Small Circle

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by wingchun100, May 11, 2017.

  1. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I just wanted to state an observation here on two very different approaches to Wing Chun.

    Originally I trained in the Ip Ching lineage. The teacher there had us do the techniques in fairly large motions. He said, "Over time, your Wing Chun will get smaller and smaller."

    Now I train in the Leung Sheung lineage, and man...what a difference. It is all small motions right off the bat. Sifu says, "When you can do small circle, everything else comes easily."

    I can see how both approaches can be useful, depending on the kind of students who enter the school. Some people might attend a school that favors the "small circle" approach and think to themselves, "These motions are so wimpy. I don't see how I can defend myself!" Then they quit. For someone with that mindset, you would benefit from starting them off with bigger motions and training them to get smaller over time.

    As for me, I believe in tackling the most difficult challenge first because it proves to me if I can conquer it, then I can most likely conquer anything.
     
  2. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Can you give us a specific example of a technique, or maybe reference a video clip so we can see what you mean?
     
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  3. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I will try to upload a video of myself performing the two variations later on tonight.

    I am not aware of any videos you could see already online because I have attempted many times to search "Leung Sheung wing chun" and other variations of that search. The results that come up don't really look anything like what I am learning.
     
  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Don't know much about wing chun but I just don't see why you'd teach something to a beginner one way and expect them to change it when they get higher up that just causes bad habits and makes it harder to change as it's part of the muscle memory
     
  5. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Argument for teaching big movements first -- Big, exaggerated movements are easier to do and understand. Once you get the structure, energy and flow down, you gradually trim the movements down more and more to make them more economical and efficient.

    Argument for teaching tight, efficient movements from the start -- Big movements are impractical, and since under extreme stress (as in a fight) your movements will tend to get bigger and sloppier anyway. So you might as well try to curb that tendency by training small, efficient movements from the start.

    It just boils down to different teaching methods. Depending on the individual, I suppose either method could work. In my branch of VT/WT, we train with efficient movements from the beginning. On the other hand, many movements are executed with increasing efficiency as you progress, for example the way the front punch is delivered in Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Tze respectively. On the other hand, as you shrink the movement, the margin of error decreases. So unless you are quite proficient, you may be risking more by executing a Biu Tze attack or counterattack.
     
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  6. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    The idea is that learning one way teaches a good basic habit that while not important to the technique is important to the process of learning.

    We have lots of those.
     
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  7. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    For better or worse, here are some examples. This is the first video I have ever shared of myself on here, so… Please be gentle.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  8. DanT

    DanT 2nd Black Belt

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    I was thinking about the Lan Sao becoming a smaller movement in CK as well.
     
  9. anerlich

    anerlich Brown Belt

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    TWC has both.

    A very good instructor from another style told me he prefers to do his forms with larger movements as under stress you tend to tighten up and make everything smaller. YMMV.
     
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  10. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

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    Wow...that first example has an almost kenpo look to it! (placing hand by ear first, then turning)
     
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  11. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I got your back, my friend. Video posted!
     
  12. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    My thoughts exactly.

    I can see arguments for teaching both ways. @geezer pointed out quite a few good reasons. Everything in life has its pros and cons, you know?
     
  13. VPT

    VPT Green Belt

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    From what I've been reading by prominent martial arts writers and what is my personal opinion, I think a small movement is very much less adaptive to any given trajectory and vector of attack than a larger range of motion. Of course, knowing nothing about Wing Chun, I can't tell if the bigger movements contain any purposeful details in themselves and what is the meaning of every individual movement.

    Your Cantonese pronunciation, though. :confused: Leung Sheung is pronounced with the sound of "uh-uh". Think of his name being written "Luhng Shuhng". Or if you prefer the name in Mandarin, Liang Xiang is like "Lee-young Shee-young".

    Leonard Skinner - Lynyrd Skynyrd :D
     
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  14. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Thanks for putting that up to see. What we do is more like the Leung Sheung CK set you demonstrated ...not surprising since my old sifu began his training under Leung Sheung. Some of our movements are a little larger - the three "pak sau" sequence for example. In our current curriculum, other movement sequences start bigger and then tighten up as you move up in rank or experience For example, this happens with the movement turning from lan sau to bong-wu-sau.

    I believe this idea of starting bigger and then trimming down may reflect my current instructor's experience training WT in Europe where they have a lot of big schools and have systematized their curriculum accordingly.. When we trained together with our old sifu in small, semi-private groups here in the US, we did the tighter, final version right from the start.
     
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  15. DanT

    DanT 2nd Black Belt

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    Certain styles emphasize big movements such as Northern Shaolin. The movements are extremely powerful and are very practical (hook punches, forearm swings and round kicks). Being caught by a powerful swinging technique will crush most people.
     
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  16. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I agree, but those techniques can also be harder to land due to telegraphing.
     
  17. DanT

    DanT 2nd Black Belt

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    Oftentimes the movements are delivered from angles that are harder to see, such as I start my windmill punch from behind me so you don't see it until it's literally right above your head, and big looping crescent kicks are delivered with no body movement, so they're hard to see coming.
     
  18. anerlich

    anerlich Brown Belt

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    Good Choy Li Fut guys can also throw huge and powerful windmill punches that are hard to see coming, despite the hugeness, because of that trajectory.

    Axe kicks also seem huge movements and are really obvious to an outside observer, but a good flexible kicker can score with them because the trajectory goes outside the opponent's field of vision. Plus they can be disguised as low leg kicks, which then ghost past your attempted shin block and reappear as the axe smacking you on a downward angle to the temple. Ouch.

    You decry such techniques and styles at your peril.
     
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  19. LFJ

    LFJ Senior Master

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    :facepalm: Lemme help you guys out if you care to say his name right...

    The <eu> diphthong in Cantonese is not one that exists in English.

    It starts like the <e> in "bed" and flows into the <u> in "lung".

    So, his surname Leung is pronounced as if you were to say the English word "lung" with the <e> from "bed" before the <u>.

    It's the same sound in his given name, Seung.

    "Sheung" is a nonstandard romanization. There is no <sh> as in English in Cantonese.
    It's an <s> as in "song". (Hence, shifu in Mandarin becomes sifu in Cantonese.)

    梁相 Leung Seung. Click on the button in the box on the right that says [Speak (need HTML5 support)] to hear them pronounced together.

    They rhyme, but with different tones. Hear the <eu> is not "uh", and the <s> is not <sh>.
     
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  20. VPT

    VPT Green Belt

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    I actually know Cantonese pronunciation. :eek: "Leung Seung" is Yale romanization; I personally prefer Jyutping, which would write it "Loeng Soeng". :D

    "Uh-huh" is pretty much the closest English language can get to pronouncing what is written in International Phonetic Alphabet as [œ]. To be perfectly phonetically accurate, Leung Seung writes /lœːŋ4 sœːŋ1/ in IPA with Jyutping tone numbers added.

    But since most of us don't read IPA, after all, you have to come up with something simple, like "Say it like you would say 'uh-huh'", and then just not necessarily bother about the s/sh since it does not make grammatical difference. The erroneous romanization of "sheung" has already stuck anyway :(

    Geez, I hate when people write all like "Bil Gee", when I always write and think of "Biu Ji/ Biu Zi"... Chum Kiu is not quite as bad (It's Cham Kiu).


    Luckily Cantonese is not Mandarin, after all, with all the 9+ affricates and fricatives. Takes you ages to learn to hear them right. And why do I prefer Jyutping over Yale? Because English is not my first language.123
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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