The trouble with my Wing Chun

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by trolloc63, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    My apologies for the length, but I am in a bit of a quandary.

    So, I have both interests in Aikido and Wing Chun. I had originally studied Aikido on and off for several months. While impressive, especially watching Steven Segal, I was frustrated by my progress.

    I live in Nebraska, and we have both traditional Aikido and un-modified Wing Chun here (Moy Yat Ving Tsun). All of these schools in both disciplines are a traditional lineage.

    And this goes to my frustration with both arts. I want my martial arts to be practical, that is defensible on the street. I apologize for ruffling feathers at this point, but I feel that these traditional schools, while a great background, would not help me achieve my goal of street defense.

    In my opinion, which may be wrong, seeing is believing. This was my initial frustration with Aikido. Many of the Aikido schools are traditional, unless you follow the Tenshin style of Steven Segal (or one of the others). After watching many hours of Aikido videos, I found it very hard to find any style that effectively dealt with street style punches, or boxing like punches. While Aikido has many other benefits, I feel that this is an area in which Aikido lacks. Lacks may not be the correct term, but it would be difficult to deal with these types of punches on the street using Aikido I think. The only thing that comes close to this that I have seen is Lenny Sly’s Aikido. So I have basically stopped going for these reasons already stated.

    This leads me to the main issue. Wing Chun also interests me. But again, we are dealing with a traditional school here. I think it would be a great base or starting point, but I would eventually have to look for a more “street applicable” WC at some point.

    The difference I see with this, is that I feel that WC can be effectively used on the street with appropriate modification. I have seen this by watching vids on-line. And by vids I mean stuff like Master Wong, Master Mark Phillips, and Sifu D. Izzo. To some degree, they all give realistic examples of how WC could be used in self-defense situations.

    My biggest problem however, is that I don’t live in Chicago or the UK, I live in Nebraska. I just wonder what you guys’ thoughts are on my situation?
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Go spar some MMA. See where you are at.
     
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Seconded.

    The only way to get good at fighting is fighting. That doesn't negate what any art teaches it just means you need to put in the work to develop practical skill.

    The single best way to do that is to go places where you can fight. I recommend boxing, kick/Thai boxing or mma clubs.

    Take what you learn in Aikido and wing chun class and practice it in the ring. Stick with it until you understand in detail either how to make it work or why it cannot possibly work. And remember that 9 times out of 10 the problem will be you, not the technique.
     
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  4. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

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    Sometimes, it's not what you're training in, but HOW you're training...
     
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  5. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Take out the sometimes and (barring any pedantry) I agree!
     
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  6. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Where you live and for the most part what you train is irrelevant...but 'how' you train is.
    You want to be able to fight, then the training must encompass fighting.
     
  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Some of the techniques in Aikido are, IMHO, not practical on the street. I'm not convinced some of it was meant to be - some of the "techniques" seem more like drills to work on the concepts and movement of aiki principles. They could just as easily be drilled using more common attacks (rather than the wide, arcing chops) to make them more easily translated to direct application. There are styles of Ueshiba's Aikido that do train more realistic attacks (Yoshinkan, Shotokan are the two I'm most familiar with, though that's a passing familiarity).

    I'm far less familiar with Wing Chun, but I suspect there are similar issues.

    Both have techniques and concepts that are useful for defense. You'd need real pressure testing (a resistive opponent) to dig around and get good enough at either to really know which techniques work well (for you).
     
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  8. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    I dunno about aikido, but when it comes to WC I think the classical stuff is pretty useful. Not useful in the sense of direct translation to fighting, ie; you probably don't want to stand there with an extended man sau, but many of the techniques and principles can supliment and improve your game.

    The key is spar spar spar, and spar some more. Only you can discover your own strengths and weaknesses.
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    That's similar to my take on much of classical Aikido, MD. I think in both cases, some (many? most? a few?) places train only to the classical part, and leave out the transitions to get to live work, let alone the actual live work.
     
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  10. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    So true of any physical skill. You may kill it in the batting cage but how well will you do going up against a live pitcher with the game on the line?

    WC is a method of training the body to develop power in striking and to deal with pressures placed on the body, among other things but it's not fighting.
    No martial art can make you a fighter. It can take you up to the door, but you are the one who has to open the door and step inside.
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I would argue that a MA is not the same as its training methods (NOTE: there are others who would disagree with that statement). A MA can't even walk you to the door. It's the methods used to train in that art that can get you to the door - or can leave you somewhere where you can't yet quite see the door, and don't really know how to get that last mile.
     
  12. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I will say MA is how good that you can understand the MA principle. In my last class, we worked on a very simple technique "single leg and downward pull".

    - You push your opponent's shoulder and pull his leading leg.
    - If you feel resistance, you change your push into pull.
    - If you feel resistance again, you change your pull into push.

    After so many push-pull-push- ..., soon or later, you will either get your opponent's leading leg and push him down backward, or pull him down forward. There is only 1 principle that was trained here and that is "borrow force" so your force can combine with your opponent's force. IMO, you you can just understand this simple principle, you have already "stepped into" the MA door.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  13. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    So what I'm hearing is that it does'nt matter where I get my training, but how I actually apply it. So perhaps I should just pick one discipline and learn it like the back of my hand. And then, when I feel I have learned a lot, then incorporate sparring into it.
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    What you're talking about is a training method. Those can (don't always, but can) get you to the door.
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Oh, where you get it does matter. Your approach matters at least as much, though.

    I wouldn't wait until you've learned a lot, before starting to work it into live sparring. Find individual techniques you can develop to incorporate into your live sparring, so you can incorporate them gradually over time while you're learning.
     
  16. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If you have trained MA for a long time, there will be no MA style but MA principle. For example, if your opponent throws straight punches at your head such as jab and cross, you can protect your head from

    1. inside out - Extend your left arm between his right arm and his head. Extend your right arm between his left arm and his head.
    2. outside in - Use hay-maker to knock his right arm to his left and knock his left arm to his right.

    What MA style does this principle come from? Does it matter?

    Of course you can dodge those punches. But to play 100% defense is always a bad idea. It's better to take advantage on your opponent's attack and counter it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  17. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    Then I guess my next question is how to find people to spar with? Do I goto a boxing/MMA gym and ask for help. Or do I develop friendships with WC bros and use them?
     
  18. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Have a chat to your local gym. Even wrestle at an open mat or something. Suss out the guys so you don't get bashed.
     
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  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Start with the WC guys if any are willing. They'll already know your skill, and are probably less likely to overdo it. Best to find some folks outside WC to work with, too. Some open mat time where you can spar (lightly) and wrestle/roll (gently) to try out what you're learning is a good step.
     
  20. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    Some WC don’t spar at all, some do. As other said above you have to spar to really learn how to fight and that is a big reason why many MA schools set up their students for disaster IMO. It’s also why MMA folks are good at actually fighting.....bc they fight in training. Major advantage.
     

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