Has Wing Chun "gone off course"?

KPM

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This came up in another thread and seemed like a good topic for discussion. So, in order to not divert the other thread way off course I decided to start a new one!

Marnetmar noted:
From looking at Kulo stuff it's become apparent to me that Wing Chun was once something far greater and more practical than it is today and that saddens me because you would think it'd be the other way around. What went wrong?

I responded:
Maybe it went from a "fighting art" to an emphasis on being good at Chi Sau? I think it certainly has become too "specialized" and somewhat narrow in focus.

As DanT noted in the other thread, the Pin Sun Chi Sau in the clips I posted looks a lot like Bak Hok Chi Sau. It also looks a lot like Southern Mantis Chi Sau and the Chi Sau in other southern Chinese styles. That is because it is somewhat of a "generic" sticky hands. Years ago I had a friend that was a 6th degree black belt in Kenpo. He had learned to do Chi Sau like this as well. So we would train together this way. And this was before I learned Pin Sun!

Now we all know that NONE of these southern Chinese systems mentioned puts as much emphasis on Chi Sau as modern Wing Chun, and particularly Ip Man Wing Chun. Also none of them have the "specialized" version of Chi Sau that Ip Man Wing Chun has. This means that Ip Man Wing Chun has lost the ability to interact with them in this way. Of course, it is easy enough to go back to this older method of rolling in order to do Chi Sau outside of Wing Chun circles. But how often does this happen? So, no offense intended here, but I think Ip Man Wing Chun has been developed and has evolved to function well specifically while doing Ip Man Wing Chun Chi Sau, and to some extent has lost sight of how it should work against other systems. This is what I mean by it becoming too "specialized." And one lineage of Ip Man Wing Chun (at least according to one infamous forum member) has become so specialized that they see everything as being a method of landing a punch, to the point that their version of Wing Chun has no "applications", no Kum Na moves, etc.

Now obviously several of you are going to post and say..."this does not apply to MY version of Wing Chun!" And maybe it doesn't! I'm just talking about a tendency and trend we seem to see that prompted Marnetmar to make the comment that he did.
 
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wckf92

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What "kulo stuff" is he taking about?
 

jlq

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KPM,

virtually all styles of Chinese martial arts have some sort of "bridge contract training", as you said - especially for southern Chinese styles which emphasize "lei kiu chi da" and "chi kiu chi da".

However, in my opinion one should be careful with making statements such as "what it once was" - nobody actually knows what and how things were.

Leung Zhan is known to - like any other masters of old - to teach different people different things. So he taught Wong Waah Saam techniques and strategies a small guy could employ. However others were taught different things, so not all "Gulao" Wing Chun is "just" Pien San Wing Chun, some of them have "more" or at least "other" things.

What Fung Leung shows in various videos... Is that how Wong Wah Saam's Gulao Wing Chun is supposed to be like? Is it Fung Chun's version of it, or even Fung Leung's personal version of that version?

Unless there is more information available, this is impossible to even guess.

:)

The "rolling and stepping" thing he does in one of the videos is actually the partnerdrill corresponding to the "dai Sap Yee Lou", i.e. no. 12, the last of the 12 loints, as it is taught by at least one student of Fung Leung in Saaping (they call this section "Fuhk Fu") - as far as I remember (various Gulao schools have somewhat difference sequences and a different order of sets), it has been a while since I was there...

:)

To me it seems like some Wing Chun has a lot of content while others have less - the question is whether there wasn't that much to Wing Chun in the first place and then different things mixed in by different people or there was a lot but then later disappeared...

Either way, YM WCK is not the only WCK which utilizes the Luhk Sau/Pun Sau drill, it is also used in YKS/SN Wing Chun, Yiu Choi Wing Chun, Pao Fa Lien Wing Chun - and even Tang Yik Weng Chun has something similar.

Notice, I called the Luhk Sau a drill. So it has a specific purpose/purposes and is not a sort of platform from which to engage in "chi sau training" with other schools/styles. Real "chi sau" is about establishing a bridge, "controlling" it and most importantly, striking the opponent as fast and as hard as possible. There is no "rolling" or "circling" for the sake of establishing some common platform from which to play a game of chi sau.

And why should there be?

