Escrima or Wing Chun

Ishtar

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Hello all,

I am looking for some advice please.

I have been playing Tai Chi Chuan for just over five years and I want to start learning something a bit more external with a strong focus on martial applications and self defence to supplement and improve my practice and enable me to defend myself.

I am a small woman in my late 20s. I have to watch my joints as they are hyper-mobile and delicate, although I am quite fit and strong due to persistent gym work and strength training.

I have found a club that I like the vibe of and the instructor moves beautifully and seems to be a good teacher. They offer Wing Chun and Escrima. I can only afford to take on one of these arts at the moment and I am trying to decide between the two.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Sam :)
 

Takai

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Both are excellent arts you won't really suffer from training in either of them. I would lean more towards Wing Chun by personal preference. I trained in Escrima many years ago and definitely enjoyed it. Both don't focus on using strength and work well with a small framed individuals.

Either way, Enjoy the journey.
 

arnisador

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I've done both. Two great arts that work well together. Eskrima (arnis) works best for me, but it sounds like Wing Chun might be a good fit for you. Eskrima tends to be weapons-focused and while it has empty-hands too the self-defense applications may be more readily apparent in the Wing Chun. Can you try each for a bit and make a decision then?
 

wingchun100

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I'd say wing chun. A lot of friends of mine who do tai chi say that they could transition easily from push hands to chi sao if they were inclined to jump ship.
 

oaktree

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Hello all,

I am looking for some advice please.

I have been playing Tai Chi Chuan for just over five years and I want to start learning something a bit more external with a strong focus on martial applications and self defence to supplement and improve my practice and enable me to defend myself.

I am a small woman in my late 20s. I have to watch my joints as they are hyper-mobile and delicate, although I am quite fit and strong due to persistent gym work and strength training.

I have found a club that I like the vibe of and the instructor moves beautifully and seems to be a good teacher. They offer Wing Chun and Escrima. I can only afford to take on one of these arts at the moment and I am trying to decide between the two.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Sam :)
I have trained both Taijiquan and Escrima. A lot of Tuishou in Taijiquan you can find in Escrima. Escrima is going to give you the advantage of training with and against knifes and sticks. It also has empty hand sets that are very effective. When you train with and against weapons your sense of timing and reaction become a lot quicker making you become better at empty hands. Taijiquan is very martial is you train it that way. From strikes to joint locks to throws. Try both classes out and see for yourself.
 

Danny T

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Hello all,

I am looking for some advice please.

I have been playing Tai Chi Chuan for just over five years and I want to start learning something a bit more external with a strong focus on martial applications and self defence to supplement and improve my practice and enable me to defend myself.

I am a small woman in my late 20s. I have to watch my joints as they are hyper-mobile and delicate, although I am quite fit and strong due to persistent gym work and strength training.

I have found a club that I like the vibe of and the instructor moves beautifully and seems to be a good teacher. They offer Wing Chun and Escrima. I can only afford to take on one of these arts at the moment and I am trying to decide between the two.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Sam :)

I train and instruct both. Based upon your stated goals of strong focus on martial applications and self-defense alone with the hyper-mobile joints I'd recommend the escrima, You will get some strengthening of the joints from the constant gripping of the stick, the stick manipulating, and the stick tapping. You will also be learning distancing, hand-eye coordination, targeting, blade awareness and orientation, angles, footwork, and should also be gaining good offensive and defensive, attack and counter-attack, actions that comes from having to keep tempo with your training partner. These are attributes you will eventually learn in other training systems but in escrima/kali it will be presented earlier. (at least that is how it was presented to me and how I instruct it).

My personal preference is Wing Chun but that is with the knowledge and skill set developed within the kali training.

However it really all comes down to what 'you' enjoy the most. The more you enjoy it the more you will put into training and get from it. Ultimately that is what is important. Which do you truly enjoy the most?
All the best in your training journey and Never Give Up!
 

Mark Lynn

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My advice is similar to what others have said and that is to try out both classes and see if one fits you better, also you might talk with the head instructor and see what his view point would be based on your goals.

If your goal is self defense then see if either art is being taught with that more in mind than the other. Any art can be translated to self defense type techniques. However if the art being practiced is being taught more from the perspective of SD then you are further down the road to your goal per say.

For instance I teach Modern Arnis and Kombatan Arnis blend class and my focus is more on teaching the self defense side of things than say stick fighting or stick sparring. So my focus and my curriculum starts off with basic double stick material that we translate to empty hand. So while learning double stick drills the student is actually learning the motions and concepts behind empty hand techniques as well, then those empty hand skills are used not only the punch attacks but also in empty hand vs. weapon attacks, defenses against hand gabs, clothing grabs etc. etc. This is why I set things up this way was to stress the commonality between the responses or the situations. I also have the beginning levels focus on striking rather than locking, trapping, etc. etc. which we put later in the curriculum.

