Attitude towards WC in your Area and some random WC questions

WcForMe

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
16
Location
Uk
Hi all,

Although I very rarely post on the forum just a quick thanks to all for the information and exchange of ideas on this site. I visit as many Wc forums on the net as possible and this one is by far the best in regards to questions, answers and overall knowledge. I would like to post more but I don't due to me still being relevantly new to wing chun (just coming up to over 2 years I think now) and all the questions asked I feel there are way way more qualified people to answer them. That said I have learned a hell of a lot through martialtalk and the people involed in the wing chun section. So big thumbs up!!!

To to my questions for today. Recently I am coming dishearted on my Wc journey. I personally love to practice hard and put all my energy into training. My usual training partner I have had since I started has been laid up with an injury for the past month and a half. His mentally is the same as mine to coin a pharse "practice hard, fight easy" I'm sure most of you have heard that at some point. My point is I'm in the south of England in a reasonably wealthy area. The rest of the people that train don't seem to want to get the same out of training that I do. They want to use it more as a youth club for chatting and messing around rather than putting the energy into training which is frustrating to me. I currently train at 2 clubs and I find the same results at both. However I cannot knock the sifus as there both very very good at what they do hence why I have stayed with them. However the only real competition I get is chi São or sparring with the sifus and in total from both classes three other guys one is my training partner and the other two are assistant coaches both of which have practiced years more than I have. (I would like to say I'm defiantly not the worlds best or claim to be at Wc but I try to train 4 days a week for a minimum of 2hours a day. Also I am defiantly not trying to blow my own trumpet and say look at me etc)

England has has some very good sifus and practitioners but I never seem to get near them as most are litterly 60 miles one way trip! Which is just not feasible.

So is it my mentality towards training wrong or is it just tough luck due to the area I live in? If you go up north of London from what I hear Wc classes seem to be way more focused than what is being offered to me currently. I really want to continue my journey and grow but I feel if you want to get better, you train with better people. This helps you grow your skills. As some here might know I have gone down the route of mma to pressure test myself. But that is far from ideal for many reasons. I enjoy testing myself against any style rather than just Wc but people I know or clubs don't want to go down that route and to be honest I can understand why. Anybody with similar experiences got over this?

Another question would be can anybody explain this better to me. With my regular training partner he can whoop my behind at chi São. Yeah I block stuff and strike him but he is way better at it I feel. When it comes to atcual sparring I destroy him. But again he still blocks some attacks and does get in some nice shots onto me. We are both getting frustrated about this but have no idea why this happens his way. We both have trained with the same sifus at the same classes. Did ask 2 different sifus why this is both answered " just goes that way some times"

Again anybody wanna shed any light on this? Or had similar experiences? Please post and let me know. If you want anymore info let me know and I shall supply.

Many thanks
 

yak sao

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
2,174
Reaction score
748
I would ask your sifus/coaches if they are available for private sessions.

As for your partner being better at chi sau, that's a multi faceted question. There are many ways to improve chi sau. The most obvious one would be, do more chi sau.
I would also practice more form, particularly the chum kiu, as it involves pivoting and weight shifting, both of which are necessary to good chi sau.

Don't always train your chi sau with a competitive mind set. Sometimes it's best to isolate certain aspects and not be obsessed with getting the shot in. This is something you can do with your fellow classmates even if their skill level is less than yours. For instance, if you consistently are hit because of a poor tan sau, have them feed you attacks that would cause you to use tan sau.
Or, for example, if you are getting hit by your partner because you are too stiff, then use the opportunity with the lower level guys to go slowly and practice being smooth and relaxed.

These are all just broad generalizations, as I have never laid eyes on you or crossed hands with you. The best solution......ask your sifus/coaches.
 
OP
W

WcForMe

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
16
Location
Uk
Thanks yak São for the answers back. But to be fair I already do private lessons with them so I've covered that base. I think it's hard to put into words exactly what I mean. I just want to step into a class with like minded people that want to train for the same reason as me I guess. I'd rather be at the bottom of a good class than the top of a mediocre class. I just hate going to classes now dreading who I would be training with on any certain day! I'd rather want to aim to beat/better someone than be the one to beat for want of a better expression. And yes I know how egotistical that sounds and I'm not like that. It's just the way I feel about it at the moment! Think I'm due a massive behind whooping to sort me out :)

I already practice all 3 forms, wooden dummy and knife form 3 times each per day, more if I can.

I personally try not to use chi São as a competitive platform as I believe it's a training aid and not Wc fighting as some seem to perceive it. Each to there own but things like chi São competitions are not for me and I just don't believe in it that way. I always try to be relaxed as possible. Again as you stated what you have said are generalisations and as I have never touched hands with u this is a very hard situation to cover. It's just annoying because we have both trained the same things with the same people for the same amount of time!

