Let's discuss the Xu Xiaodong vs Ding Hao fight.

Poppity

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ok, I will have a go, my view...Its one fight.

A highly publicised fight, but between some random MMA guy and some random Wing Chun guy. The MMA guy is using a different bag of mixed arts, to most of the bandwagon MMA tough-typers who will say he represents them. But thats fine, most people like to be associated with a victory, even if its got nothing to do with them.

The Wing Chun guy is not from my lineage or Kwoon, he does not represent us, even if he won, he would not be representing us and most of what he does in the video is different to how we apply. I am not saying our way is better, only that its different to a point which makes the art appear unconnected to what I see. If he had learnt with us and was representing us, I would clearly feel differently.

.so Im kind left with some guy won a fight once, and its youtube. I dont think it proves any more or less than that.
 

KPM

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No, this is not just some random MMA guy. This is Xu Xiao Dong. He is a Chinese MMA guy that has made a point of trash-talking traditional martial arts in China and challenging them to prove him wrong. He also easily handled a supposed "Tai Chi Master" in another video. He has ticked off enough of the Chinese people and government that he went into hiding for awhile So this is not just one fight. No "traditional" art has yet given Xu any kind of difficulty. Of course, people will argue that he hand picks the people he is willing to meet on camera, and that may be true! You don't seem him going up against San Da fighters. He purposely only meets people that are doing something very "traditional", because that is his thing.....to show that "traditional" arts don't work! And people on other forums have said that the Wing Chun guy is a "fake" and a "beginner" and "just learned on youtube" and all kinds of other excuses. But the fact is the Wing Chun guy is doing pretty typical "classical" Wing Chun. And any Wing Chun guy that hasn't "modernized" his training or cross-trained to a large extent in something else very likely wouldn't have looked much different or done any better. And do you think the people that have a vested interested in proving Xu wrong would put a "scrub" up against him just to continue to embarrass TCMA? This is the "classic"....very linear....charge up the middle...dominate the centerline....and chain punch...Wing Chun. "Its all about the punch!" ;) And that kind of strategy just doesn't work as well in a modern fighting context as it used to!
 

Poppity

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I hear what you are saying.. but Xu Xiao Dong is still just some guy. The same as Josh Rogan is just some guy or any other guy who likes to say that TMA is no good, they are entitled to their opinions. I think its generally accepted that the Tai Chi guy Dong went up again had a bit of a shady past as far as the quality of his Tai Chi, I'm not qualified to say...

but I'll say this for Xu Xiao Dong he's a good business man with a gym to promote. I think it would be na簿ve to imagine he is not doing any research into his opponents before hand and carefully picking opponents whose skill is overshadowed by the long stretch of an overbearing confidence... as far as being a man of mystery on the run from the Chinese Government, I find that hard to accept as he is doing their dirty work, publicly degrading the Southern Arts of Kung Fu and leaving the nationally promoted Sanda or Wushu well enough alone.... maybe soon he will fight one of those guys, lose and retire with a big cheque. Who knows...

The art I study is traditional, but the front facing charge up the centre line (or however people apply the term) is not applied at our school in that manner. I appreciate that puts me at odds with some wing chun practitioners, but not all....
 

DanT

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***Disclaimer: I have practiced Wing Chun on a full time basis (30 hours a week) since I was 13. I also train full time in Shaolin, Tai Chi, and BJJ. I love Wing Chun!***

That video was a perfect representation of the limitations of most styles of Wing Chun. The most identifiable problematic areas are:

- Lack of mobile footwork
- Lack of head movement
- Lack of body strength
- Lack of overall body conditioning
- Lack of takedown defence
- Lack of ground fighting ability
- Lack of punching power
- Lack of diversity of attacks
- Lack of positional skills
- Lack of fluidity

Unfortunately this is an exact representation of 95% of the Wing Chun out there. Let's be realistic and stop kidding ourselves. I LOVE Wing Chun, but I hate how it is. A bunch of unrealistic patty cake for the most part. It has potential but only if one can break free of the classical chains it binds people by. How can one address the previously stated limitations? KPM has done an amazing job of incorporating Boxing training methods, strikes, and footwork into his Wing Chun. My sifu adjusted that which needed to be adjusted for the system to actually work. I have further adjusted the system to what I find practical based on my experience. How can one transform their Wing Chun into something practical? Let's examine the previously stated problematic areas.

- Lack of mobile footwork
- Lack of head movement

These are more of a result of Chinese Medicinal Voodoo nonsense. The belief was that by holding your spine straight and your chin up, your "Qi" could flow better through your body. This is obvious quackery. Yes, for Wing Chun to work, the shoulders must be relaxed (for the most part). The chin should not be held up like it was clearly done in the video. The Wing Chun practitioner must adopt realistic head movement if he wants to be a good fighter. Bobbing, weaving, slipping, these are all skills that should be added, if they are not present. Holding your head still like a statue invites trouble. The footwork needs to be freed from any classical limitation or fixed position. Movement should be free in all directions.

