A question for the wing chun practitioners

ralphmcpherson

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I am a tkdist, I have a 1st degree black belt and I love the art. I have found lately that I finally have a bit more time on my hands and was looking at perhaps delving into another art. I really like the idea of wing chun as it appears to be good for close range fighting and I figure that it may compliment my taekwondo which is essentially a longer range art (even though the form I do is a very old school/self defence version of taekwondo). I was wondering though, do you think my tkd would background would hinder my wing chun? , is wing chun hard to learn if its not your full time art? I dont want to stop tkd, its my favourite art and I have invested a lot of time into it and hope to instruct one day so I will continue to do it 2-3 classes a week and was hoping to perhaps do a class a week of wing chun. I have a wing chun club very close to my home and was thinking of heading down to check out a class, are there any things I should be looking out for in checking the club is reputable? Thanks heaps in advance for any feedback you guys may have.
 

BlueVino

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Do you think my tkd would background would hinder my wing chun? Is wing chun hard to learn if its not your full time art?

I have a 1st Geup in TKD from my youth, so I'll give you my opinion, but it's only an opinion.

Your TKD background might help, might hurt. It could help because it's an athletic pursuit, so you won't need to learn all about how to drive your body. It might hurt if you go in to WC with a head full of another art; "empty the cup" as they say, and let Sifu fill it.

Is WC hard to learn? I've seen people pick it up very quickly, and I've seen people struggle for a very long time. The guy who practices for three hours a week won't be as good as quickly as the guy who practices for three hours a day, so that's really up to you and your dedication.

If you want to integrate WC and TKD, try to find a teacher who really understands kicking, even if it's not TKD. People have gone from TKD to boxing to try and fill out their toolbox, and end up with two toolboxes because neither teacher could integrate with the other.
 

Chat Noir

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They're not really compatible - Hung Gar might be more suited for you. Wing Chun really relies on sensitivity and softness for many drills, namely Chi Sao where you really need to relax and I've found that many Karate/TKD people are just too rigid. I jumped in and did TKD and really enjoyed it but dropped out as I found it not effective for me and didn't show me anything I could use that was practical. However, it was a lot of fun....:)

Hung Gar is great style and uses strong stances and forms, etc. For someone with your background, you'll probably enjoy it a lot and find it a great second art.
 
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ralphmcpherson

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If at all possible Id like to keep the two arts separate. I wouldnt bring what Id learnt in wing chun into my tkd dojang and vice versa. Maybe at home training I woud inevitably combine both styles a bit, but generally I'd like to keep them separate as I imagine they both have a lot to offer in their own right and they are probably best learnt without one being incorporated into the other.
 

wingchuntraining

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I hink it is a great idea to delve into another art, wing chun does rely on more sensitivity and close quarters as you mention -as this is not usually the case with tkd it may be a handy new string to your bow. Wing chun emphasises heavily on hand techniques and personally i have found this very challenging, rewarding and an awesome skill Chat noir seems to make a good pint about Hung Gar - i dont now too much about that style. I suppose it depends what you want to complement your training. Most schools allow for a free training session- i wuld say try them out see which style suits best. Good Luck
 

Chat Noir

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hung_Ga

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wing_Chun

Hung Gar and Wing Chun are very different as Hung Gar is a much harder style that employs wide, strong stances, and clawing hand techniques. You might see spear like wrist bands on some Hung Gar students. Wing Chun on the other hand focuses on sensitivity and relaxation. To see both styles together, it'd be incredibly difficult to NOT be able to tell them apart and the differences are striking.

Wing Chun has only three forms and most students may only learn the first form for no other reason than it encompasses everything essential in the art. The Sil Lum Tao, or the Little Idea Form, has all the hand movements critical to Wing Chun. It's one of the easiest styles to learn but it takes years to fully understand and master it. For the most part, it's purely empty hand style as most schools no longer teach the staff or butterfly knives. Some may, but it's rare. I've been doing Wing Chun since I was in my 20's; I'm now 42 and I've never done anything with weapons or learned the other two forms in the system. Our focus is real fighting and application - but schools vary greatly. It's a great style, but again, I think Hung Gar would compliment your TKD studies more since it's similar in training and temperament.

