holding the basics

bcbernam777

Brown Belt
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
473
Reaction score
3
Location
Sydney
I have found it quite wide spread amongst many Wing Chun practicioners that a certain mindset exists, one which limits their development in Wing Chun, and constricts their understanding of the system. The mindset I am refering to is the tendancy to overlook the powerful place of the most basic elements of Wing Chun and to try and race ahead to what is considered the "meat" of the system. An example of this is the importance of the YJKYM in the SLT tao form and the role that the SLT plays in the development of the stance. Though there are few who would not subscribe to the importance of the stance, the importance of performing the form slowly and carefully to develop the stance, those same people who subscribe to its importance, seem to grow bored of the form very easily and want to move on the Chum Kui, Bui Jee or anything else which seems more exciting and tantalising, and in so doing sacrifice the time and energy needed to lay the right foundation, therefore when they actually touch hands with someone who has understood and have actively sought to train and develop the basics, they find that they have no ability against such a person. The blame is laid on whom? the system? the student? or the Sifu? I believe its all and none at the same time, and I dont think it is as simple a matter as holding out one element in isilation to the rest, but I believe there to be a singular reason, which contains the three elements, which is the market driven aproach to martial arts, selling out the integrity of the art for a fistful of dollars, and a handful of convienience. Martial arts has becime big business that is more concerned with the McDonalds approach of "give the customer what they want" rather than what is needed in terms of an effective and transparent approach to the system, one that is rooted not in the the mere trickery of a a-z approach to martial arts complete with a pretty belt at the end of it, whos only meaning is tied into how nice the cloth is, but an approach that is rooted in the concpet of Wing Chun being a dynamic and alive way of approaching the problem at hand. Too many are not willing or maybe indeed able to fit within the parameters of the system, not being able to clearly see the goal of moving from naturalness, awkwardness, back to naturalness again, disolving the system into your own being, so that it is like breathing.
The correct mindset, learn to love the simple things of Wing Chun, learn to cling to the basics until they have become yours and you own them, dont be taken in by the formalised constructs of curriculum, learn to find the system and dont loose your own fluidity and aliveness. Finally hold on to the basics be patient, dont overlook them or give them little thought because they dont seem that exciting, because when you are tested it is the basics that will save you in the fight, that is their own excitment.
 

dmax999

Blue Belt
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
222
Reaction score
5
I have to agree with this, me being one of the ones you are talking about. I quit WC because after years I didn't appreciate it or fully understand its basic principles. Now in a Shaolin Kung Fu school, I can clearly see how effective WC can really be.

I believe WC can be taught too easily, so you get shown an amazing "secret" to fighting, but since it was so easy to learn you think it is nothing. All the stuff I first learned in WC I now see how it really applies and how truly effective it is, I just wasn't paying enough attention back then.

For me Tai Chi is the same way. I get told a different way to do a move, its obviously better, and then I forget about the correction because it was too easy to learn. When I toil to learn it on my own again later, then I never forget and sometimes even remember I was told what I just figured out years ago. (This just happened to me the other day)
 

brothershaw

Purple Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2003
Messages
332
Reaction score
6
Location
New York
Alot of people belive the "wing chun was designed to be learned quickly" myth so they run through the stuff and also have teachers who run through it. Not everybody is like that but enough are. With that mentality they are not going to do slow SLTs for years, or any of the other "boring " stuff that will make everything else so much better.
THere are some concepts in wing chun that are easy to pick up and use, and that can also be misleading, people want to learn " trapping" , or a six inch punch, or jump on the wooden man, and they miss the whole forest looking at a bush. Alot of the cheesy magazine articles dont help either.
 

Stu

Yellow Belt
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
I've been Studying Wing Chun for just over 18 months now...

After 12 months of Sil Lim Tao my Sifu progressed me onto Chum Kiu. Very quickly after that it became obvious to me that everything that I had learnt about SLT wasn't even scratching the surface of this form. Its almost knocked me back with the realisation of the enormity of it.

To rush through the basics is only cheating yourself, after all... we're not in a race are we?
 

fightingfat

Green Belt
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
145
Reaction score
1
Location
England
Great original post! How can you move on until you understand how to correctly form shapes and correctly apply them?
 

WingChun Lawyer

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
126
Reaction score
1
brothershaw said:
Alot of people belive the "wing chun was designed to be learned quickly" myth so they run through the stuff and also have teachers who run through it.

Well, marketing aside, that is the idea, isn織t it? I mean, I read more than once that WC is supposed to be taught in 5 years.
 

dmax999

Blue Belt
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
222
Reaction score
5
I have to disagree to a small extent. Given two students of equal natural ability and train them equal amounts in WC and any other MA, my money would be on the WC guy winning after 6 months.

