Is there an objective way to determine quality of wing chun or My wc is better than yours because I say so!

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,068
Reaction score
705
Location
Kennewick, WA
Personally, I don’t find it difficult to recognize value when I see it, without the need for someone to “prove” it with a competition win/loss record. I can look at the methods, understand the logic behind the methods, look at the training intensity, and see where the skill is built. I can then decide if the training approach is a good match for me and decide if I am interested in pursuing that training. None of this hinges upon seeing a competition record.

Whether or not someone competes is a personal choice. The instructor and the students in a school may simply have zero interest in it. They may be at an age where competition no longer makes sense. None of that matters to me because I don’t need to see competition, in order to recognize value.

That’s just me. One’s mileage may vary.

You don't, you are also an expert martial artist with a lifetime of experience.

Not everybody in an art needs to compete, but there better be some regular feedback into the system telling it how other people are fighting, particularly when many participants of that art haven't been in regular street fights. Participating in the larger marketplace of ideas forces an intellectual honesty about the art, isolating the practice of the art away from others is a great path to delusion and irrelevance.
 

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,831
Reaction score
2,845
Location
Phoenix, AZ
...make your own choice about that. Don’t decide you need to do something else, that what you have been doing has no relevance, simply because you feel like there is some collective pressure to conform to the MMA path. F**k ‘em.
Sound advice.

Actually, I'm not personally interested in training something like MMA, certainly not when I'm turning 66 in a month. My discouragement is more over what I see as a general decline of TMA into irrelevance ...or In the case of TKD and Karate, as nothing more than a hobby for children ...until they are old enough for "real" sports.

Traditional Chinese martial arts suffer from a different decline. A lot of Wing Chun seems to be moving farther and farther from its fighting roots into a sort of magical way of thinking. I do not want to see this art, that I have spent such a long time practicing, become non-functional and irrelevant ...no more than a cultish form of larping.

Remember: "If you see the Buddha in the road, kill him".

Or, "If your instructor dresses in a long robe like Yip Man, kick his ***!" :p
 
Last edited:

Snark

Green Belt
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
184
Reaction score
98
Aldous Huxley to Sheldon kopp... Unlikely to find that on an MMA page.

Not sure if that's a good thing or not tbh.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,773
Reaction score
3,256
Location
San Francisco
Sound advice.

Actually, I'm not personally interested in training something like MMA, certainly not when I'm turning 66 in a month. My discouragement is more over what I see as a general decline of TMA into irrelevance ...or In the case of TKD and Karate, as nothing more than a hobby for children ...until they are old enough for "real" sports.

Traditional Chinese martial arts suffer from a different decline. A lot of Wing Chun seems to be moving farther and farther from its fighting roots into a sort of magical way of thinking. I do not want to see this art, that I have spent such a long time practicing, become non-functional and irrelevant ...no more than a cultish form of larping.

Remember: "If you see the Buddha in the road, kill him".

Or, "If your instructor dresses in a long robe like Yip Man, kick his ***!" :p
Well there are certainly a lot of schools teaching crap, with very low standards. This is not new. All you can really do it take care of your own group and keep the standards high. I believe there will always be some people who are dedicated to quality, even if the numbers are never high. I’m ok with that. Just do your part to make it available to those who want it.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,773
Reaction score
3,256
Location
San Francisco
You don't, you are also an expert martial artist with a lifetime of experience.

Not everybody in an art needs to compete, but there better be some regular feedback into the system telling it how other people are fighting, particularly when many participants of that art haven't been in regular street fights. Participating in the larger marketplace of ideas forces an intellectual honesty about the art, isolating the practice of the art away from others is a great path to delusion and irrelevance.
Well ok, so I’ve been training for a few years and I guess that background gives me some insight that not everyone will have. But I’ve never trained in a school that put a heavy emphasis on sparring or competition. We did some, but it just wasn’t the big thing. I would say the one exception would be the roda in capoeira, we did pretty much every single training session. As I know you are aware, that would be the sparring equivalent within a capoeira context, but is definitely different from the competitive sparring found in most schools and competitions. I personally enjoyed the playfulness that can be found in the roda much much more than the competitive sparring format that is more typical in other formats.

But at any rate, I don’t think my own insights are particularly difficult to make and I think most thoughtful people with some baseline of experience could make similar observations that don’t need to come down to seeing a win/loss record. The process itself in the training, is revealing.

As to your comment about needing feedback from outside and intellectual honesty vs. delusion in training. I understand your point and what you suggest can be a way to get that. Lots of people seem to enjoy competition and it certainly can be useful. I don’t argue against that.

