Master Wong - Legit?

jazzman3121

White Belt
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
I just found Master Wong on youtube and watched quite a few of his vids (I watch many different vids from many different styles). I've studied a few martial arts styles although haven't dedicated myself in a way to become a master of anything or even competent in anything but I've noticed that when any individual comes to the surface in any style there is always the bullshido challenge. My question though is what is relevant? What is the purpose of one's martial arts training, the art, self-defense, prestige? My motivation for training has been for self-defense and I think most people at least have that as one their top reasons for training and although the interest for me started with a 'style' what it came down to is 'do I think this stuff would be effective if I needed it in a struggle for life?' We've seen the rise of the sport of MMA which while is still a sport, it's pretty close to what a street fight brings, little rules, bring what you have and survive yet, we haven't seen strict Wing Chun practitioners become top fighters (neither have we seen strict Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, etc.) What we have seen is fighters who may have started with some form, i.e. Judo, BJJ, kickboxing, but they seem to be more effective with a tool bag of technique in addition to their training. I understand one's search for 'legitimate' martial arts but in the event you can't find a practitioner who can trace his martial arts lineage to someone you revere or you can't afford their cost, then what is your next step? Are those 'legitimate' and perfect Wing Chun stances and punching drills going to equip you for survival in a street conflict, robbery attempt or murder attempt?Would we know who Ip Man was if it had not been for Bruce Lee? And speaking of Bruce Lee, is there a movement of people who denounce him for not teaching legitimate Wing Chun? From what I can see, Lee is considered one of the greatest martial artists who has ever lived but what he became more famous for was the mindset of martial arts and the philosophy of fighting and training to win... The thing that is very telling to me is having seen a few of Master Wong's seminars video and in those situations where I can recognize ranking martial arts practitioners (Shotokan Karate Black Belts that is), while they hold black belts which is supposed to represent many years of training and the ability to 'master technique', they seemed to me to be very tentative and uncoordinated practicing Wong's techniques of self defense (and his stuff seems very straight forward and simple), they almost look like they've never even trained before in anything. From what I've seen in an interview someone did with Wong, he said that he was Vietnamese and studied Kung Fu. So according to the tradition, wouldn't the fact that Wong is not Chinese preclude him from being recognized by the Chinese masters, no matter how 'legit' his Wing Chun is? From what I can gather about Wong, his emphasis is in training with techniques that are simple and effective, he doesn't repeatedly say 'my Wing Chun goes back to blah blah blah...' Anyway, that's my thought on Wong. He doesn't spend any time denouncing other styles, criticizing other styles, he just brings what he has. I'm not saying that Wong is on par with Bruce Lee but his emphasis seems to be in self-defense and street survival from a background of Wing Chun or whatever style he uses that people can recognize. I don't think that Wong's concern is about name-dropping his Wing Chun lineage to gain respect. To me, the techniques he puts forth and instructs on are going to speak for themselves in their effectiveness on the street, not the name of the original master it comes from. Martial arts is as much about the practitioner as it is about origin. Even the most legitimate, sound techniques traced back two thousand years is going to mean nothing if the practitioner is not dedicated to understanding the movement, the human body and the mindset one needs to survive a hostile confrontation. The important things to any system are 'are they effective? can you replicate the movement under stress?' If you can't answer yes to those, then you're just doing something to be doing it and be ready to beg for your life when someone attacks you with a knife, pipe or brick, etc.
 

Martial D

Senior Master
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
3,285
Reaction score
1,034
This guy in the video is Master Wong. Apparently UK based, he's supposed to be a Wing Chun and JKD expert and has a significant Youtube following crowd. The thing is, I can't find any info on him. No wikipedia profile or any profile of any kind that I saw.

Is he a respected authority on Wing Chun? Does anyone here know him?


He's a performer that does his own thing. Most of what I've seen from him lately looks more like Keysi than WC.

As for his credentials, seems to be largely autodidactic.
 

jazzman3121

White Belt
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
He's a performer that does his own thing. Most of what I've seen from him lately looks more like Keysi than WC.

As for his credentials, seems to be largely autodidactic.

Possibly. Wasn't Bruce Lee also self taught in JKD? Was Lee's Wing Chun training background readily recognizable in his JKD techniques?
 

