What was Wing Chun designed for?

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by KPM, Jun 26, 2017.

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  1. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    This idea came up on one of the recent threads, and I thought it would make an interesting discussion.

    As I've pointed out already, Wing Chun does not have a "long range game." It may have a strategy for getting from long range to its preferred close range, but this is not the same thing as having a "long range game." See the "Wing Chun Boxing" thread for more on that. And you really do need to have a good long range game to function well in a sparring setting.

    I can't remember who it was, but I think it was someone is this very forum that described Wing Chun as an "ambush style." The more I think about this the more I like that idea. To me, it seems that Wing Chun was really designed to work in close quarters and to finish the fight within 3 or 4 seconds of closing. It really isn’t designed for the prolonged back & forth exchange where a mobile fighter has lots of room to move around.

    Think about it.....Wing Chun shines when you are in less than an arm's length from the opponent. This is where all those Chi Sau skills kick in! This is the range you find yourself in if suddenly facing a surprise attack where someone jumps you unexpectedly. This is why when sparring so many Wing Chun guys seem to just step into close range and start exchanging.

    I'll say that this idea seems to apply best to the mainland styles and most of the Ip Man derivatives. TWC kind of breaks from this because it has a lot more footwork and angling from longer range than other Wing Chun. HFY I don't know enough about to really say, but given its similarity to TWC I tend to think what I just wrote applies to it as well.

    This video kind of speaks to this as well:


     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  2. Martial D

    Martial D Purple Belt

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    IMO Wing Chun is a game of get close and be first. Most fights start at very close range, nose to nose, Wing Chun range.Attack first, and play off of reactions. Wing Chun is no good 'off the back foot' (lol) so to speak.

    My Wing Chun teacher got this, and taught me the most valuable lesson you can learn; The fight doesn't start when the opponent attacks, but when they indicate to attack.
     
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  3. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Not chun of course. But concept.

     
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  4. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    In addition to the question of what WC was designed for, I think, as noted in another thread that is ongoing, we need to ask the question "does it actually work for that purpose?" If, as the OP suggests, WC shines when you are less than arms length from the opponent, there ought to be a way to demonstrate that against someone who is trying to legitimately fight back (or at least resist). If that cannot be shown, some questions in regards to why should be asked. Specifically:
    1. Is the system flawed? Does it actually not work for what it was designed for?
    2. is it a flaw in the manner in which the system is trained and tested? Could WC be effective for its purpose if it was trained with aliveness?
    3. Are people simply not pressure testing it in this way? Do we actually know one way or the other whether or not WC is effective for its intended purpose?
    4. Some combination of the above?

    *Disclaimer* I don't mean to be a troll. I am legitimately interested in WC as I think it could pair nicely with the Pekiti Tirsia that I study and, would actually play to some of my strengths from an attribute and body style perspective. In other words, I want WC to work, and work well, but am not interested in anything that cannot be pulled off effectively against a resisting opponent.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  5. LFJ

    LFJ Senior Master

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    "What was Wing Chun designed for?"

    Sounds like a complete beginner's question.
    Hope you get that figured out for yourself.
     
  6. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    Get lost. Don't post on this thread if you aren't interested in discussion. Go argue elsewhere. This is a legitimate question to see how various people view Wing Chun.
     
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  7. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    It works for me BUT I hesitate to say it works for anyone else. First I appear to be in the minority regarding the WC I study, William Cheung's TWC. It is called a "long fist" style by some and so it has a long game of a sort already "baked in". Also when I pressure test it is real dyanmic situations (fight/arrest scenarios) and as such they move so fast and under such pressure I honestly may not be the best judge. I can honestly say that in making entry/bridging it works but once in what many see as the "sweet spot" I would be hard pressed to say if it was WC, Aikido or something from Kali that my body just "did" to get the guy down and under control because everything at that point is just a blur of action.
     
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  8. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    There is one issue with Izzo's ideas (and I do like the guy). His experience under pressure is dealing with what I call the "blind brawler" or "talented street fighter." Many of the "issues" he sees are through that lens and so he seems to see some holes that I don't think really exist. I think this is further proof as to why WC needs proper pressure testing internally.
     
  9. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I don't get why Wing Chun gets trash talked for not having outside game. I mean, Judo is an up-close style too, but no one ever bashes it for that. Judo practitioners train to close the gap and grapple. Tae Kwon Do people train to keep out at kicking range. So on and so forth. I don't hear any other style get criticized for lacking "close-range game" or "long range game."
     
  10. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    I think the difference is this.
    1. wrestling arts are ALL about being up close, striking arts not so much. Whether right or wrong a striking art, or a combo striking/grappling art, is expected by many to be able to work at multiple ranges.
    2. Your estimation of TKD is based, largely, on sport TKD where more points are awarded for kicks etc. and TKD of that sort is criticized.