It should be about applying the principles and concepts in application you learn from the various Chi Sau drills you train in application.

Does the YM Wing Chun style do that?

Yes, I think so, at least some of the versions out there.

:)
 
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KPM

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However, in my opinion one should be careful with making statements such as "what it once was" - nobody actually knows what and how things were.

---That's true! Which leads to some frustration when trying to look back at Wing Chun "history", as we have stated before! ;)

Leung Zhan is known to - like any other masters of old - to teach different people different things. So he taught Wong Waah Saam techniques and strategies a small guy could employ. However others were taught different things, so not all "Gulao" Wing Chun is "just" Pien San Wing Chun, some of them have "more" or at least "other" things.

---But what other lineages of Gulao other than through Wong Wah Sam are still around for comparison?


What Fung Leung shows in various videos... Is that how Wong Wah Saam's Gulao Wing Chun is supposed to be like? Is it Fung Chun's version of it, or even Fung Leung's personal version of that version?


----That's hard to say in any lineage. Is Sum Nun's Wing Chun the same as Yuen Kay Shan's, or is it his "version"? Is Wong Nim Yi's Wing Chun the same as his father's, and was his father's Wing Chun the same as Yuen Kay Shan's Wing Chun? Is Wong Shun Leung's Wing Chun the same as Ip Man's, or is it his "version"?



To me it seems like some Wing Chun has a lot of content while others have less - the question is whether there wasn't that much to Wing Chun in the first place and then different things mixed in by different people or there was a lot but then later disappeared...


---I do think things were added over time! It seems likely to me that Leung Jan taught 12 "original" or "core" sets in Gulao. But over time various people have added in other sets with the same teaching structure. There likely was no butterfly knife form in anyone's Wing Chun, but people have added it over time.


Either way, YM WCK is not the only WCK which utilizes the Luhk Sau/Pun Sau drill, it is also used in YKS/SN Wing Chun, Yiu Choi Wing Chun, Pao Fa Lien Wing Chun - and even Tang Yik Weng Chun has something similar.

----Yes, but some theorize that the Luhk Sau chi sau rolling was developed jointly or at least shared after development between Yuen Kay Shan, Ip Man, and Yiu Choi, and possibly Ng Chun So. Then likely picked up on by others. But again, without having specific documentation of what the various lineages were like at different points in history....who can really say?


Notice, I called the Luhk Sau a drill. So it has a specific purpose/purposes and is not a sort of platform from which to engage in "chi sau training" with other schools/styles.

---It is a "platform" now! That's part of the evolution of things! Various Wing Chun lineages/people host events and get together specifically to have Chi Sau exchanges. There are open martial arts tournaments that include a Chi Sau division that is open to more than just Wing Chun people.


Real "chi sau" is about establishing a bridge, "controlling" it and most importantly, striking the opponent as fast and as hard as possible. There is no "rolling" or "circling" for the sake of establishing some common platform from which to play a game of chi sau.

----That's not how current Ip Man Wing Chun approaches it. And that's not how current Pin Sun Wing Chun approaches it either. Maybe back a few generations ago that was true. On the other thread I posted video of both Fung Leung and Fung Keung using the same Chi Sau "rolling platform" and playing around with it for demonstration purposes. Absolutely in Pin Sun the rolling platform is intended as a way to practice the applications and techniques from the various San Sik "on the fly" so to speak. And if your partner is providing you with any resistance at all to challenge you to test your technique, then that just naturally and automatically becomes a "game of Chi Sau." But my initial point was that being able to play this "Chi Sau game" well seems to have become the prime focus of a lot of Wing Chun today. I think it has gotten far more emphasis than it did in times past. So is this at least part of what "went wrong" to try and answer Marnetmar's original question?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Has Wing Chun "gone off course"?

In WC sticky hand, if your opponent uses his right hand to grab on your left wrist, uses his left hand to grab on your right wrist, your sticky hand cannot continue.

You may not do this to your opponent. But you can't prevent your opponent from doing it on you. In WC sticky hand training, I see no training to deal with that. Why?

IMO, if you want to deal with opponents in general, you will need to add more training than the current WC sticky hand. 100 years ago, WC was used to deal with southern Chinese. Today WC needs to deal with people from all over the world.
 
