old MA mag article?

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hunschuld

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Greasy Dragon have you even read Judkins book? If so you either have tremendous comprehension issues or you have an agenda of some sort.

His actual actual wing chun research is non existent. The last third of the book deals with wing chun directly and it is very clear he has done very little actual research . He relies almost totally on Leung Ting's research, the stories told by Yip Chun and Yip Ching a bit of Rene Ritchie and a few other stories. Yes he does a good job at looking at the historical social reality of the times to try to determine what stories are more plausible than others but that is all. No real independent research or actual document citations. He touches on some old stories of some lesser known but very important Wing Chun Sifu such as Ng Sun Cho Lui Chow and Jui Wan but very little in depth . He is just passing on stories without actually researching the stories. If anything his book gives more credence to Leung Tings Roots and Branches despite Leungs own agenda in writing the book.
 

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Callen

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A: Does WC have ...?
B: You can find those in WC knife form and also in WC stick form.

Why someone has to develop unit power, footwork, mobility until weapon training? Should those foudation be developed during the open hand training already?

Your quote from my comment is out of context. Ill do my best to clear things up.

I never suggested waiting until weapon forms to develop unit power, footwork and mobility. That's why I referenced both Chum Kiu and Luk Dim Boon Gwan in my comments about unit power. But to clarify, heres why I spoke about both forms.

Firstly, Cmyers0323 mentioned that he was looking for new ways to train and was interested in resources to develop whole body power. I was simply attempting to point out that unit power and mobility can be found in the system, and his search for supplemental resources outside of training the Wing Chun curriculum might be unnecessary. I further explained that from my experience, a practitioner does not have to look too far to realize that these attributes can be found in the mechanics of the system. Thats why, from the perspective of my training, I used both Chum Kiu and Luk Dim Boon Gwan as examples of unit power.

The first basic example of unit power, footwork and mobility starts with Chum Kiu. This is where whole body power is introduced through juen ma, yiu ma, chum kiu ma (撠璈擐 all footwork in the chum kiu form) and kicking. These are not typically explored before the second empty hand form in most curriculum, and for good reason.

Another example, also from my experience, that helps to solidify and develop the mechanics of unit power, footwork and mobility is the Luk Dim Boon Gwan. While Luk Dim Boon Gwan may seem like an advanced weapon form to some, in my training, it is actually a developmental tool that can be implemented very early on in the system. Wong Shun Leung taught us that the pole form was more than just weapon training, he advocated it as a way to develop punching power and whole body unity. In WSLVT, the Luk Dim Boon Gwan actions are very similar to the empty hand forms and shapes. As a result some sifu start their students on the pole around the same time as Chum Kiu (as it is with many HK styles of Ving Tsun as well). It is actually quite common in the circles that I train in, and here's why.

The Luk Dim Boon Gwan shares the same basic concept of offense and defense together, so Lin Siu Dai Da is implied in all of the pole actions. Because the pole is long and heavy, it cannot be trained and utilized effectively using arms only; so the legs are used to support the shoulders and arms during defensive actions (arms propped on the legs and waist), which borrows power from the stance. The low horse during attacking thrusts forces the elbow to stay down and close to the bodys side stance, developing solid punching power from the ground. The footwork in Luk Dim Boon Gwan is wide with balls of the feet in contact with the ground, influencing the feet to remain proactive and ready. This ready footwork develops dynamic short distance power, connects the arms, legs, and waist, creating whole body structure. In this way, Luk Dim Boon Gwan can be much more than a weapon form depending on how it is understood.

In my opinion, Chum Kiu and the Wing Chun pole are both great examples that help to better explain how the mechanics of the Wing Chun system influence the proper development of unit power, footwork and mobility. Again, my basic premise all along was that whole body power is is in the system if you know where to look. I used the familiar waypoints of those two forms because they are cornerstone examples of unit power development, often trained in tandem in many curriculum.
 
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Oily Dragon

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Greasy Dragon have you even read Judkins book?
Yes, I read the whole thing.

All 348 pages. It's all true.

9 alone are devoted to references. Do you know what the significance of that number is to Wing Chun, measured in plum flowers?
 

Oily Dragon

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He relies almost totally on Leung Ting's research,
This doesn't check out.

There are over 150 references in those 9 pages; Leung Ting is 1 of them, and calling his work "research" is a stretch. He's literally subjective.
 

jlq

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Oily Dragon,
what hunschuld said about Mr. Judkin's book is actually spot on.

Mr. Judkin's is a scholar par excellence, no doubt, and surely knows how to put together a work following academic standards. Unfortunately, this seems to intimidate a lot of people and perhaps read his work with less critical thinking than they should.

While he has a long list of references, he mainly draws just on a few on them for the bulk of his text.

Especially so when it comes to the part which actually relates to Wing Chun.