- Lack of body strength
- Lack of overall body conditioning

This is a huge issue. A majority of Wing Chun practitioners still believe in the ridiculous notion that "you don't have to be strong". That is utter nonsense. No, you do not have to be stronger than your opponent. Yes, YOU have to be strong. You have to be able to move YOUR body in a way that is efficient. You should be lifting weights, you should be skipping, you should be running, you should be working out daily. Conditioning should be exactly like a boxer or MMA fighter. You need abs of steel, you need arms like iron, you need to be in amazing shape (less than 10% body fat.) if you have a huge gut, then that's YOUR fault. It's not your "Qi" stored in there.

- Lack of takedown defence
- Lack of ground fighting ability

I understand that Wing Chun prefers simplicity, but for heavens sake please crosstrain or at least learn some basic mount and side mount escapes. Do yourself a favour and go to a BJJ school for just 5 classes. Just 5 classes. Learn some fundamental escapes. Incorporate them. You're not going to die. Please do it for the sake of Wing Chun. Also, Wing Chun places such a heavy emphasis on stance, it's rediculous that the man could be thrown to the ground so easily.

- Lack of punching power
- Lack of diversity of attacks

Some Wing Chun schools suggest that rotating your hips and shoulders when you strike is a bad thing. Watch the video. Chunner unleashes a fury of Ip Man 2 style chain punches to MMA mans face. Nothing freaking happens. If your style of Wing Chun advocates not turning your hips and shoulders when you strike, I would suggest you go to a boxing gym, learn to put your whole body behind the strike, learn to rotate and deliver maximum power with each Wing Chun punch. Your punches shouldn't be that different in terms of body rotation than a boxer. If they are, there's probably no power or snap to them. Wing Chuns diversity in attacks could be so much more that a single straight punch. The punch can be delivered from multiple angles. Practice punching from different areas to different targets, all while rotating your hips and shoulders. Hit a heavy bag (200lbs or so). Make it swing, dig deep into it and practice punishing it. Don't hold back. It's only this way that you'll develop real punching power.

- Lack of positional skills
- Lack of fluidity

Spar. SPAR HARD. SPAR HARD OFTEN. Then spar more.

In summary:
- Incorporate head movement and diverse footwork methods (Boxing)

- Workout and run. Your body fat should be under 10%. (Bodybuilding / Powerlifting)

- Learn real takedown defence and grappling skills (BJJ)

- Learn how put your body behind your strikes by rotating. Hit the heavy bag as hard as possible often (Boxing)

- Spar hard often

I love Wing Chun. Let's move forward. It's time for Wing Chun to open the windows and let the fresh air in. The revolution has started. We can fix what was given to us broken. I was fortunate. My Sifu had the fortune of studying under many of Yip Mans students. I have the privilage of learning from him a Wing Chun system that was adjusted to his experiences, and not passed down simply for the sake of tradition. Adapt.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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- Lack of mobile footwork.
In another "WC footwork" thread, some people believe that to stand in YZKYM is to train the footwork.

- Lack of head movement
If you can hide your

- body behind your shield, you don't need any body movement.
- head behind your "rhino guard (or double Tan Shou)", you don't need any head movement.


When you have to use head movement, you may allow your opponent's fist to be too close to your head. That's not a good strategy. IMO, to fully utilize the potential of the WC Tan Shou can be more effective than to learn the boxing head move.

All you need to do is to send your

- left Tan Shou between your opponent's head and his right arm.
- right Tan Shou between your opponent's head and his left arm.

rhino_guard.jpg


After that, you may just need to add the "diagonal cut" throw and 'side mount" ground skill into your WC system. You will then have a pretty complete package.


side_mount_1.jpg
 
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KPM

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Excellent post DanT! I agree 100%. I've said some of the same things recently on the facebook Wing Chun forum and you'd be surprised at the amount of crap I got in response! Wing Chun is evolving. A distinct difference is developing between "classical" Wing Chun and a more modernized version that is beginning to incorporate many "boxing-like" elements. But many people are unwilling to admit that, even to themselves.
 

DanT

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Excellent post DanT! I agree 100%. I've said some of the same things recently on the facebook Wing Chun forum and you'd be surprised at the amount of crap I got in response! Wing Chun is evolving. A distinct difference is developing between "classical" Wing Chun and a more modernized version that is beginning to incorporate many "boxing-like" elements. But many people are unwilling to admit that, even to themselves.
The simple minded traditionalists will eventually become eliminated through natural selection!
 

