Has Wing Chun "gone off course"?

Vajramusti

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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.
----------------------------------------------------------Dangers off over generalization for all lineages. Briefly regarding good folks in mine:1. many people only briefly studied withwing chun.2. Ho Kam Ming was longer with Ip Man than any one 3.All the major students of Ho Kam Ming
have maintained high standards and the main people in those lines have fought successfully as well as doing good chi sao.
 

ShortBridge

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You're purposely misinterpreting KFW's posts acting like a manipulative dolt in the process.

I have no idea who you are and don't remember ever interacting with you in the past. I also don't know what a dolt is, but assume it is not a compliment.

I am in fact not deliberating misrepresenting his posts. He said he must speak from his heart, I believe everything that I have typed on the subject as well. If you think he's a credible source of Wing Chun information, by all means, follow him and ignore me. I won't lose sleep over that.
 

Marnetmar

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I have no idea who you are and don't remember ever interacting with you in the past. I also don't know what a dolt is, but assume it is not a compliment.

I am in fact not deliberating misrepresenting his posts. He said he must speak from his heart, I believe everything that I have typed on the subject as well. If you think he's a credible source of Wing Chun information, by all means, follow him and ignore me. I won't lose sleep over that.

You sure about that?
 

JowGaWolf

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Here's the thing about training. It should be easy to identify what is lacking when a person gives the purpose and focus of their training.

If you want to be good with WC then you have to use it against none Wing Chun martial artists. Outside of competitions, what good is WC if you can only beat WC practitioners? This holds true for all fightings systems not just WC.

Fighting against other systems will highlight the holes in your training and the level of your understanding of WC.
 

ShortBridge

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You sure about that?

Quite.

One of the reasons that I get worked up about KFW is that I actually have some interest in what he does. I just wish that he would post more about his own system instead of everyone else's.

I don't care about you at all. Don't know anything about you except that you've been doing Wing Chun for "about four years" according to your profile. Have a good life.
 

Marnetmar

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Quite.

One of the reasons that I get worked up about KFW is that I actually have some interest in what he does. I just wish that he would post more about his own system instead of everyone else's.

I don't care about you at all. Don't know anything about you except that you've been doing Wing Chun for "about four years" according to your profile. Have a good life.

So are you going to quit deflecting or not?
 

ShortBridge

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So are you going to quit deflecting or not?

Dude, honestly, what are you on about? Here was my answer to Keith's question:


Has Wing Chun gone, off-course?

I would say...yeah, kind of.

It is an anomaly among a family of southern, short-bridge systems in that is was exported and commercialized. This resulted in a lot of variance and a lot of formality and very westernized curriculum that I don't think was common traditionally in China. The thing I most commonly read about Wing Chun here (usually by people who don't know it) is that it needs MORE of that. More cross training, more ring fighting, more level testing and certifying, none of which were original to Wing Chun. Then we've got the "chi-sao should be an Olympic sport" crowd. That is all off-the-rails in my opinion.

I've met some great Wing Chun players, including some who used their skills professionally and had no complaints about it's efficacy. None of them have YouTube videos, by the way, which is considered the only source of truth to many modern martial artists and aspirings.

There are still people and places who I think are training Wing Chun well and seem satisfied with it. I don't think the system is lost, but you can't look to the most commercial branches, books, movies, YouTube, and tournaments to find it. In that way, it is the same as hundreds of other great systems that are being preserved and are hiding in plain sight.



No one had any comments or questions for me about that. I'm not deflecting ****. KFW replies to every Wing Chun thread and apparently every taiji thread with what he thinks is inferior about those systems and how he would fix them, regardless of what the question or topic was. It's noise. He's not the only one, but he's the one I happened to call out on it. You don't like it? I don't give a ****. Do you want to contribute to the conversation about the state of Wing Chun or are you just starting **** with me?
 
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KPM

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Has Wing Chun gone, off-course? I would say...yeah, kind of.

It is an anomaly among a family of southern, short-bridge systems in that is was exported and commercialized. This resulted in a lot of variance and a lot of formality and very westernized curriculum that I don't think was common traditionally in China.

----I think that's part of the problem. We don't really know what was common traditionally in China! A big deal was made in years past about "rooftop challenge matches" in HK during Ip Man's heyday. Turns out that most of them were by a group of teenagers and likely didn't really amount to much. A big deal has been made about Leung Jan's "300 challenge matches" in Foshan. But we don't really know what those were like at all. We all want Wing Chun to kick *** when used in open sparring matches, and that simply doesn't happen. Maybe we have the wrong expectations? Maybe Wing Chun was never intended for that kind of fighting? Then what was it intended for? When the answer to that question is somewhat unclear, then questions as to whether today's Wing Chun has "gone off course" are going to naturally appear.
 

ShortBridge

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I agree that it is tough to work backward to the history of Yip Man Wing Chun. The history is less clouded over with similar systems that haven't been commercialized and exported to the same extent.
 