Martial D

Senior Master
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
3,285
Reaction score
1,034
Possibly. Wasn't Bruce Lee also self taught in JKD? Was Lee's Wing Chun training background readily recognizable in his JKD techniques?
Yes, and yes. But I don't know if that's an apt comparison. Wong doesn't actually fight or spar, he is just another in a long line of MA theoreticians..so it's impossible to say if what he does actually works.

But he is entertaining!
 

jazzman3121

White Belt
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Yes, and yes. But I don't know if that's an apt comparison. Wong doesn't actually fight or spar, he is just another in a long line of MA theoraticians..so it's impossible to say if what he does actually works.

But he is entertaining!

Yeah I'm not saying Wong is as good as Lee was. The point I'm making is that this thread is basing Wong's technique on his martial arts lineage. Based on my interest in martial arts which is self-defense, I really wouldn't care what the lineage of a style was or a particular artist as long as I can see something that looks effective and I myself can physically replicate the techniques. Effectiveness goes into use, practice and results and no one in their right mind is going to put themselves in a potentially life and death situation to prove their art (as in going out at night into the most dangerous areas hoping to bait an aggressor into trying to kill them). Sparring and even challenge fighting is still not a proof, neither is a struggle for one's life. As far as lineage goes you can look at relatively young arts like BJJ, JKD and Krav Maga. They take older techniques but their systems are very new in comparison to things like Kung Fu or other arts that have been around for a thousand years or more. But does their relative short time in existence automatically eliminate them from being effective? As far as being a 'theoratician', most martial arts is theoretical. The art itself is the theory but the proof is in the artist... Take Mike Tyson as an example. For quite a while he was the most dangerous boxer around but although he obviously had training, his style was not sophisticated, he was just Mike Tyson, lol. Same thing with Lee... I don't think Wing Chun or JKD made Lee phenomenal necessarily, Lee developed phenomenal speed and focus which in my mind, almost made whatever system he practiced immaterial.

Yeah Wong definitely entertains me as well. I have to say though, in my very limited knowledge of martial arts, the various techniques he puts forward as far as self-defense seem to be from a simple, realistic approach. He doesn't spend time trash talking other systems, he doesn't talk himself up as the best thing since the dawn of time... Nor does he name-drop like many others do. Those subtle things are a positive to me.
 

Martial D

Senior Master
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
3,285
Reaction score
1,034
Yeah I'm not saying Wong is as good as Lee was. The point I'm making is that this thread is basing Wong's technique on his martial arts lineage. Based on my interest in martial arts which is self-defense, I really wouldn't care what the lineage of a style was or a particular artist as long as I can see something that looks effective and I myself can physically replicate the techniques. Effectiveness goes into use, practice and results and no one in their right mind is going to put themselves in a potentially life and death situation to prove their art (as in going out at night into the most dangerous areas hoping to bait an aggressor into trying to kill them). Sparring and even challenge fighting is still not a proof, neither is a struggle for one's life. As far as lineage goes you can look at relatively young arts like BJJ, JKD and Krav Maga. They take older techniques but their systems are very new in comparison to things like Kung Fu or other arts that have been around for a thousand years or more. But does their relative short time in existence automatically eliminate them from being effective? As far as being a 'theoratician', most martial arts is theoretical. The art itself is the theory but the proof is in the artist... Take Mike Tyson as an example. For quite a while he was the most dangerous boxer around but although he obviously had training, his style was not sophisticated, he was just Mike Tyson, lol. Same thing with Lee... I don't think Wing Chun or JKD made Lee phenomenal necessarily, Lee developed phenomenal speed and focus which in my mind, almost made whatever system he practiced immaterial.

Yeah Wong definitely entertains me as well. I have to say though, in my very limited knowledge of martial arts, the various techniques he puts forward as far as self-defense seem to be from a simple, realistic approach. He doesn't spend time trash talking other systems, he doesn't talk himself up as the best thing since the dawn of time... Nor does he name-drop like many others do. Those subtle things are a positive to me.
Wow, you started your reply before I could even edit that spelling mistake, which was immediately, which means it took you 27 minutes to write that. Interesting, but totally beside the point. Anyway...

Im not a guy that thinks MA lineages mean much, I'm far from a traditionalist. So far, in fact, that I write a good portion of so called martial arts off as total bulshido, with the deciding line generally hovering around whether or not the MAist in question actually demonstrates what they do in a pressure testing situation..ie sparring or fighting.