DanT

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In another "WC footwork" thread, some people believe that to stand in YZKYM is to train the footwork.


If you can hide your

- body behind your shield, you don't need any body movement.
- head behind your "rhino guard (or double Tan Shou)", you don't need any head movement.


When you have to use head movement, you may allow your opponent's fist to be too close to your head. That's not a good strategy. IMO, to fully utilize the potential of the WC Tan Shou can be more effective than to learn the boxing head move.

All you need to do is to send your

- left Tan Shou between your opponent's head and his right arm.
- right Tan Shou between your opponent's head and his left arm.

rhino_guard.jpg


After that, you may just need to add the "diagonal cut" throw and 'side mount" ground skill into your WC system. You will then have a pretty complete package.


side_mount_1.jpg
Yes, I incorporate takedowns because I also study Shaolin. Plenty of takedowns there. I also utilize similar blocking, but also head movement, slipping and ducking.
 

KPM

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The simple minded traditionalists will eventually become eliminated through natural selection!

But surprisingly it wasn't the "classical" or "traditional" guys that were giving me all the crap! It was the guys that are already sparring and incorporating "boxing-like" elements into their Wing Chun! But they won't admit that they are actually doing this. They see it as just making their Wing Chun work. They don't recognize that they have departed from what was taught by most of the 1st generation Ip Man students. They see what they are doing as "just Wing Chun" rather than a "modernized" version of Wing Chun that is obviously borrowing from boxing.
 

DanT

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But surprisingly it wasn't the "classical" or "traditional" guys that were giving me all the crap! It was the guys that are already sparring and incorporating "boxing-like" elements into their Wing Chun! But they won't admit that they are actually doing this. They see it as just making their Wing Chun work. They don't recognize that they have departed from what was taught by most of the 1st generation Ip Man students. They see what they are doing as "just Wing Chun" rather than a "modernized" version of Wing Chun that is obviously borrowing from boxing.
To be honest with you, I held on to the notion for a long time that what I taught was traditional, that it was others who had something missing. I realized that it was my sifu who, like you, like Bruce Lee, realized the limitations of the system as it exists. We have adapted. We see the issues and have adjusted. Running up the middle chain punching doesn't work. Yip Man Wing Chun is today's Nokia. It's time to bring it into the modern age.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I had learned WC from Ip Men's student Jimmy Kao. I had also met Ip Men's students Jeffery Law and Albert Law. As far as I know, only Albert Law had some sparring experience. I had sparred with Albert Law. He had good Tang Shou that made me interested in the WC system. Apparently, sparring was not trained seriously in Ip Men's school. In other words, some of Ip Men's students had no sparring experience back then.

When Jimmy Kao taught me the SLT, I asked him why he only

- punched by his arm without body rotation.
- stood in YJKYM without any footwork training.

He didn't have any good answer for both of my questions. After I had learned all 3 WC forms from him, I still didn't learn any body rotation and footwork.

People may said that the footwork is in the double knifes training and long pole training. If that's the case, any student who has not learned double knifes and long pole won't be able to learn any footwork. Also if the footwork is in the wooden dummy training, since the wooden dummy doesn't move, how can you train your footwork against a static object? It makes no sense to me.
 
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DanT

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Back in 1973, I had learned WC from Ip Men's student Jimmy Kao. I had also met Ip Men's students Jeffery Law and Albert Law. As far as I know, only Albert Law had some sparring experience. I had sparred with Albert Law. He had good Tang Shou that made me interested in the WC system. Apparently, sparring was not trained seriously in Ip Men's school. In other words, some of Ip Men's students had no sparring experience back then.

When Jimmy Kao taught me the SLT, I asked him why he only

- punched by his arm without body rotation.
- stood in YJKYM without any footwork training.

He didn't have any good answer for both of my questions. After I had learned all 3 WC forms from him, I still didn't learn any body rotation and footwork.

People may said that the footwork is in the double knifes training and long pole training. If that's the case, any student who has not learned double knifes and long pole won't be able to learn any footwork. Also if the footwork is in the wooden dummy training, since the wooden dummy doesn't move, how can you train your footwork against a static object? It makes no sense to me.
I think for the most part, many Wing Chun schools introduce body rotation fairly early on, but fail to implement it in actual sparring and combat. Body rotation can be found in the Chum Kiu and Bil Jee forms, both of which are usually taught before the Wooden Dummy. The reality is that if a student doesn't have good body work and footwork by the time they get to the weapons, they won't get any better. Footwork is extremely lacking in 95% of Wing Chun taught. In order to fix this, the Wing Chun student should look at Boxing, which along with their strikes, specialize in footwork. Wing Chun should adapt Boxing footwork, head movement, and striking combination strategies. It should also adopt Boxing / MMA training strategies (running, weight lifting, skipping). Adding a ground game via BJJ is also important. Wing Chun must adapt. It is adapting. In 25 years it will be unrecognizable from the Wing Chun of Yip Man. That is a good thing.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Footwork is extremely lacking in 95% of Wing Chun taught. In order to fix this, the Wing Chun student should look at Boxing, which along with their strikes, specialize in footwork.
What kind of boxing footwork are you talking about? IMO, all footwork can be found in other CMA systems such as:

- 1/2 step,
- full step,
- 1 and 1/2 step,
- side step,
- wheeling step,
- 3 points step,
- hopping step,
- circular step,
- long distance jump in,
- long distance jump back,
- ...