However you did pick up on one thing that I am poor at. Weight shifting and pivoting. In chi São I suck, in free sparring I just do it automatically. I personally think when I spar I litterly don't think what to do. I just do it. But when it comes to chi São I think too much or over think what's going on. Or I run out of ideas and pins, angles, attacks etc. I chi São for maybe 20mins half hour three times a week in general. But many thanks for the comments!
 
Last edited:

wingchun100

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
3,300
Reaction score
522
Location
Troy NY
I agree with yak sao. Chi sao is not about "haha I hit you." It isn't a point competition; it is a learning tool, and you are BOTH learning. You learn where the gaps are in your close-range game. In fact there is a key word: "game." Think of it like that. You're playing a game with your friend, just having fun, not stressing over the outcome.
 
OP
W

WcForMe

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
16
Location
Uk
No I totally agree chi São is a learning platform for both people! But if I'm not learning with other people what am I to do? I seem to be in no mans land either there's no challenge or answer to my attacks or i get destroyed there's no middle ground. I just find it baffling two guys doing the same thing with the same people both to have different results when both have the same mind frame!

I'm not stressing over it but there must be a reason for it that I'm missing somewhere. As I stated in my last post I don't see chi São as a competitive process in the slightest and I'd rather be better at sparring and applying what I've learned in somewhat of a more practical way in my head anyways but all comments good and bad are welcome.
 

Takai

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
2,189
Reaction score
73
Location
PNW
You can still learn a lot about Chi Sao when working with someone who is your Junior. Focus on being where you need to be, cover yourself, don't follow their "spastic" (for lack of a better term) movements. Use the time to sharpen your skills. Pick one thing to work on with that person and then just work it over and over until it becomes natural.
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,813
Reaction score
2,816
Location
Phoenix, AZ
You can still learn a lot about Chi Sao when working with someone who is your Junior. Focus on being where you need to be, cover yourself, don't follow their "spastic" (for lack of a better term) movements. Use the time to sharpen your skills. Pick one thing to work on with that person and then just work it over and over until it becomes natural.

When your juniors score on you, even if mostly by luck, stop, compliment them and coach them, repeat the same sequence and help them learn how to penetrate your defense even more efficiently. Then you have to improve your own technique. Or as some do, you can conceal your errors, play at being the honcho ....and learn little.

Right now I'm in a situation where senior level training partners in my lineage are only rarely available for me to work with. So this is the approach I'm using. You do the best you can.
 

cwk

Blue Belt
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
288
Reaction score
4
I know how you feel. When I first started learning from my Sifu, who was then just visiting the shaolin school I was at, I was the only person in that group who wanted to do anything physical. It drove me mad! I travelled to Singapore and Malaysia to train with my kung brothers and that helped a lot but when I was back in Thailand I had nobody to train with. In the end I met up with a guy who trained taiji, a bit of shaolin and had done a bit of sanda. We met up a few times a week for some technique training and sparring and I learnt a lot from it. Later, I started teaching a small group of friends and then later started a small school which was fun but I wasn't getting any decent training competitive wise so I started training muay thai. Through the muay thai gym I met a few new friends who wanted to do some MMA style sparring so now we meet up and punch each other in the face every week lol.
I'm still crap at chi sao but I know I can apply my martial arts under realistic conditions, which for me is more important.
I guess I'm just trying to say; don't give up, find another way to get your sparring in, even if it means training MMA, wesern boxing etc. You can always learn chi sao in the future.
 
OP
W

WcForMe

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
16
Location
Uk
Many thanks for all for the comments back. Totally understand where your coming from Geezer in regards to help train these people up so it's harder for me, and as you said teach them to penetrate my defense. I do this for all the people I'm with but they either forget it by next lesson or simply don't want to listen for whatever reason. Or mainly from what I see want instant results and gratification. But we live in a disposable culture now. If it can't be learned quick people arnt interested in putting in the hours. For instance bar 2 other people in all the classes I attend nobody turns up all or most weeks a year. Twice a month seems to be an average. Or they get caught up in Wc when they start to fade away after six months or so.

My mentality towards it is always the same. I want to help people but they have to want to help themselves. For me still as a novice why should I pay to learn if all i end up doing is teaching? I know that if you learn something it is beneficial to help to teach it. Gives you a better understanding and a chance to see things in a different light that you might have not see before. But I still feel it's beginning to slow down my own progression.

Takau I love the spastic movement line. Very funny but very valid. It's not that I'm rubbish at chi São and can't hold my own. It's just frustrating when my sparring is a lot better and for what I can see little to no reason! I would post up some videos for you all but whenever the camera comes out, so does the competitivness within me and whatever training partner I use. Nobody wants to look worse on camera on the internet for all time I suppose. So it's not really a true representation of my skill or my training partners. I'm working on that still now tho. Maybe some secret undercover filming needs to be done haha. But obviously ask permission of the partner before posting.