Without that, you are left with what wong does, which is to demonstrate 'techniques' on a human dummy. The problem with that is you can make just about any crap look good if your opponent is co-operating, which is why I say there's no way to tell if Wong is legit or just another theoretician(read-bulshido master)
 
  • Like
Reactions: KPM

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,813
Reaction score
2,816
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Wow, you started your reply before I could even edit that spelling mistake, which was immediately, which means it took you 27 minutes to write that. Interesting, but totally beside the point. Anyway...

Hilarious. That (bolded section above) happens to me all the time. It seems like I never see all my typos until after I post. Well, at least we do bother to proof-read and edit. Some don't. I won't mention names ...cough, karateJJ, cough.... :p

The problem with that is you can make just about any crap look good if your opponent is co-operating, which is why I say there's no way to tell if Wong is legit or just another theoretician(read-bulshido master)

Well said Martial D. Here's a story that kinda relates: My favorite demo partner in my Escrima class is a great guy named Scott. He's old as the hills (same age as me), strong as an ox, and has done martial arts of one kind or another his whole life. Whenever I demo a technique, he instinctively obstructs it. He then apologizes, ...and then does it again. He can't help himself. Stubborn old bastard! :D

So the other day another student in the group saw this happen yet again and asked me why I usually demonstrate on Scott, since we all know he is such a pain to work with. I told him that that's the point. I'm not trying to look good, I'm trying to be honest. When I can make it work on Scott, you know it really works!


We only begin learning with helpful, compliant partners, then we have to test ourselves with good partners ...who give us honest resistance. :)
 

Bino TWT

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
182
Reaction score
80
Location
Houston, TX
Master Wong said he didn't want to have the lineage politics involved in what he does, and his Si-Fu prefers to remain unnamed. I've looked at some of the instructional videos of his course, and his Siu Nim Tao is clearly Pan Nam Wing Chun. A lot of people "See" Biu Tze at the beginning of the form, and notice that they start right arm first, but that's just how they do things.




This is Pan Nam Siu Nim Tao

Here's one of the grading videos performed by one of his students of his online course:
 

Martial D

Senior Master
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
3,285
Reaction score
1,034
Master Wong said he didn't want to have the lineage politics involved in what he does, and his Si-Fu prefers to remain unnamed. I've looked at some of the instructional videos of his course, and his Siu Nim Tao is clearly Pan Nam Wing Chun. A lot of people "See" Biu Tze at the beginning of the form, and notice that they start right arm first, but that's just how they do things.




This is Pan Nam Siu Nim Tao

Here's one of the grading videos performed by one of his students of his online course:
Undoubtedly pan nam, you are correct. It's a very distinctive style.

He is very (suspiciously) guarded about how and where he learned it, and has an unusual way of doing some of the motions, which leads me to believe he might be self taught.

Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, many self taught fighters and self made systems are quite good(in fact, every fighting style had to be 'self taught' originally, right?)

What he shows in his videos these days doesn't look much like WC though. His answer to everything is to rush with a keysi pensador up which isn't something I'd ever do that's for sure. Your mileage may vary on that, who knows.
 

Bino TWT

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
182
Reaction score
80
Location
Houston, TX
Yeah he does have a very... distinct way of his application. Some I agree with, some I don't. But I can't say for certain if that's just him or a Pan Nam thing.
 

Martial D

Senior Master
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
3,285
Reaction score
1,034
Yeah he does have a very... distinct way of his application. Some I agree with, some I don't. But I can't say for certain if that's just him or a Pan Nam thing.
Ya, that's hard to say. Especially, as you've probably noticed as a WC sifu, the lineages of WC seem to drift further and further apart as time goes on.
 

Bino TWT

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
182
Reaction score
80
Location
Houston, TX
Not only that, but I know several high level Sifu's with the same Sifu. They all learned the exact same curriculum and teach the exact same curriculum. But the way they interpret and apply the system is very different. Crossing hands, everyone has their own Chi Sao thumb print. So you look look at the form and say "oh that's (insert lineage here)", but in action it can be quite a bit different to tell. And generally the higher level the practitioner, the more it's "their" Kung Fu in application.
 

jazzman3121

White Belt
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Wow, you started your reply before I could even edit that spelling mistake, which was immediately, which means it took you 27 minutes to write that. Interesting, but totally beside the point. Anyway...

