Do you modify your Wing Chun when sparring?

KPM

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I think some of that is a matter of definition of the term "sparring". It sounds to me like you use it like we'd use "scrimmage" in soccer. You can scrimmage during practice, or even with another team, but it's not taken very seriously. The rules may be entirely the same, but it's not really the same intensity as playing a "real" game. Under that kind of definition of sparring, it is distinctly different from competition.

I use "sparring" to refer to two people trying to hit each other, etc., in the context of MA. It can be light and technical, or can be for knock-out. The latter would have a lot more similarity with a full-contact competition than with anything else in the training hall.

I agree, and what I'm saying is that trying to survive in a competition when the other person is determined to knock you out is not so different than trying to survive on the street when someone is trying to kill you. Fighting is fighting. Anything less than trying to take the other guy out in sparring, is training as shortbridge described it. A boxer or kickboxer or MMA guy wouldn't be expected to fight much differently in a "self-defense" situation than he would in the ring.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I just dont see it as necessarily abandoning the training.
This concern has bothered me for many years.

The hip throw

- training is to spin the body (your opponent can spin with you and drag you down).
- application is to cut in through an angle without body spinning.

For many years, I could not decide whether I should train with "body spinning", or "cut in through an angle", or both. One day suddenly everything started to be clear in my mind. My life time is too short. I can't afford to waste it. To be able to kill 2 birds with 1 stone is always a better idea.
 
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Monkey Turned Wolf

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Geezer,
I would go as far as to say;
those who adhere to strict adherence to a particular action or structure do not understand the wing chun system and do not understand the realities of physical conflict...(fighting). Mon Sao or any specific arm/hand structure is like stances. Snapshots in time.
My fighting changed tremendously once I understood that you dont fight from stances, you transition through them constantly, and use them for the situation rather than choosing stances and trying to make the fight fit into the stance.
 

Gerry Seymour

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My fighting changed tremendously once I understood that you dont fight from stances, you transition through them constantly, and use them for the situation rather than choosing stances and trying to make the fight fit into the stance.
This is one area some TMA instructors could do better at. They focus so much on getting the stances correctly correct that students spend all their time in them, never realizing they are snapshots, frames in a film reel of movement. If you're familiar with a hanmi or L-stance, imagine someone walking backwards using that stance over and over - that's the kind of thing that happens when students don't understand the purpose of the stances.
 

Gerry Seymour

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This is one area some TMA instructors could do better at. They focus so much on getting the stances correctly correct that students spend all their time in them, never realizing they are snapshots, frames in a film reel of movement. If you're familiar with a hanmi or L-stance, imagine someone walking backwards using that stance over and over - that's the kind of thing that happens when students don't understand the purpose of the stances.
I was observing a yudansha (black belt and above) class today, and they were working on weapons kata. At one point, the instructor leading the exercise was trying to explain that there are multiple ways to get to the "stop points", and how you get there matters more than the stance in the picture. "What's in the middle matters."
 

Kung Fu Wang

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My fighting changed tremendously once I understood that you dont fight from stances, you transition through them constantly, and use them for the situation rather than choosing stances and trying to make the fight fit into the stance.
Agree with you 100% there. Old Chinese saying said, "If you can run your opponent's down, you will have better chance to win in the ring." In order to run your opponent down, you will need body momentum and not stance. This is why it's important to learn how to punch when your feet is moving (not standing still).

People will also argue that why do you want to attack your opponent when he is moving away from you, the answer is simple, you are the bad guy and your opponent is the good guy.
 
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geezer

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My fighting changed tremendously once I understood that you dont fight from stances, you transition through them constantly, and use them for the situation rather than choosing stances and trying to make the fight fit into the stance.

This is how we look at the well known and much misunderstood Wing Chun pigeon-toed stance, yee gee kim yeung ma. It is used as a "training stance" for certain characteristics and more importantly, it is a position that you transfer through continuously as you turn and step.

In my opinion, that although WC is mostly characterized by short steps, but you need to be able to step and move quickly and freely in any direction. Old fashioned training methods with heavy emphasis on static stance work have been misunderstood in modern times, and have led to a common misunderstanding in this regard. Stances and steps must be quick, fluid, and above all, natural to be functional in any un-choreographed encounter.
 