    The "traditional" form of TKD however also has not only effective punching techniques but some standing grappling and takedowns that are also taught. It's actually one of the reasons my brother in law likes sparring with me. While he knows all of these techniques (he is currently studying for his 3rd Dan) the people in his class tend to focus more on the sport aspect than he would like and I am his "reality check" after a fashion.
     
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  11. LFJ

    LFJ Senior Master

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    Because a viable striking style will address obvious ranges of standup fighting.
    If it doesn't, chances are it had things lost in transmission or is a made up fantasy style.
     
  12. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    I wouldn't call it "trash talking". I would call it pointing out a deficiency and how to fix it. The difference between Judo or BJJ and Wing Chun, is that they are grappling arts and Wing Chun is a striking art. Nobody "bashes" BJJ or Judo for not having a long range game because no one would expect them too! And I certainly have seen modern TKD criticized for not having a "close range game". Have you ever watched a modern TKD competition? Those guys barely seem to know how to throw a punch. So yeah, they catch some flack for that.

    So to get back to the OP.....what was modern Judo designed for? Jacketed Wrestling/Throwing! What was BJJ designed for? Grappling on the ground! What was modern TKD designed for? Kicking! What was Wing Chun designed for? Trapping and punching within an arm's reach!
     
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  13. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    Agreed that if a particular style has a stated purpose of working in a particular range, it would seem to be a bit unfair to critique it for not being effective at other ranges. Having said that, most of the criticism of WC that I have seen and come across has been about it not working at all, or not being sparred to the point that its effectiveness can actually be determined, not about it only working in one range.
     
  14. LFJ

    LFJ Senior Master

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    If we're talking about self-defense systems, they were standalone arts. As such they address the different common ranges that need to be dealt with in a fight, while having their preferred ranges. Some have since devolved for sport.

    Wing Chun wasn't developed in the recent MMA era only to compliment other styles, nor is it a sport. So, why should it be so deficient when not attached to someone's arms, which is almost a given in a fist fight? Why should it have no recourse when outclassed at close-range?

    No viable striking method would only be designed for one range without methods to get there, or to recover to and survive at other ranges when outclassed at their preferred range.

    Unless you have some evidence that Wing Chun was designed alongside another evidently lost style it was meant to compliment, and even still since that style is lost, you're acknowledging that your Wing Chun is not a viable art and needs a lot of gap-filling due to apparent content loss in recent transmission by people who probably never fought.

    Suggesting that it was purposefully designed with so many holes is just a face-saving excuse.

    So, there are two options; try to find a more complete understanding of Wing Chun, or carry on gap-filling.

    Clearly you are not interested in potentially more complete Wing Chun, and have chosen to gap-fill with Western Boxing.

    That's better than nothing! Though, I would personally just go all in for Western Boxing.

    Hopefully you can work something functional out from it. Are you still studying other guys on Youtube, or do you already have a working idea for your own "Wing Chun Boxing"?

    Anyway, good luck!
     
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  15. Eric_H

    Eric_H Brown Belt

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    HFY handles long range very differently to TWC from what I can see - being able to go from Bai Jong into Jeet Kiu and have a healthy bridge (Kiu Sao) as the output is how we in HFY seek to operate. This is what gives us the ability to play one hand against two by virtue of centerline control.

    To answer the original question - I think WC was designed to understand leverage and timing for combat in a mode that purposely departed from the animal style mentality and body structure. It sounds simple, but it runs parallel to the Buddhist idea of "understanding things as they are" rather than inserting a preference into combat.
     
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  16. DanT

    DanT Brown Belt

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    I can only speak for my wing chun, but my wing chun does have a long range game, the end strategy is to use the long range game to eventually close the gap and pin or trap and strike, but it's still there.

    -Jab
    -cross
    -chop
    -man sau
    -front kick
    -side kick
    -round kick
    -hook kick

    There are many techniques and combos from just these techniques at long range. The key is to perfect the technique.
     
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  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Grandmaster

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    I still believe that wing chun can be applied at any range. I really don't see the issue.
     
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  18. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Striking in close range is high risk. Grappling in close range isn't.
     
  19. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Plenty of styles specialise in ranges and concepts. There is only so much brain power one person can bring to a system. So if your system is driven by the concepts of one guy. then it is going to be limited.

    Good martial arts don't have complete systems. they are good at what they do. And then let someone else be good at what they do. then they both gap fill. It stops this stagnation and isolation that has held a lot of martial arts back.

    But if you are going to gap fill. You go for guys who know what they are on about.

    I gap fill. And if i get to choose between a quality fighter who can do what he says he can do. And a guy who can't. Then I will pick the system with the top guys in it.

    Regardless of the system.

    I mean you could ask why so many complete systems have such terrible ground work. Or you find a guy who has good ground work and gap fill.

    I think the concept of a more complete Wing Chun is a red herring. You have to make your own way towards that.
     
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  20. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    Then is sounds like you are doing a bit of "Wing Chun Boxing" yourself! ;)
     
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