CWK thanks for your words too mate. I think you understand what sort of thing I'm on about regarding classes. Like you did I've gone down the mma route but as my stand up has been and always will be based in Wc I find it hard not to fak São somebody in the neck or go for a kick to the knee etc etc. The competitive rules used in mma I can totally understand and work around but sometimes I have to stop myself doing certain things that have been ingrained in me. I have no intention of starting fights in streets or club vs club nonsense. If i know somebody trains something different to me I always ask about it with an open mind but so far nobody has taken me up on sparring offers :( I can't deny mma taught me a lot in regards to angles, dealing with pressure etc but I put a whole post up about that a while ago. I will be returning to mma in the summer as I have had a massive break to sharpen up my Wc skills. To be fair people want to be physical in classes I can't complain about that. But it's the not a focused mind set for training that annoys me. I just wish I could find a class of people with the same mentality overall but still have fun! In my area of the UK it's just not seen as a serious thing to learn. It's just for fun and games and to be social. We all train for different reasons. Mine is the sole purpose of being as good as my own body will allow me to be. Maybe I just take it too seriously.
 

yak sao

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
2,174
Reaction score
748
In any endeavor you will find people at different parts of the spectrum.
Using sports as an example, you have the weekend athletes on one end and the professionals on the other. And then, there are those content to just go out and play around with it in the yard from time to time.

MA are the same way. We have instructors who live and breathe their arts and do it for a living. There are those (like me) who would love to do it full time, but instead, for economic reasons,(which is code for I need to eat and put a roof over my head and my wife would kill me if I quit my job), work a full time job and teach in the evenings or on weekends.

And don't get me started on students. For every one like you and me who are ate up with training there are one hundred who come to class as something to do, or for a bit of exercise, or whatever.

If you think it's frustrating as a student, wait until you begin teaching.
 
OP
W

WcForMe

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
16
Location
Uk
In any endeavor you will find people at different parts of the spectrum.
Using sports as an example, you have the weekend athletes on one end and the professionals on the other. And then, there are those content to just go out and play around with it in the yard from time to time.

MA are the same way. We have instructors who live and breathe their arts and do it for a living. There are those (like me) who would love to do it full time, but instead, for economic reasons,(which is code for I need to eat and put a roof over my head and my wife would kill me if I quit my job), work a full time job and teach in the evenings or on weekends.

And don't get me started on students. For every one like you and me who are ate up with training there are one hundred who come to class as something to do, or for a bit of exercise, or whatever.

If you think it's frustrating as a student, wait until you begin teaching.

yak São you completely speak the truth however unfortunate it maybe. If I'm honest this is the complete reason or at least at this point in time why I wouldn't really endeavour to teach. I'm learning more and more why sifus/coaches/teachers don't want to spend to much time with people until they have shown some type of commitment not just with money but with training too. I asked everybody who currently train at the classes I go. Not one as far as they told me train outside of lessons bar me, my training partner that train on a Sunday together for a few hours and the instructors. All my sifus are also like you part time. All have full time jobs too. Some days I do question why I want to train so much and what's it all for as I'm not going to be a pro fighter. Have no wish to become a pro fighter at all. But my answer is always the same. If something is worth doing, do it right and throw yourself into it as much as possible.

I was was hoping my experience of this was a regional thing but clearly not.
 

wingchun100

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
3,300
Reaction score
522
Location
Troy NY
yak São you completely speak the truth however unfortunate it maybe. If I'm honest this is the complete reason or at least at this point in time why I wouldn't really endeavour to teach. I'm learning more and more why sifus/coaches/teachers don't want to spend to much time with people until they have shown some type of commitment not just with money but with training too. I asked everybody who currently train at the classes I go. Not one as far as they told me train outside of lessons bar me, my training partner that train on a Sunday together for a few hours and the instructors. All my sifus are also like you part time. All have full time jobs too. Some days I do question why I want to train so much and what's it all for as I'm not going to be a pro fighter. Have no wish to become a pro fighter at all. But my answer is always the same. If something is worth doing, do it right and throw yourself into it as much as possible.

I was was hoping my experience of this was a regional thing but clearly not.

I want to address the part where you said you wonder what you do it for.

Simply put: YOU LOVE WHAT YOU LOVE. End of story. There doesn't have to be any greater end purpose other than it brings you joy.
 
OP
W

WcForMe

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
16
Location
Uk
Yet again bang on the money Yak São. I flicked through that thread and remember reading it some time ago. But yes pretty much the same sort of thing.

And your comment on love what you love. Exactly that. It's a part of me now and will be forever or so I hope! I'm still relatively young at the age of 28. So loads of time to train! I do wish I had a better network of martial artists in the area that want to do what I do but I don't know where to start! We don't have Craigslist or the such in the UK or not that I'm aware! So finding others into ma regardless of style or system is proving difficult!
 
Top