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JowGaWolf

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Here's how I see Wing Chun based on the numerous conversations that I've read here about WC. This is also how I see martial arts in general.

Imagine a timeline graphic. Nothing special, just a line with a few dots where the dots to the left are points in the distant past and dots to the right head toward the present. Each dot represents a stage and time period in the development of Wing Chun where something in WC changed big time. WC schools pick which time reference in which to train WC. And that's all that's too it. There's no "gone off course."

It's all WC and preferences of training based on Time period and Development Changes. Instead of claiming something as true claim the Time Period and the methods of the training during that time period. The only way something can truly "go off course" is if there is only one way to do something. Like everything else, there is more than one way to do WC. Somethings will stay the same or similar but other things will change. Much of it will change because of Purpose of Training. If you only do martial arts for exercise and stress relief then things will seem "off course." But in reality it could be a modern day approach to Wing Chun Health.

If you only want to view the time line for WC fighting then simply remove the non-fighting training methods and schools from the time line and you'll end up with different timelines in which WC was trained for fighting. Doing this will help to identify the training that is needed in order fight using Wing Chun along with practical application of techniques.

Maybe it went from a "fighting art" to an emphasis on being good at Chi Sau?
It could be that you are looking at the wrong timeline marker.
 

Marnetmar

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Has Wing Chun "gone off course"?

In WC sticky hand, if your opponent uses his right hand to grab on your left wrist, uses his left hand to grab on your right wrist, your sticky hand cannot continue.

This isn't really true. Depending on how he grabs you, you can:

- Use a lan sau and a shift
- Use a tan sau followed by a pak and punch
- Come up around outside of the hand with a fuk sau (albeit not a "proper" one)
- Use a tan sau followed by a fuk sau
- Use the sup jee sau movements at the start of Biu Jee

To break through the thumb.

Also the reason we don't grab, at least in my lineage, is to prevent from getting immobilized ourselves. Instead we cup the arm without wrapping our thumb around the opponent's arm/wrist.
 
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drop bear

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Yeah but fighting who? People can fight better now.
 

DanT

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Has Wing Chun "gone off course"?

In WC sticky hand, if your opponent uses his right hand to grab on your left wrist, uses his left hand to grab on your right wrist, your sticky hand cannot continue.

You may not do this to your opponent. But you can't prevent your opponent from doing it on you. In WC sticky hand training, I see no training to deal with that. Why?

IMO, if you want to deal with opponents in general, you will need to add more training than the current WC sticky hand. 100 years ago, WC was used to deal with southern Chinese. Today WC needs to deal with people from all over the world.
I can think of a bunch of solutions to this. If you don't train Wing Chun how do you know what Wing Chun has or hasn't? If the opponent grabs my wrist I can:

-counter with a Tan Da

-counter with a Gwai Jeurn and break his wrist if he doesn't let go.

-counter with a Kwan Sao and Po Pai Jeung.

-counter with a Heun Sau and Pak Da.

There you go. 3 solutions to the "hand grab" situation.

Traditional Wing Chun can work well against "modern" fighters, and one way of doing this is sparring with one Wing Chun fighter doing Wing Chun only, and the other Wing Chun fighter using techniques from other styles (boxing, kickboxing, etc.).
 

Flying Crane

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Well, the percentage of wing chunners around the globe who are here on Martialtalk engaging in these debates is, I am sure, stunningly small.

I am sure nobody has been able to visit and thoroughly view the training methods and thereby judge even a fraction of all wing chun schools in the world, so the sample is tiny.

Personally, I dont put much stock in sweeping generalizations.
 

Danny T

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In WC sticky hand, if your opponent uses his right hand to grab on your left wrist, uses his left hand to grab on your right wrist, your sticky hand cannot continue.

You may not do this to your opponent. But you can't prevent your opponent from doing it on you. In WC sticky hand training, I see no training to deal with that.
This, again, shows you really have no real knowledge or understanding of the training in WC.
Not a knock on you...really it's that you just don't know and from what I see you think you do. You may have 'some' wc experience but from my perspective it appears beginner level. Possibly your instructor/s were not very knowledgeable. One cannot pass on what one does not have.