Im not a guy that thinks MA lineages mean much, I'm far from a traditionalist. So far, in fact, that I write a good portion of so called martial arts off as total bulshido, with the deciding line generally hovering around whether or not the MAist in question actually demonstrates what they do in a pressure testing situation..ie sparring or fighting.

Without that, you are left with what wong does, which is to demonstrate 'techniques' on a human dummy. The problem with that is you can make just about any crap look good if your opponent is co-operating, which is why I say there's no way to tell if Wong is legit or just another theoretician(read-bulshido master)

Lol, well as you can tell when I get into an interesting subject I like to converse and discuss :)

I'm with you on sparring/fighting to a degree... When I was really into training before life got busy, I used to really enjoy sparring. It does offer the slight added pressure of trying to get to your opponent without giving him or her too much opportunity for what might be 'scored' as a good blow. I viewed sparring as fun, a chance to put what I could do against another but there where other practitioner students who really didn't like sparring at all, they didn't like that pressure. They felt intimidated and feared to hurt another person, thus their techniques wouldn't have hurt a fly because they would not engage (with control) to the extent where at 105% they're dealing pain and incapacitation. For them, they practiced martial arts for the conditioning aspect, learning a skill and maybe some self-defense techniques but they didn't have the same attitude I and just a couple others had, which was this is the **** I may have to use so I need to know how it feels to do it against another person full-speed to connect my mind with my reflexes and when I get hit with a technique I need to feel what it will feel like for my opponent, what hurts and what stops a fight. Ok, you're probably with me on my view of sparring but there is a huge proportion of people who have an interest in martial arts (I would estimate maybe 40%) but they don't understand that in training that activity there can be slight injury, bruises, maybe a slight cut, black eye here and there, bruised or broken nose (when you forget to keep your hands up like I did in a tourney.) These people have the expectation that they can engage in this activity without going home having to ice something and when they do actually get hurt they quit very soon after. It's not reasonable to me but it is to them. Martial artists promote what they do in order to maintain a business but they have to understand their audience. Ok, this doesn't have much to do with Wong himself, he could spar other artists as in tourney style with relaxed contact rules but in the dojo, a lot of instructors forgo some of the training I went through because they want to keep students and maintain a good amount of dues revenue. So you don't see for the most part Ippon Kumite full blast like I did where a Black Belt is paired up with a white and as a newbie, you gotta block that punch (which you don't have the reflexes yet anyway) or your chest is red and welted. That stuff doesn't fly anymore, for whatever reason, good or bad, that's just not what people expect. So you see a lot of the 'half speed' demo in instruction, it's lame but that's why.

Ok, now to sparring as in testing your art as an instructor or whatever... Even sparring does not replicate a conflict where a person in whatever context is out to hurt you, to get what you have or because they don't like you and while they may not intend to kill you, they certainly don't care how you end up, brain damage, broken face, whatever. It's like saying that a good boxer in the ring is automatically an expert at self defense. In the ring, sparring or pro or whatever, there has to be rules so that participants have the reasonable expectation that they'll survive the match, without losing an eye, a nut or having their neck broken. Even MMA has rules, otherwise you could see biting, eye gouge, etc... Everything has application in context I believe (expect for the real bullshido crap) but for self defense you have to look at defending against different styles other than your own, how you fight a grappler, shootfighter, kickboxer, etc. Martial arts that I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in would be those who really don't explore countering different styles and years ago when I was doing Shotokan Karate, we didn't get that it was all forms and basic punch, block and kick. If I had made it to a Brown Belt in that, I would have been way underprepared and probably over confident. A senior belt but with no exposure in countering other types of fighters. (I would imagine that now most Karate instruction offers that in their curriculum with the arrival of MMA.)