The problem for him - and other researchers - is that they are basically all doing armchair work, meaning that they rely on whatever written sources the have access through through their own personal collections and libraries. When it comes to Wing Chun, and many other styles, there simply is not much material available. While a lot of books are written in the West about Wing Chun. this is a relatively recent development, and the information in those books, especially when it comes to matters of history and the development of the style, are limited to what trickled through to the West via Hong Kong. So, basically, you will have different retellings and elaborations of the basic stories which were first shared, and then, over the years you will find that different people borrow story elements from other "histories" or simply merge them, somehow discovering the "true" history...

Now, when it comes to the information on Wing Chun, its practitioners, and its development in Mainland China, he mainly draws on two sources, one being Leung Ting's "Roots and Branches of Wing Chun", the other one being a locally published work (in Fatsaan, that is) called "Fatsaan Mo Sat Man Faat" or "Foshan Martial Arts Culture". The greater part of this book is actually about Choi Lei Fat (Mr. Judkin's brings quite a bit of information about that style into his book), a lesser part is actually about Wing Chun. This book is not actually a serious scholarly work, in fact it looks and reads like a high school project, or one of those obligatory papers certain research or study faculties/organizations have to produce on a regular bases, and since it is more about just getting them done than producing actual quality content, not too much work and effort is put into it. Most of the information about Wing Chun in that book was from the late Master Ho Hoi Lam, who was the Dai Sihing of Yiu Kei's students, i.e. the senior student of Yiu Choi's son, Yiu Kei. Why is that important? Well, Ho Hoi Lam undoubtedly knew much about his particular lineage and their stories, but less so about others. Ultimately, the problem here is that it is essentially just one source of information. Had the writers of that book visited people like Ngau Gung (Leung Ngau), who was until his passing a year or so ago at the age of 98 the oldest of Yuen Kei Saan's student's still alive, they might have gotten much more interesting information and another perspective and of course, there are many others who have valuable knowledge about the history and develpment of Wing Chun in Fatsaan.

Given that he really does not have much information about the situation about the state of Gung Fu, and especially Wing Chun in Fatsaan, - he only knows what he can read through the very few sources available to him - a lot of his conclusions and descriptions of things are not accurate and give a wrong picture. For example, he goes into a discussion and analysis of "Wing Chun" as a "marketplace", claiming that Ng Chun So was instrumental as a Wing Chun teacher. The thing is, people like Ng Chun So, never had nor operated what we in the West would call a "martial arts school", nor was it generally open to the public. There was no advertising or marketing campaigns to draw in students. In Fatsaan, all they way up to the 1980s Wing Chun was taught "privately", to small groups of people only. Only when people like Pan Nam Sifu and Lun Gai Sifu started teaching in the Fatsaan Jing Mo, Wing Chun became, what we in the West would understand as "schools". Also, some people, like Lam Seui Boh Sifu started teaching in public, in front of the Jo Miu, charging no money back in those days.

These are (just a few) of the things you can learn if you are actually doing field research talking to local people, who are still connected to the past, instead of simply relying on the little information you can find in books.

Also, the book fails to considerate certain things which have been know in China for a long time, but somehow never trickled through to the West, for example when Chan Wah Shun was born and when he passed away, that Leung Bik did indeed exist (he is listed in the Leung family Juk Po), that he has descendants, among those a great grand daughter who is learning Pan Nam Wing Chun under one of the oldest students of Pan Nam, etc.

You can be the greatest scholar in the world, but if you base your paper on an extremely limited sample size of sometimes questionable quality and try to conclude things based on that, the product will by its very nature not be very authoritative.

Many things can be said about Leung Ting, and his various books, but mostly the opinions on his material is based more on dislike or antipathy towards him as a person, than objective observation.

Leung Ting's "Roots and Branches of Wing Chun" is basically him sharing information he gathered about various styles of Wing Chun over the years, some based on personal interviews, some based on articles from various martial arts publications.

He shares the information he gained and analyzes them critically based on his knowledge, experience and insights. He makes it very clear what his opinion is and why he believes so. So, his reporting of the information is not "subjective", but his analysis, sure is - and that will be the case for everybody. Mr. Judkin's is actually doing the very same thing, but being a scholar and well versed with academic standards, he presents his analysis and opinions ("understanding") a bit differently than Leung Ting. :)

Leung Ting's book is not authoritative in any way either, but its value lies in the documentation of the information he gained from interviewing various people. He "produced" new knowledge and enriched the pool information available to armchair scholars to draw, quite unlike any work before or since. It is a sort of time stamp and gives an idea of what people thought, believed and knew at that time.



Best regards
 

Oily Dragon

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Oily Dragon,
what hunschuld said about Mr. Judkin's book is actually spot on.
Not really.
This book is not actually a serious scholarly work, in fact it looks and reads like a high school project, or one of those obligatory papers certain research or study faculties/organizations have to produce on a regular bases, and since it is more about just getting them done than producing actual quality content, not too much work and effort is put into it.
You're one of the Wing Chun people upset by his book, aren't you?
 

Callen

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You're one of the Wing Chun people upset by his book, aren't you?
Out of curiosity Oily, are you a Wing Chun practitioner? It just occurred to me that you often refer to Wing Chun with an outsider perspective, mixed with some disdain.

