Would Wing Chun synergize or clash with Hapkido

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by skribs, May 24, 2018.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I take Taekwondo and Hapkido. While both are Korean arts, the two seem to be polar opposites to me. That works both for and against them. On the one hand, it gives you plenty of tools to use at kicking and clinching/trapping range - which is where not many arts are comfortable - but it also because it gives a grappling and a striking style.

    Wing Chun, even though it is a punching art, appears to be more in trapping range, just like Hapkido. However, where I would describe Hapkido as a soft, circular grappling art, Wing Chun seems more of a hard, linear striking art. Both play on reading the opponent's intention and power direction through their arms, and both rely on speed and precision more than power (like, for example, kickboxing and wrestling would).

    My thought process is that on the one hand, Wing Chun could serve as a supplement to hapkido and teach new ways to read your opponent inside trapping range, and a wider range of options to use from that range. The other hand is that you already have skill in trapping range, and it might be better to focus on punching range (with boxing or Muay Thai) or grappling range (with judo, wrestling, or jiu-jitsu).

    Of course, I know it all comes down to the master you have more than the art, but I'm curious if these two arts would work together really well or if the philosophies of the styles would clash.
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Different martial arts will tend to force you to engage in some dynamics while allowing you to cheat on others.

    So lets take kickboxing and taekwando.

    In theory both martial arts include kicks.

    In practice with kickboxing if i was talented enough I don't have to kick a person ever. But if I wanted to kick people and be good at it. I would go train TKD because then I would have no choice other than to develop a kicking skill.

    So synergy is not such a big issue as the point of doing different arts is to explore different mechanics.
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've not yet found arts that felt like they clash. Even angular arts (like Shotokan) and circular arts (like Aikido and to a lesser extent NGA) fit if you don't try to separate them. During training, habits from one place can certainly cause problems in learning something that (in your own method of organizing your mind) overlaps in the new place, but that's not really the arts clashing.

    Mind you, many of the arts I've experienced, I've only toyed with a bit. There are a few others I've gotten deep enough into for them to actually influence me, but only a few that I really have any depth in - arguably only one with real depth. I say that just to point out that it's possible I simply haven't run into the right art to see that clash, or haven't gotten deep enough to understand the issue.
     
  4. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I'd like you to expand on this. Not because I don't understand, but because it sounds interesting.
     
  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure how to expand much more, but I'll try.

    Every art - as it is taught (so this can vary somewhat by instructor) - has a "feel", and often a type of motion that is somewhat distinctive. Judo is more push-pull circular with tight movement, and Aikido is more accepting circular with broad movement. I know some folks in Aikido who would say those are opposing and clashing approaches, but I find they fit together nicely. Okay, so that's two circular arts.

    Shotokan is linear and angular. Surely that would clash with the movement and feel of Aikido, but I don't think it does. The habits of moving that way can make it harder to learn circular movement at first (assuming the Shotokan is first), but once you get past that part (or if they are trained together), they turn out to complement well. Early in the process, the angles of Shotokan fit nicely into places that would have been a "mistake" in the Aikido (stepping off-line, too far away). As that progresses, the Shotokan gains some circles and some of the circles in the Aikido shorten or change planes, becoming more upright. Some even flatten and become closer to direct response.

    Everthing I've played with or studied has fit together for me. My primary art is Nihon Goshin Aikido, which primarily moves with circles. Our strikes are not generally circular (derived ostensibly from Shotokan), but our movement to them still follows the movement patterns from Daito-ryu, because that's our base footwork and bodywork. And the strikes still work nicely. The bits of striking I picked up and recall from Shotokan, Tang Soo Do, FMA, boxing, etc. all seem to fit nicely into Gerry-fu. The grappling I've picked up from Jujutsu (probably derived from Wally Jay's), BJJ, Judo, FMA, MMA (mostly BJJ base), etc. all seem to fit in, as well. I occasionally find a movement pattern that feels "off", but I've almost always been able to find an adjustment that makes the technique work for me. A few times I've run into techniques that didn't work for me, but I chalk that up to either esoteric techniques (I think most TMA have some techniques that are there for a purpose other than direct application) or just not having enough time to understand the real principles.

    It might be that having a hybrid base art makes this easier to learn, but I think it goes back even before my experience with NGA. At one point in my early teens I was studying Judo and Shotokan at the same time, under the same instructor. That might be the formative time for my acceptance of different movement.
     