Some basics of WC can be learned quickly to the point of being very effective. WC gets you a few techniques and drills them in good, not hunderds of techniques like other MAs.

Now the cavaet... The "quick" WC guy is not doing chi sao, is not doing most of WC and probably doesn't look much like real WC, but he can hold his own in some fights if he trained correctly. That is what I always assumed was meant by learning quickly, not becoming a master on every aspect.

Its similar to chess, the rules can be learned quickly but it may take a lifetime to master using them.
 

brothershaw

Purple Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2003
Messages
332
Reaction score
6
Location
New York
WingChun Lawyer said:
Well, marketing aside, that is the idea, isn織t it? I mean, I read more than once that WC is supposed to be taught in 5 years.

Not everything you read is true, or should at least be taken with a pound of salt.
Yes in 5 years time you could definitely show someone the entire system of wing chun or any other style, how good they would be at it or any other system is another story. There are so many things that could take at least a year to develop before you could build on it with new stuff.
I would honestly say about 10 years of continous training / learning.
And i have gone out of my way to meet people from different branches to see how they do things, and skill level.
So much of the beginning stuff in wing chun is so unnatural that alone takes time to absorb.
Imitating movements and positions and actually feeling them are different things.
 

WingChun Lawyer

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
126
Reaction score
1
brothershaw said:
So much of the beginning stuff in wing chun is so unnatural that alone takes time to absorb.

If you will excuse me, I織ll go on a tangent here.

Why the hell does WC feels so unnatural anyway? I mean, I got the very same impression when I was learning it, and it annoyed me to no end - it was one of the reasons I quit WC.

IMHO, if something is unnatural, it will take longer to learn and to master than something that feels more natural. Why not learn the natural way instead of forcing your body to move in ways it was never intended to? Why not take the easy path, if the results are the same (i.e. learning how to hurt people)?

Quite frankly, I will consider coming back to WC when someone proves me those methods are better than the methods employed by everybody else.

All the WC guys I personally met who could kick my *** had years and years of experience, but I met many boxers and kickboxers and BJJ players who could probably kick the same amount of *** with just a couple of years of experience. Quite frankly, I blame this on that very "unnaturalness" of the teaching and fighting methods employed by WC.

Yes I know, sorry for the rant. But it IS a fair point.
 

yipman_sifu

Blue Belt
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
289
Reaction score
7
WingChun Lawyer said:
If you will excuse me, I織ll go on a tangent here.

Why the hell does WC feels so unnatural anyway? I mean, I got the very same impression when I was learning it, and it annoyed me to no end - it was one of the reasons I quit WC.

IMHO, if something is unnatural, it will take longer to learn and to master than something that feels more natural. Why not learn the natural way instead of forcing your body to move in ways it was never intended to? Why not take the easy path, if the results are the same (i.e. learning how to hurt people)?

Quite frankly, I will consider coming back to WC when someone proves me those methods are better than the methods employed by everybody else.

All the WC guys I personally met who could kick my *** had years and years of experience, but I met many boxers and kickboxers and BJJ players who could probably kick the same amount of *** with just a couple of years of experience. Quite frankly, I blame this on that very "unnaturalness" of the teaching and fighting methods employed by WC.

Yes I know, sorry for the rant. But it IS a fair point.

It's true that other styles are faster to be learnt than Wing Chun. That is because many people as students going to a Wing Chun club will be told to relax. Relaxing is good, but most of the trainers takes it in a big way in which it affects their training progress. They train little and devote a little time to the system. That's why they will not aquire the proper balance, energy development, and fighting power. Other styles such as boxing, trains you like a machine to punch and move. Do you expect a Wing Chun guy with little training to overcome a boxer who trains till sweat is in the toes, the answer is NO. A Wing chun trainer must train like a boxer to acheive tremendous results.

Regarding the unnaturalness that you talk about. That't not true, Wing Chun is very direct and simple. It tries to bring the human being instinct to it's naturalness. Humans instict changes to abnormality as it experiences incidents in life. That's why in a fight, we see lots of high kicks and fancy roundhouses and flying kicks. This unnaturalness, the nature of a human is just to go and finish in a straight centre kick that is followed by punches.
Now regarding grappling and BJJ issue. I beleive if someone would aquire a strong punch, he would crush those grapplers. You will say that they can take a blow or two and will still manage to grapple. OK, that's if a woman like the one you joked in the airplane punched, sure. But what about if Mickey (Mike Tyson) was the puncher and was a Wing Chun guy with chain punches. He would finish those grapplers. The point is that Wing Chun is normal and effective, only the problem is that we lack determined trainers and good examples in the system, and suppose we had, you will not see them in competitions because they have a diiferent look in the combatic philosophy.
 

Kensai

Black Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
693
Reaction score
3
Location
West Midlands
WingChun Lawyer said:
If you will excuse me, I´ll go on a tangent here.