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In general, based on my own observations, I think that classic martial arts at least in the west tend to be better at teaching all of the compulsory training than the advanced training an application of their system. I doubt that there are many truly ineffective styles, but rounding out that training on the advanced level and applying it practically is something that I think most places struggle with. Hell, I struggle with it.

Modern systems tend to focus almost entirely on that, which makes them more popular and contributes to the belief that they are more effective. In theory, they are different paths to the same place, but you have to get all of the training and do all of the work and I see a lot of good places and good martial artists struggling with rounding things out at the end.

@geezer, I totally agree with your post above. The footwork in the weapons forms, the wooden man and probably the tri-pole for those who have it, greatly expand Wing Chun's mobility options, but I'm not sure how often those pieces get considered and explored that way. In addition, as you said, I train all of those stances, but the one's I use unscripted are not clearly and faithful reproductions of them most of the time. I can feel the inward pressure of my natural, neutral stance, because it's there, but it's not obviously yee gee kim yeung ma.

In your original post, I intentionally didn't take the bait on this, but my normal physical posture toward a threat is not the classic Ip Man movie bladed, foot forward hands extended position. For a number of reasons, I don't practice or teach people to stand that way from outside of a bridge position.
 

Danny T

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Stance is low level understanding, footwork & mobility is higher level. Being able to trip & sweep and not getting tripped or swept are byproducts of understanding and using good footwork. Being able to enter & egress with changing angles is a byproduct of good footwork. Good mobility and footwork is being able to move one's center of gravity, body mass, and feet in coordination with the arms and hands working to strike, seize, trap, parry, or whatever simultaneously. It isn't about being in a particular stance.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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The footwork in the weapons forms, the wooden man and probably the tri-pole for those who have it, greatly expand Wing Chun's mobility options, but I'm not sure how often those pieces get considered and explored that way.
IMO, to emphasize footwork during the weapon and wooden dummy training time may be too late. The important of footwork should be addressed during day one.
 

KPM

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This is how we look at the well known and much misunderstood Wing Chun pigeon-toed stance, yee gee kim yeung ma. It is used as a "training stance" for certain characteristics and more importantly, it is a position that you transfer through continuously as you turn and step.

In my opinion, that although WC is mostly characterized by short steps, but you need to be able to step and move quickly and freely in any direction. Old fashioned training methods with heavy emphasis on static stance work have been misunderstood in modern times, and have led to a common misunderstanding in this regard. Stances and steps must be quick, fluid, and above all, natural to be functional in any un-choreographed encounter.

Are you saying that Leung Ting drag step isn't practical??? :(;)
 

jobo

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I agree, and what I'm saying is that trying to survive in a competition when the other person is determined to knock you out is not so different than trying to survive on the street when someone is trying to kill you. Fighting is fighting. Anything less than trying to take the other guy out in sparring, is training as shortbridge described it. A boxer or kickboxer or MMA guy wouldn't be expected to fight much differently in a "self-defense" situation than he would in the ring.
no ring fights are not a copy of REAL fights, there not close, I spar with a reasonably talented kick boxer, oit session consist of me try to not get kicked, till I manage to get hold of him, then it's fight over, in a real fight there wouurnt be 5 mins of dodging, I'd just take the kick in order to get a grip of him, then throw him about like a rag doll, in a kickboxing contest I'd loose on points ever time

fights are sudden and brutal and instant, they no feeling out looking for openings, there no ref there's no bell to tell you to be ready and nobody wins on pointst, you get one chance mess it up and it's over
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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ring fights are not a copy of REAL fights,
In

- ring fight, your opponent is a MA guy.
- street fight, your opponent is an average guy who may not even know any MA.

You may have experienced in a street fight that your opponent's fist landed on your body that didn't hurt at all. Also in street fight, your opponent is always a honest guy (no fake move, no set up, no strategy, ...).
 

jobo

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In

- ring fight, your opponent is a MA guy.
- street fight, your opponent is an average guy who may not even know any MA.