For example, the most common side step footwork is when you and your opponent have same side forward, you move your back foot and line up with both of his feet. This way, you are in your opponent's blind side and his back hand cannot reach you.

You then

- move in your leading foot along your opponent's feet line,
- guide his leading arm to jam his own back arm, and
- execute your technique.

I'm not sure whether boxing uses this footwork or not.

side_step.jpg
 
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DanT

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What kind of boxing footwork are you talking about? IMO, all footwork can be found in other CMA systems such as:

- 1/2 step,
- full step,
- 1 and 1/2 step,
- side step,
- wheeling step,
- 3 points step,
- hopping step,
- long distance jump in,
- long distance jump back,
- ...

For example, the most common side step footwork is when you and your opponent have same side forward, you move your back foot and line up with both of his feet. This way, you are in your opponent's blind side and his back hand cannot reach you.

You then

- move in your leading foot along your opponent's feet line,
- guide his leading arm to jam his own back arm, and
- execute your technique.

I'm not sure whether boxing uses this footwork or not.
For the most part, most Boxing footwork can be found in certain Southern styles such as White Crane, which heavily emphasizes side stepping and pivoting. Yes, although I am not a professional boxer, boxing also involves side stepping and circling away from the power arm. Boxing encompass a complete footwork system that vastly overpowers 95% of the Wing Chun footwork taught. That is why Bruce Lee studied Boxing in addition to Wing Chun. It completes the system by adding head movement, footwork, conditioning, and combination strategies.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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For the most part, most Boxing footwork can be found in certain Southern styles such as White Crane, which heavily emphasizes side stepping and pivoting. Yes, although I am not a professional boxer, boxing also involves side stepping and circling away from the power arm. Boxing encompass a complete footwork system that vastly overpowers 95% of the Wing Chun footwork taught. That is why Bruce Lee studied Boxing in addition to Wing Chun. It completes the system by adding head movement, footwork, conditioning, and combination strategies.
IMO, the major difference between boxing and CMA is for

- boxing, a punch is just a punch.
- CMA. a punch is a punch followed by a pull.

In CMA when you punch and your opponent blocks, you will change your punch into a pull. You then either punch with the same hand, or punch with the other hand. Because the pulling concept, the footwork may be different between boxing and CMA. In other words, if you miss your punch, in

- boxing, you may move back.
- CMA, you may pull your opponent's blocking arm and still move in.

Some punch and pull concept can be seen in this clip.

 

DanT

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IMO, the major difference between boxing and CMA is for

- boxing, a punch is just a punch.
- CMA. a punch is a punch followed by a pull.

In CMA when you punch and your opponent blocks, you will change your punch into a pull. You then either punch with the same hand, or punch with the other hand. Because the pulling concept, the footwork may be different between boxing and CMA. In other words, if you miss your punch, in

- boxing, you may move back.
- CMA, you may pull your opponent's blocking arm and still move in.

Some punch and pull concept can be seen in this clip.

Mainly because you wear gloves in boxing. However one punch in boxing is followed immediately by a second and third. This combination striking is useful for Wing Chun. Many are without it.
 
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DanT

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IMO, the major difference between boxing and CMA is for

- boxing, a punch is just a punch.
- CMA. a punch is a punch followed by a pull.

In CMA when you punch and your opponent blocks, you will change your punch into a pull. You then either punch with the same hand, or punch with the other hand. Because the pulling concept, the footwork may be different between boxing and CMA. In other words, if you miss your punch, in

- boxing, you may move back.
- CMA, you may pull your opponent's blocking arm and still move in.

Some punch and pull concept can be seen in this clip.

 

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The simple minded traditionalists will eventually become eliminated through natural selection!

Nah. That is like saying fat people will eventually realize that willpower is the best weight loss supplement.

Never going to happen.
 

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It is very hard to release the mental baggage of years of martial arts training and actually look at what works and what doesn't.

MMA is a very effective route for doing that. But it is also a very unforgiving route.

I have so many martial arts moves I just can't do any more solely because they are not efficient. And the people I train with will not give me the time and space to fart around.

And it sucks because it means breaking all these preconceived ideas of what being a martial artist is.
 

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