IMO, if you want to deal with opponents in general, you will need to add more training than the current WC sticky hand. Today WC needs to deal with people from all over the world.
This I agree with and in the wc training I have been exposed to there is a far more than just sticky hand training. I feel certain in other good wc there is as well.
 

drop bear

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I can think of a bunch of solutions to this. If you don't train Wing Chun how do you know what Wing Chun has or hasn't? If the opponent grabs my wrist I can:

-counter with a Tan Da

-counter with a Gwai Jeurn and break his wrist if he doesn't let go.

-counter with a Kwan Sao and Po Pai Jeung.

-counter with a Heun Sau and Pak Da.

There you go. 3 solutions to the "hand grab" situation.

Traditional Wing Chun can work well against "modern" fighters, and one way of doing this is sparring with one Wing Chun fighter doing Wing Chun only, and the other Wing Chun fighter using techniques from other styles (boxing, kickboxing, etc.).

Larp.

And then you write this.

This, again, shows you really have no real knowledge or understanding of the training in WC.
Not a knock on you...really it's that you just don't know and from what I see you think you do. You may have 'some' wc experience but from my perspective it appears beginner level. Possibly your instructor/s were not very knowledgeable. One cannot pass on what one does not have.


Which is pretty much the counter argument to getting one of your mates to attack you with pretend boxing or whatever.
 

JowGaWolf

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Well, the percentage of wing chunners around the globe who are here on Martialtalk engaging in these debates is, I am sure, stunningly small.

I am sure nobody has been able to visit and thoroughly view the training methods and thereby judge even a fraction of all wing chun schools in the world, so the sample is tiny.

Personally, I dont put much stock in sweeping generalizations.
Viewing the training methods won't be enough. One would need to actually spar with the fighters of that school. It's the only way to know, and the sparring can't be WC vs WC. Style A vs Style A is not a reliable measure of application ability. My guess is that those who train to fight using WC will not fit within the OP's title "Has Wing Chun gone off course."
 

Danny T

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Larp.

And then you write this.

This, again, shows you really have no real knowledge or understanding of the training in WC.
Not a knock on you...really it's that you just don't know and from what I see you think you do. You may have 'some' wc experience but from my perspective it appears beginner level. Possibly your instructor/s were not very knowledgeable. One cannot pass on what one does not have.


Which is pretty much the counter argument to getting one of your mates to attack you with pretend boxing or whatever.
drop bear: you seem to gotten confused with myself (Danny T) & DanT.

Oh and what is "larp"?

On a wing chun person pretending to boxing or whatever:
Yeah...I'm not much in favor of such. Why not get with a real boxer or a Nak Muay, or a whatever to train with. Attempting to practice against someone pretending isn't going to develop much in real skill.
 

drop bear

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drop bear: you seem to gotten confused with myself (Danny T) & DanT.

Oh and what is "larp"?

On a wing chun person pretending to boxing or whatever:
Yeah...I'm not much in favor of such. Why not get with a real boxer or a Nak Muay, or a whatever to train with. Attempting to practice against someone pretending isn't going to develop much in real skill.

Yes I did. Sorry.

Live action role play.
 

DanT

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Larp.

And then you write this.

This, again, shows you really have no real knowledge or understanding of the training in WC.
Not a knock on you...really it's that you just don't know and from what I see you think you do. You may have 'some' wc experience but from my perspective it appears beginner level. Possibly your instructor/s were not very knowledgeable. One cannot pass on what one does not have.


Which is pretty much the counter argument to getting one of your mates to attack you with pretend boxing or whatever.
Are you saying I have no real knowledge or understanding of the training in Wing Chun?
 

DanT

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I should clarify, I'm not suggesting to have someone attack you with fake boxing. Everyone I train with has training in other styles (black belts in TKD or Karate, national level kickboxers, etc). I am suggesting having them use those styles, so it will be WC vs Kickboxing rather than WC vs WC.
 

drop bear

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I should clarify, I'm not suggesting to have someone attack you with fake boxing. Everyone I train with has training in other styles (black belts in TKD or Karate, national level kickboxers, etc). I am suggesting having them use those styles, so it will be WC vs Kickboxing rather than WC vs WC.

If they are actual stylists then a different scenario.
 
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