I get your point and I agree a little on what you've said but my counter is that ANY marital arts that presents what they call self-defense (for protecting your life) techniques is going to be theoretical. That is until you have to use it in real life, then you'll know. I don't think a lot of folks would be willing to test their stuff for real by being dropped off in the worst neighborhood with nothing but their fists to test their rank and expertise, lol. Now some folks will say they've been in fights and they've used this and that but you really still don't know the whole story, if that technique is what allowed their survival or was it just the person was super tough. From my experience, a person under stress is going to do only what they've trained in with MUCH repetition, what is simple for their mind to get their body to do when their adrenaline is up, their fight or flight response is pinging yadda yadda.. You can have the best technical, intricate stuff but in the split second you have to do something you're stuck, trying figure out do you wanna do this strike or the other, this hold or the other, blah blah blah. Or the conflict goes on for more than 20 seconds and you're gassed and your legs and arms feel like lead...

Anyway, I'll admit to ya'll if Wong came to L.A. and the cost wasn't crazy, I'd definitely do a seminar. I think many things can be considered and weighed for possible use. Some styles look amazing and look pretty damn effective but I can't do them, TKD and Hwarang Do special kicks for example. Those kicks can break stuff but I got a 3" inch vertical right now so those won't work, lol. I doubt he'll come to LA anyway and even if he did, the cost would probably be crazy. Not because Wong is necessarily greedy but martial arts instruction in general has become ridiculous in my view... Where I'm at you're easily looking at about 200/mon to train somewhere that has a million students per class, 1 hour session, 2-3 times a week. If you want something where you can actually learn, then it's 100/hour private instruction or even small 3-4 person group.
 

jazzman3121

White Belt
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Hilarious. That (bolded section above) happens to me all the time. It seems like I never see all my typos until after I post. Well, at least we do bother to proof-read and edit. Some don't. I won't mention names ...cough, karateJJ, cough.... :p



Well said Martial D. Here's a story that kinda relates: My favorite demo partner in my Escrima class is a great guy named Scott. He's old as the hills (same age as me), strong as an ox, and has done martial arts of one kind or another his whole life. Whenever I demo a technique, he instinctively obstructs it. He then apologizes, ...and then does it again. He can't help himself. Stubborn old bastard! :D

So the other day another student in the group saw this happen yet again and asked me why I usually demonstrate on Scott, since we all know he is such a pain to work with. I told him that that's the point. I'm not trying to look good, I'm trying to be honest. When I can make it work on Scott, you know it really works!


We only begin learning with helpful, compliant partners, then we have to test ourselves with good partners ...who give us honest resistance. :)

Yup, I totally agree with that... That's why it's great to switch training partners often as well so you don't get into anticipating each other and just going through the motions. It's a skill being a good drill partner, meaning you don't give away anything and cheat your partner :D
 

wingchun100

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
3,300
Reaction score
522
Location
Troy NY
In a lot of his videos, he starts out his defense with Bong Sao, which to me is...odd. If someone came at ME with a straight punch, Bong Sao would not be my first technique of choice. I'd rather do Pak Sao or Gum Sao. Still, he can be entertaining.
 

KPM

Senior Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2014
Messages
3,642
Reaction score
990
In a lot of his videos, he starts out his defense with Bong Sao, which to me is...odd. If someone came at ME with a straight punch, Bong Sao would not be my first technique of choice. I'd rather do Pak Sao or Gum Sao. Still, he can be entertaining.

If your hands are low relative to the incoming punch and it is "crossing your bridge", then a Bong Sau is appropriate and makes more sense then swinging your hand out and back in with a Pak Sau.
 

wingchun100

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
3,300
Reaction score
522
Location
Troy NY
If your hands are low relative to the incoming punch and it is "crossing your bridge", then a Bong Sau is appropriate and makes more sense then swinging your hand out and back in with a Pak Sau.

I guess. In those situations, I would do something more like Biu Sao or Tak Sao.
 

Bino TWT

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
182
Reaction score
80
Location
Houston, TX
In a lot of his videos, he starts out his defense with Bong Sao, which to me is...odd. If someone came at ME with a straight punch, Bong Sao would not be my first technique of choice. I'd rather do Pak Sao or Gum Sao. Still, he can be entertaining.

