem! So while Bruce Lee was certainly no Wing Chun "master", I think he had a pretty grasp of the way the system functions. And just a note, bridging in from the outside to get to an "in-fighting" range is not the same thing as having an "outside game." That's simply skipping past the "outside game."
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Have you visited the TKD forum? It takes all kinds of hits (if you'll pardon the pun) for not having any kind of inside game.

    BJJ is criticised for its gaps as are every other style.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I agree with you?
     
  19. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Yeah but surely with elbows, you couldn't consider kick boxing to solely long range?
     
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  20. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I've heard that myself...that he said, "If a student of mine has mastered Chum Kiu and then loses a fight, I'm going to go jump off a building!"
     
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