You may have experienced in a street fight that your opponent's fist landed on your body that didn't hurt at all. Also in street fight, your opponent is always a honest guy (not fake move, no set up, no strategy, ...).
and there's no weight decision, no warning , he will have mates, they always have mates . and that honest guy may have a bottle or a knife or a Pitbull, and then you crash into a crowd of people and tables, you don't know who your punches and who is punching you, lose you footing on a beer soaked dancefloor and over you go, its fast and very chaotic, and God help you if you punch a bouncer by mistake, have you ever been in a ballroom blitz
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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and there's no weight decision, no warning , he will have mates, they always have mates . and that honest guy may have a bottle or a knife or a Pitbull, and then you crash into a crowd of people and tables, you don't know who your punches and who is punching you, lose you footing on a beer soaked dancefloor and over you go, its fast and very chaotic, and God help you if you punch a bouncer by mistake, have you ever been in a ballroom blitz
1. There's no weight decision - You weight 360 lb.
2. He will have mates - You own an assassin's creed.
3. That honest guy may have a bottle or a knife or a Pitbull - You have a Walther PPK in your pocket 24-7.
4. God help you if you punch a bouncer by mistake - You don't punch. You kill.

assassin-1.jpg
 
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geezer

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Are you saying that Leung Ting drag step isn't practical??? :(;)

Actually Keith, at first I believed my old sifu's advice at face value and thought if I trained hard enough I could make a pure, 100% back-weighted "drag-step" work.

Then after a good long time, I got a bit smarter and decided that although it still didn't work for me in terms of mobility, that it was basically training some good attributes through intentional overstatement or exaggeration. For example, the back weighting free's up the front leg to use to wedge-in, sweep, kick, knee, and defend while maintaining a stable rear-leg root ...all especially useful in close striking range.

Later, still unable to move easily, I sort of lost the faith and deviated more and more from the drag-step model, using various weightings and stepping modes, perhaps unconsciously reflecting my involvement in an escrima system influenced by boxing. But I still taught the drag-step to lower level students year after year.

Now, I've come to think that all those years ...heck, all those decades of demonstrating and leading drills while drag-stepping has had a funny side effect. In trying to make the nearly impossible drag-step work, especially on the high-friction flooring in some of the gyms we've been using, I unconsciously developed a way of tightening my core and popping my hips forward as I stepped to break the friction on the weighted foot and move it forward. It's a small movement, but it effectively throws my whole body into my punch and has really helped my short-range power generation ...at a stage in life when almost everything else has, by contrast, gotten weaker.

So maybe that counterintuitive drag-step really does serve many valuable functions. It's just that easy, fluid movement isn't one of them! ;)
 
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geezer

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You know, in that last post, my assessment of the WT lineage's "drag step" is a lot like my take on yee gee kim yeung ma. Rest assured that if my posts seem to reflect a logical and conceptual consistency, it is entirely accidental, or the result of the beers I drank at dinner. I took the wife out. It is Saturday night and all. :)
 

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You know, in that last post, my assessment of the WT lineage's "drag step" is a lot like my take on yee gee kim yeung ma. Rest assured that if my posts seem to reflect a logical and conceptual consistency, it is entirely accidental, or the result of the beers I drank at dinner. I took the wife out. It is Saturday night and all. :)

So you're saying you...got dressed up, took your wife out for a nice dinner, came home and ... posted on Martial Talk?

Please see my post #28 above about being really good at all of the compulsory steps, but not finishing! ;)
 

KPM

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no ring fights are not a copy of REAL fights, there not close, I spar with a reasonably talented kick boxer, oit session consist of me try to not get kicked, till I manage to get hold of him, then it's fight over, in a real fight there wouurnt be 5 mins of dodging, I'd just take the kick in order to get a grip of him, then throw him about like a rag doll, in a kickboxing contest I'd loose on points ever time

fights are sudden and brutal and instant, they no feeling out looking for openings, there no ref there's no bell to tell you to be ready and nobody wins on pointst, you get one chance mess it up and it's over

But again, fighting is fighting. I didn't say ring fights were a "copy" of real fights. Sure there is going to be different circumstances, different levels of threat, etc. I noted that if you survive the initial surprise and then end up in a "face off" before the next exchange then it isn't so different. The skills you use are going to be the skills you trained. You may very dodge someone trying to kick you on the street a couple of times before you manage to take one of his kicks and throw him. Or...in the ring you may very well find the opportunity to take one of his kicks and throw him! Fighting is fighting. Again, would you expect the typical MMA guy to do something completely different when defending himself on the street compared to fighting in the ring? Wouldn't you expect his mechanics to be pretty much the same? Isn't he going to be throwing the same punches and kicks? Doing the same takedowns?
 
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