If someone came at me with a straight punch, I would punch... But I agree, my Bong Sao is triggered, not just thrown out there.
 

wayfaring

Green Belt
Joined
Dec 17, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
34
Lol, well as you can tell when I get into an interesting subject I like to converse and discuss :)

I'm with you on sparring/fighting to a degree... When I was really into training before life got busy, I used to really enjoy sparring. It does offer the slight added pressure of trying to get to your opponent without giving him or her too much opportunity for what might be 'scored' as a good blow. I viewed sparring as fun, a chance to put what I could do against another but there where other practitioner students who really didn't like sparring at all, they didn't like that pressure. They felt intimidated and feared to hurt another person, thus their techniques wouldn't have hurt a fly because they would not engage (with control) to the extent where at 105% they're dealing pain and incapacitation. For them, they practiced martial arts for the conditioning aspect, learning a skill and maybe some self-defense techniques but they didn't have the same attitude I and just a couple others had, which was this is the **** I may have to use so I need to know how it feels to do it against another person full-speed to connect my mind with my reflexes and when I get hit with a technique I need to feel what it will feel like for my opponent, what hurts and what stops a fight. Ok, you're probably with me on my view of sparring but there is a huge proportion of people who have an interest in martial arts (I would estimate maybe 40%) but they don't understand that in training that activity there can be slight injury, bruises, maybe a slight cut, black eye here and there, bruised or broken nose (when you forget to keep your hands up like I did in a tourney.) These people have the expectation that they can engage in this activity without going home having to ice something and when they do actually get hurt they quit very soon after. It's not reasonable to me but it is to them. Martial artists promote what they do in order to maintain a business but they have to understand their audience. Ok, this doesn't have much to do with Wong himself, he could spar other artists as in tourney style with relaxed contact rules but in the dojo, a lot of instructors forgo some of the training I went through because they want to keep students and maintain a good amount of dues revenue. So you don't see for the most part Ippon Kumite full blast like I did where a Black Belt is paired up with a white and as a newbie, you gotta block that punch (which you don't have the reflexes yet anyway) or your chest is red and welted. That stuff doesn't fly anymore, for whatever reason, good or bad, that's just not what people expect. So you see a lot of the 'half speed' demo in instruction, it's lame but that's why.

Ok, now to sparring as in testing your art as an instructor or whatever... Even sparring does not replicate a conflict where a person in whatever context is out to hurt you, to get what you have or because they don't like you and while they may not intend to kill you, they certainly don't care how you end up, brain damage, broken face, whatever. It's like saying that a good boxer in the ring is automatically an expert at self defense. In the ring, sparring or pro or whatever, there has to be rules so that participants have the reasonable expectation that they'll survive the match, without losing an eye, a nut or having their neck broken. Even MMA has rules, otherwise you could see biting, eye gouge, etc... Everything has application in context I believe (expect for the real bullshido crap) but for self defense you have to look at defending against different styles other than your own, how you fight a grappler, shootfighter, kickboxer, etc. Martial arts that I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in would be those who really don't explore countering different styles and years ago when I was doing Shotokan Karate, we didn't get that it was all forms and basic punch, block and kick. If I had made it to a Brown Belt in that, I would have been way underprepared and probably over confident. A senior belt but with no exposure in countering other types of fighters. (I would imagine that now most Karate instruction offers that in their curriculum with the arrival of MMA.)

I get your point and I agree a little on what you've said but my counter is that ANY marital arts that presents what they call self-defense (for protecting your life) techniques is going to be theoretical. That is until you have to use it in real life, then you'll know. I don't think a lot of folks would be willing to test their stuff for real by being dropped off in the worst neighborhood with nothing but their fists to test their rank and expertise, lol. Now some folks will say they've been in fights and they've used this and that but you really still don't know the whole story, if that technique is what allowed their survival or was it just the person was super tough. From my experience, a person under stress is going to do only what they've trained in with MUCH repetition, what is simple for their mind to get their body to do when their adrenaline is up, their fight or flight response is pinging yadda yadda.. You can have the best technical, intricate stuff but in the split second you have to do something you're stuck, trying figure out do you wanna do this strike or the other, this hold or the other, blah blah blah. Or the conflict goes on for more than 20 seconds and you're gassed and your legs and arms feel like lead...
snip.
There's a lot of ways to train. The less rules you have to deal with the less what you are doing will adapt to deal with said rules. The history of MMA, besides Bruce we have vale tudo in Brazil - less rules than MMA. All that keeps it real. If you never take the time to keep it real you don't have practice runs to scale up under pressure.

Is much of it theory until you're in a self defense situation? Sure, at least the mental portion of it no matter how realistically you train.

And people can train a lot of ways. I like to keep it real somehow as much as I can.
 
Top