Why the hell does WC feels so unnatural anyway? I mean, I got the very same impression when I was learning it, and it annoyed me to no end - it was one of the reasons I quit WC.

IMHO, if something is unnatural, it will take longer to learn and to master than something that feels more natural. Why not learn the natural way instead of forcing your body to move in ways it was never intended to? Why not take the easy path, if the results are the same (i.e. learning how to hurt people)?

Quite frankly, I will consider coming back to WC when someone proves me those methods are better than the methods employed by everybody else.

All the WC guys I personally met who could kick my *** had years and years of experience, but I met many boxers and kickboxers and BJJ players who could probably kick the same amount of *** with just a couple of years of experience. Quite frankly, I blame this on that very "unnaturalness" of the teaching and fighting methods employed by WC.

Yes I know, sorry for the rant. But it IS a fair point.

It doesn't feel strange to me, and quite frankly, I've had enough of your comments on here every 5 minutes, putting down videos, casting your holier than thou attitude on everyone, you don't like WC, that's fine. Don't keep coming here, and telling everyone? OK? I don't go to the muay thai section and start slagging that do I? Why should WC PROVE anything to you?

With you, it isn't just a question of logical debate, it's EVERY discussion you take issue with. What do you want? An admission that Wing Chun's crap, I'm starting MT, cos WCL says it ace? Jeez, talk about ego! There is a saying that if you've nothing positive to say, then don't say it.
 

WingChun Lawyer

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
126
Reaction score
1
I do believe there is a lot of nonsense, hearsay and outright lies in the WC community.

I also believe that many WC lineages teach a flawed striking system instead of an efficient system, ignoring certain moves and strategies commonly used in other arts (namely circular strikes, jabs and crosses). Many of them also do not allow sparring, and do not insist in physical conditioning, which of course results in a bunch of delusional pansies with no fighting skills who believe themselves to be deadly.

I know many WC sifus and students love to question the efficiency of other martial arts (specially grappling arts) without stepping into the mat to prove their points (Kevin Chan and Emin Boztepe are exceptions, AFAIK, as well as some others). They do this by hiding under the "too deadly to spar" dodge.

But I also think WC has quite a bit to offer. It has an interesting power generation method, it has good ways of developing rooting power, and its fighting principles are indeed sound. It can be developed into a good system, and in fact many sifus manage to do that.

That is why I discuss here - I believe I can learn something here. But I admit this hope is shattered everytime someone worships Bruce Lee or states that you don織t need no stinkin織 grapplin織 ta fight, or that wing chun is too deadly to spar with.

Incidentally, I never said I am an authority on anything: my opinions are my own, based on my experiences and nothing more.

And I am perfectly willing to discuss and change my opinions if decent proof is presented.

But I am certainly not going to pat people in their backs when they present a crappy video, such as that one with the terrorists, as a good example of WC. Someone has to step in and say that the king is naked.
 

Kensai

Black Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
693
Reaction score
3
Location
West Midlands
WingChun Lawyer said:
I do believe there is a lot of nonsense, hearsay and outright lies in the WC community.

I also believe that many WC lineages teach a flawed striking system instead of an efficient system, ignoring certain moves and strategies commonly used in other arts (namely circular strikes, jabs and crosses). Many of them also do not allow sparring, and do not insist in physical conditioning, which of course results in a bunch of delusional pansies with no fighting skills who believe themselves to be deadly.

I know many WC sifus and students love to question the efficiency of other martial arts (specially grappling arts) without stepping into the mat to prove their points (Kevin Chan and Emin Boztepe are exceptions, AFAIK, as well as some others). They do this by hiding under the "too deadly to spar" dodge.

But I also think WC has quite a bit to offer. It has an interesting power generation method, it has good ways of developing rooting power, and its fighting principles are indeed sound. It can be developed into a good system, and in fact many sifus manage to do that.

That is why I discuss here - I believe I can learn something here. But I admit this hope is shattered everytime someone worships Bruce Lee or states that you don織t need no stinkin織 grapplin織 ta fight, or that wing chun is too deadly to spar with.

Incidentally, I never said I am an authority on anything: my opinions are my own, based on my experiences and nothing more.

And I am perfectly willing to discuss and change my opinions if decent proof is presented.

But I am certainly not going to pat people in their backs when they present a crappy video, such as that one with the terrorists, as a good example of WC. Someone has to step in and say that the king is naked.