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  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have encountered systems that clash.

    I was training in Tracy Kenpo at the same time I was training in Tibetan White Crane. The fundamental way techniques are trained does clash between these systems.

    In kenpo we were taught to keep the shoulders squared to the front, when throwing punches. The punches tended to rely heavily on physical strength.

    In white crane we are taught to rotate the body sideways when throwing a punch, as a way of making a full-body engagement and relying less on physical strength.

    Because I was doing both, I ended up drifting somewhere in between which wasn’t correct for either. When I was doing crane, sifu kept telling me “turn more!” When I was doing kenpo, my teacher kept telling me “stop turning, keep square to the front.”

    I remember very clearly one day being in the kenpo school and doing a bunch of punching drills, and suddenly having a very clear realization that training in kenpo was undermining my crane, and vice-versa. I realized I needed to make a choice between the two because training them both was preventing me from getting really good at either.

    This is where I realized the importance of consistency in how you train. You need to have a consistent method in how you approach things because that is where you get good at it. It does not make sense to train two or more punching methods that are fundamentally different. You don’t need it, and they get in the way of each other. What you need is one consistent method that you can really focus on and get good with. Collecting methods really can be a distraction and an interference.

    I think it is good to train several systems as a way to experience different methods and ultimately decide which one is best for you, then stop doing the others.

    I think training multiple systems works better when the systems have a very different focus from each other, such as doing a striking system along with a grappling system. I think that in general you will find fewer contradictions, although I won’t say you will never find contradictions.

    But training in several punching systems for example, that are done fundamentally differently from each other, just does not make any sense to me. It’s like trying to travel down two roads at the same time. You get a mile down one road then change your mind about where you want to go, so you turn around and go a mile the other way before changing your mind again. And again. You never get anywhere. If each destination is a hundred miles away, traveling that first mile over and over won’t get you there. That is what happens when you keep switching back and forth between two or more disagreeing systems.
     
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  7. DanT

    DanT 2nd Black Belt

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    I train in various styles but I make no attempt to mix them. Both me and my teacher have made certain "adaptations" to our Wing Chun in order to fix it. The other styles I train do not have the same issues that typical Wing Chun does.

    You would benefit more from studying under a great Wing Chun sifu and also studying a grappling art, such as either BJJ or Judo.
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    This kind of goes to a post I made in the Taekwondo forum about the different applications of techniques. For example, in sparring, a kick should be short and swift, with the goal to get the point. In demonstration, the kick should be exaggerated and held at the moment of extension for a short time to display the technique.

    We have a girl who is in both our sparring club and our demonstration team, and every sparring club she does a beautiful kick and I tell her "just get the point, this isn't demo team". Then the next day in demo team practice she'll do these amazing quick kicks and I'll tell her "this isn't sparring club!"

    Or...hapkido? In the scenario I take Wing Chun, I will hopefully be a 4th or 5th degree in Taekwondo and will be a 1st or 2nd degree in Hapkido (maybe 3rd). It won't be any time soon. I was just wondering for the theory of it.

    What is "wrong" with Wing Chun that you had to fix?
     
  9. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I actually think this is an entirely different thing. What you are talking about is more in line with what do you do with the kick. What I am describing is a fundamental foundational philosophy in how to best generate power in the technique. You can hold the technique for an exaggerated period of time for visual effect in a demonstration, or you can be quick and decisive with it in sparring or fighting, but the fundamental mechanics dictating how to best create power ought to be the same.

    It’s kind of like making a choice to kick the thigh or kick the head. The low or high kick shouldn’t really be dictated by the style (although custom and philosophy of what is useful can have an influence). But wherever you choose to target with the kick, the mechanics ought to be the same in terms of how you get your power. Targeting is ultimately a personal choice that you make depending on circumstances and what kind of effect you want to get. The mechanics of the kick ought to be consistent either way, because that is how the system works, those are optimal mechanics that have been identified and you want to always use optimal mechanics.
     
  10. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    No, they are different.

    Think of it like the difference between a haymaker and a hook punch.

    The sparring kick uses the hand as a counterweight, uses a little hop to generate speed, has a tight chamber and the kick is kept closer to the body.

    The demo kick has a steadier chamber, no hop, full extension of the leg, and the arms are kept in front of you.

    They are both roundhouse kicks, but both completely different in execution.
     
