What does Wing Chun need in the 21st Century?

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by geezer, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    1. Spar. Not Chi Sao but actually spar.
    2. Don’t just accept that your training is good, pressure test it against non compliant partners as your skills increase.
    3. Spar (respectfully) against other type of martial artists.
    4. Experience other training methods
    5. Be open minded and honest with yourself on your training and your skills.
     
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  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think they can, either. But they don't have to get hit hard, repeatedly, which is what they think will happen. A lot of folks seem to think it's an all-or-nothing proposition.
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    With strangers, it might work. With classmates, there's a process that happens that somehow creates a habit of not really trying. I see it in NGA when people are practicing defenses against specific attacks. Those attacks are rarely with any intent, unless the instructor helps folks learn to do them with intent. I've seen blown blocks against punches that still didn't land. I've seen people pushed without being moved (and it wasn't because they were rooted - the push just died when the defense didn't materialize).

    Somehow, this tends to happen less when the interaction it two-sided (both are attacking and defending). I've no idea why.
     
  4. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I wish there was a Like, Thanks, Agree, and Carve in Stone button function here.
     
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  5. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When I test with my students (we do this in every class),

    - I punch and they block. When I punch, I try as hard as I can to hit them.
    - My student punches and I block. When my student punches, I'm not sure my student tries as hard as he can to hit me (may be because I'm the teacher).

    But when 2 students test, I don't think they should have any reason not to go full force and full speed. After all, a punch is just a punch. You can only punch so hard, and you can only punch so fast.
     
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Don’t worry about keeping the lineage alive. Just train in the best way you know how, and don’t hesitate to get creative with your drills and training methods. If it is still based on the wing Chun foundation then it is still wing Chun, even if the drills and such are new and never been done before by anyone. People think they need to never change anything, and I say that’s nonsense. You need to train to the best that you know how, and to the best that you can figure out. That means being creative. So develop some drills and exercises aimed at strengthening skill sets that you perceive as weak.

    So instead of worrying about keeping the lineage alive, just keep doing whatever it is that makes sense to you. This is YOUR wing Chun and that’s is all it needs to be. Whether that ends up being bigger or smaller as a curriculum or method than what you learned from your Sifu.

    I keep saying: none of this stuff was handed down by the gods. None of it is divine or perfect or sacred. It was created by people, over several generations. Changes were made along the way, some for the better, some for the worse. There is no reason you cannot be part of that process.

    Take it and make it yours.
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Man, that is extremely well said.
     
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  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Why thank you sir!
     
  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I am not disagreeing and the schools and folks I am going to reference are not running big commercial schools, as a matter of fact one teaches for free and the other tells me if it wasn't for his other business the Wing Chun school would have closed long ago,

    There are still Wing Chun folks that pretty much except the fact that you are gong to get hit., actually they will tell you it is about striking so you "WILL" get hit...a lot. The official school I went to briefly, if you were doing Chi Sau, ,and you messed up, you were going to get hit, mess up in an application and you were going to get hit. Walk though the guan door....you were going to get hit....doubly so if you worked with the sifu

    I also use to train with a bunch of guys who had been in Wing Chun for years...and....you got hit.... I got hit in the eye there leading to a detached retina. The guy who runs the school for free was talking about hitting... how to hit, why to hit, when to hit, and hitting.

    Although you are very correct, IMO, about those trying to make a living at this and those going to the "Big Box Wing Chun School" and not wanting to get hit all the while certain this is how you develop Donnie Yen's Yip Man movie skill..... there are still a few left that actually train Wing Chun
     
  10. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    To answer this another way;


    Nothing.

    Nothing that doesn't come naturally through training.

    The question is then; what is the objective?

    If it is to preserve the style, then the training is fine.

    If the objective is practicality for fighting/competition, then the training must reflect that.

    That being, a focus on athleticism, making the drills live with full resistance, sparring rounds, and a willingness to accept and adapt to the results of your drilling and testing.

    That's really it.

    This is something I have specifically been focused on for years now.

    Oddly enough(or totally expectedly) as my understanding of/feel for range and distance improve, I am able to work more of the classical stuff in. On Saturday I did three rounds using only classical wc. Even kept up the man/Wu and the triangle footwork the whole time. Yes, my legs are still sore, but I actually did ok-ish.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  11. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    We are training in or teaching a martial art. It's not a cult, it's a physical activity, It's not magic, it's not beyond the realm of physics or super natural. It's a human physical activity with some specific methods to develop particular physical attributes. Other martial methods do some very similar things while some others; not so much. Those who accept it is a physical thing and not mystical or magical will become better against others who are physically attempting to take your head off. The others don't fare so well.
     