Evidently our experiences of Wing Chun differ greatly. Perhaps a little more humility may go a lot further? I'm sure there is bad WC taught, I'm sure there are weaknesses in WC, but no more or less than many/any other arts. I've learned crap ju-jitsu in the past, from a guy that was a wonderful teacher, but limited by lack of striking, pad work, sparring. That doesn't mean I think ju-jitsu's garbage, it also doesn't mean that I feel the need to hang around on the jitsu pages pointing out every single flaw and failing within JJ, and feeling that it's "my duty" to do so. If you don't want to "pat people on the backs when they present a crappy video", then don't bother at all, people can make up their own minds. In my honest opinion (when I finally got the damn thing to work!) I wasn't overly impressed with the video, but I wouldn't go out of my way to give a good slagging either. I guess we simply have very different out looks on life my friend, let's leave it there eh?
 

WingChun Lawyer

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
126
Reaction score
1
Kensai said:
Evidently our experiences of Wing Chun differ greatly. Perhaps a little more humility may go a lot further? I'm sure there is bad WC taught, I'm sure there are weaknesses in WC, but no more or less than many/any other arts. I've learned crap ju-jitsu in the past, from a guy that was a wonderful teacher, but limited by lack of striking, pad work, sparring. That doesn't mean I think ju-jitsu's garbage, it also doesn't mean that I feel the need to hang around on the jitsu pages pointing out every single flaw and failing within JJ, and feeling that it's "my duty" to do so. If you don't want to "pat people on the backs when they present a crappy video", then don't bother at all, people can make up their own minds. In my honest opinion (when I finally got the damn thing to work!) I wasn't overly impressed with the video, but I wouldn't go out of my way to give a good slagging either. I guess we simply have very different out looks on life my friend, let's leave it there eh?

My WC experience was horrible, I admit that. But it seems I was not the only one with such an experience, and it also seems the kind of WC I was taught is sadly all too common.

I used to think just like yipman_sifu, until I finally understood that it takes more than tan saos and straight punches to beat someone who wants to hurt you. Understanding that the WC I was taught was worthless cost me more than a few bruises, and it almost cost me a broken nose. So I cannot help but point out at bad WC when I see it.

That said, please understand that I am not getting out of my way to stir up trouble on this forum. But I do like to point at mistakes and idiocy when I see it - mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

But man. Those videos...argh!
 

Kensai

Black Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
693
Reaction score
3
Location
West Midlands
WingChun Lawyer said:
My WC experience was horrible, I admit that. But it seems I was not the only one with such an experience, and it also seems the kind of WC I was taught is sadly all too common.

I used to think just like yipman_sifu, until I finally understood that it takes more than tan saos and straight punches to beat someone who wants to hurt you. Understanding that the WC I was taught was worthless cost me more than a few bruises, and it almost cost me a broken nose. So I cannot help but point out at bad WC when I see it.

That said, please understand that I am not getting out of my way to stir up trouble on this forum. But I do like to point at mistakes and idiocy when I see it - mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

But man. Those videos...argh!

Alright alright... They were kinda bad. ;) Sorry YMS. I normally agree with you, but in this case, hmmm....

Shake?
 

WingChun Lawyer

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
126
Reaction score
1
Incidentally, and as a peace offering, check out the following link. On this thread I described my experiences while I started crosstraining in Muay Thai (I had about 20 months of experience in Wing Chun when I started it).

I hope this helps you understand where I am coming from. It took me a long while to find out my WC training was indeed lacking.

http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=10368&highlight=dear+diary
 

Kensai

Black Belt
Joined
Mar 13, 2006
Messages
693
Reaction score
3
Location
West Midlands
WingChun Lawyer said:
Incidentally, and as a peace offering, check out the following link. On this thread I described my experiences while I started crosstraining in Muay Thai (I had about 20 months of experience in Wing Chun when I started it).

I hope this helps you understand where I am coming from. It took me a long while to find out my WC training was indeed lacking.

http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=10368&highlight=dear+diary


Seems like sense to me. ;)
 

brothershaw

Purple Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2003
Messages
332
Reaction score
6
Location
New York
First off I LOVE wing chun

When I say wing chun is UNNATURAL, I am referrring to the elbows in the center for tan, the bong sau, the yee jee kim yung ma stance etc.
All these positions you dont normally do in everyday life so you have to get comfortable with them before you really use them properly or know why you are using them.
Plus as someone mentioned b4 you also need relaxation , correct angleing and on, and on.
I love wing chun however there are other things that are much faster to pick up that are also simpler and will give the average personj what they are looking for.
ALot of poeple come to wing chun for a quickk fix that isnt there and get disappointed when they dont find it, on top of that you have questionable teachers.

Wing chun can and does work but you have to put the time in (with somebody who knows there stuff). Just becasue you can describe it in simple straightforward terms , centerline shortest distance, blah blah blah doesnt mean its simple to learn.

If someone told me that they only wanted to spend about 2-3 years training I would push them towards muay thai, kali, and grappling just to get some moderate basics and call it a day. Most people arent into training for 8- 10 years on a consistent basis.

Good luck with the muay thai !! If I only had the time...........
 

Latest Discussions

Top