Laura


P.S. Choose a second art based on 1) Interest 2) practicality of the art form 3) compatibility with whatever you're currently studying. Never choose a second or third art based on what's down the street from where you live. Do your homework about the school and the way they teach. Who authorized the sifu to open his/her own school. Is there a sifu or just senior students leading the class, etc. Be willing to travel or spend more to learn an art that you can enjoy long term.
 
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ralphmcpherson

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hung_Ga

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wing_Chun

Hung Gar and Wing Chun are very different as Hung Gar is a much harder style that employs wide, strong stances, and clawing hand techniques. You might see spear like wrist bands on some Hung Gar students. Wing Chun on the other hand focuses on sensitivity and relaxation. To see both styles together, it'd be incredibly difficult to NOT be able to tell them apart and the differences are striking.

Wing Chun has only three forms and most students may only learn the first form for no other reason than it encompasses everything essential in the art. The Sil Lum Tao, or the Little Idea Form, has all the hand movements critical to Wing Chun. It's one of the easiest styles to learn but it takes years to fully understand and master it. For the most part, it's purely empty hand style as most schools no longer teach the staff or butterfly knives. Some may, but it's rare. I've been doing Wing Chun since I was in my 20's; I'm now 42 and I've never done anything with weapons or learned the other two forms in the system. Our focus is real fighting and application - but schools vary greatly. It's a great style, but again, I think Hung Gar would compliment your TKD studies more since it's similar in training and temperament.

Laura


P.S. Choose a second art based on 1) Interest 2) practicality of the art form 3) compatibility with whatever you're currently studying. Never choose a second or third art based on what's down the street from where you live. Do your homework about the school and the way they teach. Who authorized the sifu to open his/her own school. Is there a sifu or just senior students leading the class, etc. Be willing to travel or spend more to learn an art that you can enjoy long term.
Thanks for the info. I have been very interested in wing chun now for a while and just looked up some schools in my area recently and realised there is one just up the road. I would never choose an art based on it being close to home, I drive past a half dozen tkd schools to get to the one I train at, quality instruction is my main priority.
 

cwk

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I don't see how it would hinder your wing chun training. I do both wing chun and northern shaolin and even a bit of judo, I just keep them separate from each other when I'm training in that style.
just listen to the person teaching you and do it the way he tells you, even if it feels awkward or different from what you know.
 
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ralphmcpherson

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I don't see how it would hinder your wing chun training. I do both wing chun and northern shaolin and even a bit of judo, I just keep them separate from each other when I'm training in that style.
just listen to the person teaching you and do it the way he tells you, even if it feels awkward or different from what you know.
Thats what I would intend to do. Id want to go in as a blank slate as if I have no MA experience and learn eveything from scratch and train the two separately. I dont want to combine the two into some sort of bastardised martial art.
 

foolish

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Sounds like your almost doing the opposite to what I have! :)
I have a background in Hung Gar and recently I was looking for a second art to try out (specifically Wing Chun and TKD).

I found there to be many similarities in TKD and Hung Gar especially in some of the hand techniques. The stances are virtually the same but Hung Gar sits lower. The biggest difference is how you pivot, but its not too hard to get a hang of. I found that Hung Gar and TKD (from what ive learnt so far... not much! :p) work pretty well together. Im definitely going to continue TKD!

I found Wing Chun much harder to pick up, it seems to have a completely different mindset. The stance was my greatest difficulty as was simply relaxing. :p However I do have a great respect for this art even though it didnt meld with me personally.