I do argue against the notion that everyone needs to be doing that, or there somehow needs to be a direct link to people who are doing it or else the training is essentially fraudulent and/or delusional. If you wish to be a successful competitor then you need to train for that and you need to do that. If you have no interest in being a competitor and you are looking for an enjoyable form of exercise and camaraderie in training a method that will give you a distinct and effective advantage in the unlikely event that you will need to defend yourself on the street one day, then you do not need to train like a competitor and you do not need to compete. I fully understand that a competitive MMA fellow is likely training a lot harder than me, is more fit than I am, and is likely 25 years younger than me. If that is the guy I end up fighting, then I will most likely lose. That is ok with me, because that is a very unlikely scenario anyways. That is unlikely to be the fellow against whom I might need to defend myself one day. So I don’t waste my time and energy on it. I don’t worry about how others are training or what they are doing or how they are fighting. Honestly, I don’t care. Really and truly.

there is a real difference between being a successful competitor and being able to successfully defend oneself in what would be a likely scenario on the street. The two CAN go hand-in-hand, but absolutely do not have to. You do not need to be the former, in order to be the latter.
 

Svarog

Yellow Belt
Joined
Sep 19, 2020
Messages
24
Reaction score
7
Different people practice for different reasons. Some practice simply because it is a part of their heritage, some because they want to experience different culture, some because it looks cool, some because they are searching some sort of surrogate religion or more as it is popular to say today, they are on a spiritual journey. Some people genuinely want to learn some fighting skills. For some WCK is just fitness. What is "best" or "better" is purely subjective and depends of the practitioner's needs, expectations and of course personality with all the issues that may or may not exist. The arts I am practicing are best for me because they fulfill my needs and expectations.
 

Oily Dragon

Blue Belt
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
279
Reaction score
48
Reading another thread got me to wonder. Is there an objective way to determine WC quality? WC is full of mine/ours is better more original. It can be different Yip man students or other WC styles saying theirs is better than YM.

So many things are claimed but then you here other things that refute the claims. For example we hear that Sum Nung WC is better than YM because YKS actually taught YM too but not all the secret stuff he taught Sum Nung. Then the other students of YKS say that what ever SN did was not at all what YKS taught and they don't know where SN got his WC. Every claim seems to have an opposite claim.

So the questionable mine is better than yours goes on everywhere. Is there an objective way to determine the truth?
Yes.

If you can move like a snake and crane, but other people just see a dragon, your Wing Chun is proabably pretty good.

Kung fu, secret or not, is self-evident.
 

Tomg8

White Belt
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I don't think the "mine is better than yours" is limited to just WC/WT/VT. Many martial arts have that mentality.
 

Nobodaddy

White Belt
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
No two students are the same. Try a bunch of different schools. Don't get married to the first one you try or you'll always wonder what else is out there. Find a Sifu whose expression of the system and whose teaching methods work for you. Whether you've trained for 5 years or 40 years, keep trying other schools and systems. Your Sifu should be cool with that. This is how the system evolves. How do you know what's good? How well does it work?
 

ShortBridge

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Feb 9, 2015
Messages
919
Reaction score
644
Location
Seattle, WA, USA
I agree with you on this. The best school is the one that you learn the best in and that is dependent on a lot of things. Some of those things will have to do with the style, some with the club, some with the teacher, and some have to do primarily with the student.

There is a modern, western idea that the teacher or school should change to accommodate each student's interest and preferences. That doesn't work in TMA. Frankly, I wouldn't expect a modern BJJ/Boxing/MMA gym to work that way either.

No two students are the same. Try a bunch of different schools. Don't get married to the first one you try or you'll always wonder what else is out there. Find a Sifu whose expression of the system and whose teaching methods work for you. Whether you've trained for 5 years or 40 years, keep trying other schools and systems. Your Sifu should be cool with that. This is how the system evolves. How do you know what's good? How well does it work?
 

Eric_H

Black Belt
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
558
Reaction score
104
Location
San Francisco
Reading another thread got me to wonder. Is there an objective way to determine WC quality?
For a broad school to school comparison, statistics and measurement. As has already been posited in this thread, people do martial arts for different reasons: Competitive Combat, Self Defense, a Social Activity, a Fitness activity, a cultural reason, an intellectual reason, etc, etc. A school or lineage may be great for one and terrible for another.

Between two trained people, simply touch hands. You know quickly what someone has/doesn't. It doesn't even need to be too rough or competitive unless that's what you're optimizing for.

If you find someone wanting to prove their WC is better on the basis of someone long dead beating up someone else long dead, it's best to not even talk to them. You can't fix stupid.
 
OP
H

hunschuld

Green Belt
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
185
Reaction score
92
Thanks for the replies, a lot of interesting responses and things I did not expect.

My personal attempt to be objective is to watch how someone performs chi sao or sparring and see if they are trying to follow and use the Kuen Kuit. All wing chun I am familiar with share many of the same operating instructions. In fact one of the most attractive things about WC to me is that it has an " operating manual"

So. Are they receiving what comes ,following what goes, sinking elbows in front of the chest,, Continuous striking, simultaneous attach and defense,combining hard and soft,hands and body working together, strong in the middle attacks the side weak in the middle attack the center,waist and legs move in unison etc.

Otherwise it is just WC shapes and bad kick boxing
 
Top