  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ok then your system or how it is taught in your school has built-in inconsistencies and conflicts that could be problematic.

    Perhaps I don’t relate to this because we don’t do demonstrations and do not alter our combative methods in favor of aesthetics.

    As a Chinese method we make a distinction between the genuine fighting methods and Modern Wushu, the later which was developed by the Chinese government in the 1950s as a performance and cultural art. In Modern Wushu, good technique was sacrificed and altered in favor of aesthetically pleasing techniques that an uneducated audience would prefer to see. Modern Wushu, while producing some outstanding athletes, is openly and unabashedly NOT meant to be a viable fighting method.

    As a viable combative method, we would never alter our methods for a demonstration. If we ever did a demonstration, we would show the real methods that make our system work well. We would not alter our foundation.
     
  12. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    You're also confusing Taekwondo sparring (a point sport) with combat.

    We do our kicks different for that as well.
     
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I’m not confusing it; I realize there is a difference.

    If you have different body mechanics for demonstration, sparring, and actual fighting, then in my opinion you do have multiple conflicts and inconsistencies built into how you train.
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    My hypothesis - and it is only based upon my experience, so could be incorrect - is that systems may clash when training them (because the training clashes), but the systems themselves mesh eventually. In the case of NGA and Shotokan, the fundamental approach to moving against an opponent is in conflict, which can make it difficult to learn them both. In that case, from a tiny sample size (1 in each group), it appears that learning them together is easier than learning Shotokan first. I suspect there are cases (like Tracy Kempo and TWC) where it might be the other way around: learning one first is easier, then learn the other. Or, I might be wrong entirely.

    You do make a good point that you don't really need two methods of power generation. My overall feeling is that even different power generation methods can work together (you get one that works when you are sideways and another that works face-on), and eventually find blending points where you can freely draw from both. But that's probably not necessary.
     
  15. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, let’s see, how do i describe this...

    First, TWC doesn’t have a power method to the side. Rather, it is a rotation of the torso which turns the body to the side, and that turning motion, when properly driven from the feet, is where the power comes from. It is the rotational movement that’s important and it becomes clear and obvious for training purposes when the rotation takes you all the way to the side. The training movement is exaggerated, but application does not need to be so.

    Second, as you train this method you begin to understand that the method can be applied to all movement and all techniques, regardless of direction and regardless of what the movement is. That is the really important lesson. But consistently training in this way is what gets you there. If you keep switching to different methodologies, you undermine your progress and fail to train your body to engage the principles automatically.

    Third, once you develop this skill, it can be applied to anything, including the kenpo curriculum. I do not feel such an endeavor would be necessary, I feel it would actually clutter your practice, but you could do it if you really liked the kenpo curriculum as well. So in that way, I guess they can come together. But training the kenpo punch with the shoulders square to the front will prevent you from developing the rotational power at all.
     
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  16. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Every point I want to make reading this, I read down and find that flying crane has already made it for me. Saves me effort :D
     
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  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thank you sir.
     
  18. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I wanted to further state: I focus on the rotational method because that is what spoke to me and made the most sense to me. But whatever method you may decid to go with, that is what you need to focus on. Consistency with a coherent methodology is what gets you the best results in the long run, whatever that methodology is.
     
  19. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    I really like this post and agree completely. As Bruce Lee said - how many ways can there be for two human beings, with two hands and two feet, to fight hand to hand and toe to toe? Actually, there are many ways - but in the end they must be more similar than different due to how we are made and how we will interact with another. Obviously, we on this forum love thinking and talking about this stuff and exchanging ideas and experience - posts like this are why I visit here. Great analysis and insight, Respectful and inclusive (not exclusive) of different approaches.
     
  20. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    my dynamics change depending on who I am sparring and what I am doing at the time.

    A feeler kick just whipped out in to open space may be quick and a bit flicky in order to see what someone will do.

    Stop kicks and teeps may be an example of this.

    But at the end of a hands combination. Where I have the rotation and where the other guy is more flat footed may be a heavy kick.

    Same with my hands. I dont want to waste power shots in to peoples guard. But I do want power shot mechanics for if someone opens and presents me the oportunity.

    Same with front on side on fighting mechanics. If I fire a kick, and miss I will wind up side on. and so fight side on.

    Fighting is a puzzle. And one solution doesn't always solve every problem.

    When you look at masters of this concept. It is like spontaneously facing a different fighter all the time.

     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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