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JowGaWolf

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It is an anomaly among a family of southern, short-bridge systems in that is was exported and commercialized. This resulted in a lot of variance and a lot of formality and very westernized curriculum that I don't think was common traditionally in China.
There will always be variance. If you actually use martial arts then there will be variance. That just the "natural evolution of the same." If WC was a car, half of the WC practitioners would be driving around in a Ford Model T, bragging about the superiority. Did the Ford Model T "fall off" or did it just improve through variance? Today's modern cars have variances of what we see in the Ford Model T.
ford-model-t-automobiles.jpg

WC practitioners should ask themselves. Do they want to preserve tradition and be the Ford Model T? Or do they want to advance WC? Or do they want to do both?
 

JowGaWolf

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I agree that it is tough to work backward to the history of Yip Man Wing Chun. The history is less clouded over with similar systems that haven't been commercialized and exported to the same extent.
Go back as far as you can. Start there and keep better track of WC history from this point on.
 

ShortBridge

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There will always be variance. If you actually use martial arts then there will be variance. That just the "natural evolution of the same." If WC was a car, half of the WC practitioners would be driving around in a Ford Model T, bragging about the superiority. Did the Ford Model T "fall off" or did it just improve through variance? Today's modern cars have variances of what we see in the Ford Model T.
ford-model-t-automobiles.jpg

WC practitioners should ask themselves. Do they want to preserve tradition and be the Ford Model T? Or do they want to advance WC? Or do they want to do both?

You know, JowGa, you're another one who seems to exist only to troll every Wing Chun thread, no matter what it's about.

We get it, your system is better than ours. You're better than us. Blah Blah Blah
 

JowGaWolf

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You know, JowGa, you're another one who seems to exist only to troll every Wing Chun thread, no matter what it's about.

We get it, your system is better than ours. You're better than us. Blah Blah Blah
Tell me what was wrong about what I stated?
 

DanT

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Yeah, I get it. Better than nothing, I suppose. But one of the things about any technique is using it against a variety of people at a variety of skill levels. Having a guy in the school with some experience is a step in the right direction. It's just a very, very small step.
Despite having over 30 people to spar (ranging from national champions to beginners), I agree. Which is why I compete yearly to expose myself to others.
 

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ATTENTION ALL USERS:

Differing opinions are a fact of human nature, and without them, conversation would be pretty boring.
However, the rules here require that discussions be kept civil. Tensions have been rising in this thread. If you'd like to avoid seeing yet another Wing Chun thread locked, keep the discussions polite and professional.

Thank you.
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geezer

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@ Shortbridge: Ving Tsun is my core art and I've been at it for a while, so I totally get where you are coming from. But contrary to you, I really enjoy the contrarian perspectives offered by our loyal non-WC "interlopers" such as Jow Ga Wolf, Kung Fu Wang, Drop Bear and others.

Often I disagree with these guys, but they are sincere and knowledgeable martial artists and their input really livens up this WC forum. Like you, I am sometimes taken aback by posts that seem totally ignorant of some aspects of WC, and feel compelled to post back and clarify. That's what I call a conversation or even a debate. These guys are not trolls by any stretch, and their input keeps me on my toes.

Besides if it weren't for them, the rest of us would probably just turn on each other like the treacherous, ravenous beasts we WC folk are known to be. :eek: :rage:
 

wckf92

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@ Shortbridge: Ving Tsun is my core art and I've been at it for a while, so I totally get where you are coming from. But contrary to you, I really enjoy the contrarian perspectives offered by our loyal non-WC "interlopers" such as Jow Ga Wolf, Kung Fu Wang, Drop Bear and others.

Often I disagree with these guys, but they are sincere and knowledgeable martial artists and their input really livens up this WC forum. Like you, I am sometimes taken aback by posts that seem totally ignorant of some aspects of WC, and feel compelled to post back and clarify. That's what I call a conversation or even a debate. These guys are not trolls by any stretch, and their input keeps me on my toes.

Besides if it weren't for them, the rest of us would probably just turn on each other like the treacherous, ravenous beasts we WC folk are known to be. :eek: :rage:

I gotta side with @ShortBridge and disagree with @geezer on this one. KFW comes across as if he is a WC practitioner of about 1 month experience, yet wants to "evolve" WC by having us charge ahead full speed with his football field long footwork clips combined with a rhino horn or whatever. If he wants to leave his mark on the MA world...call it "John Wang Skipping Rhino Kung Fu" and leave it at that.
And, for the record, I like some of what he has posted over the years; but when he posts his usual MO stuff (i.e. rhino's and what-have-you...) it always has this messianic feel to it. Kind of like another cat who used to post here about so called "ancient" WC...
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I gotta side with but when he posts his usual MO stuff (i.e. rhino's and what-have-you...) it always has this messianic feel to it.
I invented the "right mouse click" (patent number 4686522 8/11/1987). Everybody on this planet is using it. I also invented the "rhino guard". People can use it for free if they want to.

Do we all want to "contribute something" to this world that we love and live in?
 

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I invented the term drop down box. Before that it was called a hidden menu.
 
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