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  12. Saheim

    Saheim Green Belt

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    Guess we never ended up in the same class because I do care what happens in a ring, in regards to who is training how and how it worked out for them, even tho I have no intention of competing. Not in a sporting environment, at least. Unfortunately, there is an inherent risk of violence in most of the jobs I work. I am not one of the people who think MMA is the ruler by which all arts should be checked for effectiveness BUT I do believe that YES an MMA match is a pretty close replica of (survival) fighting. In all forms of training, there will always be some "artificiality". However, it is minimized in full contact MMA. I think it the people who say it is not an actual fight, because no eye gouging (or other "deadly" techniques) are allowed, are pretty silly. I can accept the fact that a guy who could stomp me stupid, in the ring, stands a pretty good chance of doing it if we said "ok, now lets try it with no gear and NO rules" Im guessing he could probably figure out how to poke me in the eye, instead of throw the jab that he landed over and over lol.

    As for "adding" things to WC, I consider that more of a personal choice than a curriculum thing. Basically, train WC as WC and the individual can go pick up extra training, from other places, to augment his skillset where he feels he needs to. Not a believer in "complete" systems and think trying to create One Stop Shopping can actually limit an art because it is no longer apecialispe in any particular area. Basically, eventually everything just becomes MMA.
     
  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm a WC novice, so I wouldn't presume to dictate what Wing Chun "needs" to do. However the advice above from Danny is IMO apropos for any art which purports to teach fighting skills.

    I will add one thought. I've heard the argument in WC (and other arts, particularly CMAs) that student should wait to spar until they have spent a substantial time drilling the forms and techniques of the arts. The reasoning is that until the student has done this enough to internalize the form and body dynamics of the style, then when they spar their technique will fall apart and they will just be practicing sloppy kickboxing.

    I understand the thinking behind this idea, but I don't think it holds up well. Consider arts which dump students into sparring early on (boxing. Muay Thai, BJJ, MMA). What happens when those students start sparring initially? The same thing as in other arts. For most students, the technique they have learned falls apart under pressure and their body mechanics just suck. That's fine. It's part of the process. The sparring is feedback. As students start to better approximate the technique and mechanics they have been taught, they get better results (they get hit/thrown/choked/etc less while succeeding on their own attempts to execute moves). This reinforces proper technique more effectively than just repetitive drilling.

    Furthermore, sparring with more skilled practitioners helps the student feel the effectiveness of proper technique. It's one thing to tell a student to "relax" when performing a technique. Most of the time they don't even know what that would feel like. It's another thing to let them feel how your relaxed technique can overcome their attempts to use brute force. In my experience, that tends to sink in a lot more.

    When practitioners of an art have to wait until they have drilled the form of an art for years before starting to spar, a couple of things happen. First, they still have to go through the process of acclimating to the psychological and physical pressure of sparring without having their technique fall apart. Secondly, they end up only working against someone else who is using the same type of movement. In contrast, when a school allows sparring early on the practitioners gain experience in dealing with sparring partners who haven't learned the "correct" way of moving yet. This way they learn to deal with a wide variety of more instinctive attacks and defenses. This should lead to a more robust skill set.
     
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  14. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Since I don't teach any form, I don't use this approach. This way I have freedom to teach any fighting technique from any MA system that I like to.

    I will just teach several drills such as:

    - jab, cross, hook,
    - hay-maker, back fist, uppercut.
    - groin kick, face punch.
    - roundhouse kick, side kick.
    - foot sweep, leading arm jam, face punch.
    - ...

    Students can then start to spar after that.

    I told my students that one day when they get old, if they want to learn forms, I can teach them as many forms as they may wish to learn. But when they are still young, they need to accumulate as much fighting experience as they can. I know that I don't belong to the main stream and I don't expect most people to agree with my approach.

    Here is a drill (one plays offense, another plays defense) that we train. What MA style do you call this? I don't even know how to call it myself.

     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  15. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    My Sifu who grew up and trained in Hong Kong says they didn't spar. Lots of drills, lots of chi sao, lots of drilling movement and positioning, lots of playing and having fun. BUT...though they didn't spar, what they did do was Fight!. Almost every week...there were gangs. Lots of gangs and there were a lot of fights. Somethings they lost and they went back and worked on what they had learned from the fight. He says that's the difference in how they trained then and what people do today. The element that is missing today is the actual pressure testing in a life format.

    For them it was fighting, if you aren't fighting then you need to spar it.
     
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  16. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    During my high school long fist informal class year in Taiwan, after the class and after the teacher had left, we usually drew a small circle on the ground. We sparred inside that circle. Anybody who moved outside of that circle would lose. Sometime we drew that circle so small that 1 backward step could be out. One valuable lesson that I had learned from that kind of sparring was no matter how hard the attack might be, I would never move back even 1 inch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Why never?
     
  18. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    While I can see the value in that for certain situations (stuck Ina small tight area), movement is also a valuable tool for both attack and defense. You need to move out to move in, and ALWAYS being in the pocket is dangerous.
     
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  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. The drill sounds useful for learning HOW to stay in tight and not give up space (something many people struggle with), but I wouldn't want that to be the only option. We used a similar drill in some defensive exercises, and it's interesting how hard it is at first.
     
  20. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Develop the courage to stand on the ground ang not back up.
     

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