However if I was teaching pure Modern Arnis or Kombatan Arnis then the curriculum would be different. While Modern Arnis is a good FMA, if I was looking for a "stick fighting" school than I might look into a different FMA, one that focused more on the sparring applications and strategies involved. I believe that the chance of me getting involved in a stick or knife dueling situation here in the states is pretty remote, so I de-emphasized that aspect of the instruction and placed it more along the lines making the connections between double stick, single stick, knife, empty hand techniques and the defense against them.

I prefer the FMAs because of the versatility of the instruction and the material. The same double stick techniques I was referencing earlier can be applied to other objects such as any double weapons i.e. sticks, edged, skillet, fist load, even traditional okinawan weapons (sai, tonfa, kama) etc. etc. which is beyond the scope of your question but it is the method of learning and how it is presented that opens those doors to understand it. Likewise learning two sticks you are also learning one weapon at the same time, with the weapon being blunt or impact, edged, or improvised; such as a rolled up magazine, a pan from the kitchen, a racquetball racquet, a tire iron etc. etc. To me this helps free the student of the mindset of only using one or two sticks and instead using any weapon that is available at the time. Again it is in all how it is presented and taught.

I'm not a Wing Chun stylist so I can't speak to it.

Being a small female in her 20's wanting to learn something that can help her defend herself, I think the weapons work in the FMAs would be a good fit.

I hope that helps
 

geezer

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I also teach both Escrima and Wing Chun. Most of my students start with Wing Chun then some branch out into Escrima. I'd say try each and see which one suits you best. Personally I love both.

Really you are in a great situation. A lot of people aren't able to find either of these arts taught nearby. Whichever one you choose, enjoy yourself!
 

cqbspartan

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For a woman, I say you should start with Wing Chun...great foundation and will give you great hand skills...it is tailored so a woman can defeat a male attacker...not based on power or strength but on quickness, leverage, and reflex training...the Escrima is more weapon oriented, but does have great empty hand drills like the Hubud Lubud series...you could train in Escrima later maybe...both are great arts and I would like you to learn both eventually...I have done both arts for many years and that is just my input...hope this helps...
 

tifire

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Just as some others have suggested, I would take Wing Chun if I were you. Wing Chun is great for self-defense.
 

Mephisto

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You guys do realize there are hundreds of systems that fall under the label Eskrima? each system of Eskrima has its own unique strategy and emphasis. I'd be hesitant to recommend a striking art to any person looking to train for self defense. There is a myth that wc was created by a nun or woman and it's widely excepted and repeated as true but the documentation to verify this is questionable. With a striking art or any for that matter size is a limiting factor. A small woman won't be able to out strike a large man. A weapon on the other hand equalizes the situation, if self preservation is your goal a weapon is the best way to do it. If you're a small woman your more likely to be able to justify the use of a weapon. So given the correlation between weapons and Eskrima id recommend eskrima, but the style is significant. In any training the best option for self defense is a style that emphasizes real time training And a reacting and resisting opponent. If the Eskrima involves mostly patterns and drills where the partner reacts predictably than you're not getting a lot of reality training, the same goes for wc.
 

crazydiamond

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Any Jeet Kune Do (JKD) studios near you? You will get to try both.
 

Marnetmar

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See if you can talk with the instructor one on one some time and have him show you some stuff. That's really a better way to make a decision than listening to a bunch of dudes on the internet.
 

Mephisto

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See if you can talk with the instructor one on one some time and have him show you some stuff. That's really a better way to make a decision than listening to a bunch of dudes on the internet.

This is a good point, no one knows the material better than the instructor. Tell him your goals and see what he says based on what he offers in each class. If his WC class has a classical or traditional approach he may not seek to emphasize self defense and merely emphasize passing on a "pure" art. Some eskrima styles can be the same way. Styles evolve to fit the needs and understandings of the instructors and practitioners. What has relevance to one person may not apply to another. I think the best approach is for an instructor to teach pass on two arts two his students; the original art as hew was taught and the modifications or applications that he has developed from it. So ask your instructor what he emphasizes and what he thinks would be best for self defense, as you talk to him i'd add that as a small framed person striking it out with a large man doesn't seem like a realistic self defense goal. He might just go on about how real WC is all about proper structure and size doesn't matter in fighting (lol). Or he might admit that striking has its weaknesses, but it also has many benefits that are part of a well rounded self defense program. You'll have to see his approach with the eskrima, but as a guy on the internet i'd say it's your best option for self defense between the tai chi you're already taking and wing chun.
 
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