But we can all talk as much as we want, go and try it out (dont just watch) and see what you think.
 

mook jong man

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I am a tkdist, I have a 1st degree black belt and I love the art. I have found lately that I finally have a bit more time on my hands and was looking at perhaps delving into another art. I really like the idea of wing chun as it appears to be good for close range fighting and I figure that it may compliment my taekwondo which is essentially a longer range art (even though the form I do is a very old school/self defence version of taekwondo). I was wondering though, do you think my tkd would background would hinder my wing chun? , is wing chun hard to learn if its not your full time art? I dont want to stop tkd, its my favourite art and I have invested a lot of time into it and hope to instruct one day so I will continue to do it 2-3 classes a week and was hoping to perhaps do a class a week of wing chun. I have a wing chun club very close to my home and was thinking of heading down to check out a class, are there any things I should be looking out for in checking the club is reputable? Thanks heaps in advance for any feedback you guys may have.

You'll be alright Ralph , you seem to have a good attitude and a willingness to learn.

To be honest I don't think you will have it any easier or harder than anyone else to be honest , we all have our own physical and intellectual limitations in regards to picking up new skills.

One of the instructors that taught me was an ex TKD champion and he was quite proficient in Wing Chun , like any thing it just takes time and a willingness to apply yourself.

From my experience teaching Karate and TKD people , yes they are quite rigid and tense and it may take them a little longer but they do get there in the end.

But what they also bring to the table is a good work ethic , discipline , and a willingness to endure pain and discomfort , sometimes qualities that are lacking in people that haven't had any training before.

I'm teaching a TKD man at the moment who trained in TKD for six years and some of the problems I faced with him are generally too much tension in the shoulders and arms , constant clenching of his fists and mainly standing too high in the stance .

But we are overcoming these issues and he is coming along nicely now and starting to absorb the training , all it takes is a few stance exercises , relaxation exercises and repetition , repetition and more repetition.

The integration thing will not happen in my opinion , I believe you will continue to use your TKD at long range and once you get into punching range you will start to square up and begin using the Wing Chun toolset.

Just do what they tell you to do , try to be as correct as you can in your technique , minimise any use of brute strength and sink down in your stance.

In regards to being reputable , we would probably have to know the lineage .

If its a bit like somebodies grandfather who went to yum cha with Yip Man and then taught his brother in law who then taught his nephew who then taught his 2nd cousin who then taught his uncle who then passed it down to his step child , then that would be a bit of a worry and you should give it a miss.

But as long as theres not too many generations involved then it could be ok.
 

Chat Noir

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First off - Wing Chun, Shaolin and Judo are not that dissimilar. I do Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun and now Judo and I chose them because I had a deep interest in all and because of the similarities between them...but that's another discussion.

If you've been interested in Wing Chun for a while than I recommend checking the school out. The most important factor in studying anything, whether it's language, instruments, sports, etc. is interest. TKD great, Simon Rhee, also incorporates Wing Chun into his studies and I believe his brother Phillip also studies Korean Kendo - which is vastly different from TKD or Hapikido and he manages it well.

If there's anything that Wing Chun will offer that will improve your TKD, it's the emphasis on relaxation and breathing. Just remember to not get frustrated if you forget absolutely everything from your first class an hour after leaving.... :) It happens alot but Wing Chun is about body memory so the more you do it, it'll stay with you. Try to remember to empty your cup and come willing to have fun. Good luck and Happy 4th. :)
 

BlueVino

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If at all possible I'd like to keep the two arts separate.

I still have some of my TKD from my teenage years, and it's been a huge benefit to my WC. In particular, the flexibility and understanding of how to use my hips gave me a head start on some of my brothers when it came to kicking. We're on more equal footing now, but nevertheless.

Maybe more importantly, my TKD tournament experience built up some useful tactical habits about when to kick, so in that regard, it's helped my WC greatly.

I like to look at it this way: it's not about TKD, or Kempo, or Wing Chun... it's about individual expression of the martial arts.
 

dosk3n

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Ralph just do it mate. You never know how hot the water is until you dip your finger in.
 
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