Also, why do you think Wing Chun people are upset by Judkins book?
 

Oily Dragon

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Out of curiosity Oily, are you a Wing Chun practitioner? It just occurred to me that you often refer to Wing Chun with an outsider perspective, mixed with some disdain.

Also, why do you think Wing Chun people are upset by Judkins book?
Yes.

I have two disdains, actually.

3 people have gotten very upset so far, I'm ready for the 4th.

I don't think Hunschuld or Jlq read the book. This is a very well researched historical scholarly work from a top tier university expert, published by SUNY, on the origins of the art.

Obviously it pulls the rug out of a lot of people. And they are legion online.
 
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Oily Dragon

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In terms of their contrasting review, have you read "Roots and Branches of Wing Chun"?
You mean this one?

1651256944714.png

In your opinion, how does Judkin's book do that?
There's a whole range of mythbusting about various things Daoist, Shaolin, Ip family, which one would hope for in a scholarly work.

It will come across as kryptonite to the stereotype "Wing Chun Man", if he exists. And he does.

For someone like me who studies lots of styles and wants a sniff test, it's probably the best legit work out there today.
 
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Callen

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Yeah, that book. What did you think about the parallels of "Roots and Branches of Wing Chun" and Judkin's book? Awesome cover too! I'm personally partial to the fake Han style queue that LT is wearing, its a nice touch :cool:

There's a whole range of mythbusting about various things Daoist, Shaolin, Ip family, which one would hope for in a scholarly work.

It will come across as kryptonite to the stereotype "Wing Chun Man", if he exists. And he does.
I think there are definitely going to be people who don't particularly like Judkin's book that don't fit the "Wing Chun Man" stereotype. There are a lot of folks in the Wing Chun community that dispel the many wuxia, magical realism origin myths, and that number is growing.
 
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hunschuld

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Oil,

You need to stop sniffing whatever it is you sniff. You have confirmed that every post you have made on all topics are suspect because your clearly don't understand what you are reading.

I suggest everyone that thinks Oil knows what he is talking about read the book or at least the last third that deals with wing chun. The book is available for free in an online pdf. It took me about 5 minutes to find the complete book online for free.

I will not post the link since the book was written for profit.

As JLQ points out there is information available in China that has not made it to the rest of the world.
There are actually authenticated writings and documents about wing chun that exist ,most held in private families however some are public. A true scholarly book would have cited some of these for historical accuracy. Judkins does not use any of them. The book is fine for what it is.
 

isshinryuronin

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There are plenty of legends and myths associated with MA. Hard facts are difficult to come by for various reasons.

1. There are few written primary sources as much of the early teaching was restricted to few individuals and knowledge was passed on from master to student orally.

2. Wars destroyed many books and scrolls over the centuries in China as temples burned. During WWII, most of Okinawa was burned and bombed to rubble, leaving little documentation and with the thousands killed, a number of old karate masters, human repositories of the art, perished, as did their first-hand historical knowledge

3. The documents that did survive are obviously not in English. Only recently have there been Western martial art experts fluent in Japanese and Chinese. Joe Swift is one and has authored many articles on Okinawan karate history, as has the renown Patrick MCarthy, first to translate the Bubishi into English.

4. A number of historical Chinese sources are written in the old style classical form which is hard for modern Chinese to accurately translate, much less Westerners.

5. The old recent/late masters may have been only a generation or two away from the legendary masters and had oral traditions directly passed down to them. Problem was that they did not deem to share their knowledge with curious Westerners they did not know. Luckily, the two men mentioned in #3 lived/live in Japan, have stellar reputations and earned the trust of current Okinawan/Japanese masters and having traveled to China, some of their masters as well, finally getting them to share their knowledge and scrolls passed down to them.

So, yes, hard accurate facts are hard to come by and much of what has been written in English has been based on just a few sources and quoted over and over by others. But as described above, new sources are being accessed and increased understanding of TMA is still to come. In the meantime, I enjoy the legends and myths and the lessons they may teach.
 
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jlq

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Not really.

You're one of the Wing Chun people upset by his book, aren't you?

Yes, really.

:)

I would suggest you read what I wrote again very carefully and consider the points I made. You are not making any arguments to counter the issues I raised, so your statement is - as of now - just unfounded opinion.

And...

What gives you the impression that I am upset by this book?

The passage of my post which you quoted, does not - again, I suggest you read more carefully what I wrote before drawing conclusions - relate to Mr. Judkin's book, but his main source of information about Gung Fu in Fatsaan, the "Fatsaan Martial Arts Culture". I wrote this quite clearly. You seem to have missed the point of what I wrote and why I wrote it...

There are a lot of folks in the Wing Chun community that dispel the many wuxia, magical realism origin myths, and that number is growing.


Applying critical analysis and critical thinking, levelling some well founded criticism at academic works does not imply being upset, it simply implies actually thinking about the material presented, instead of simply accepting that what I read is fact or "the truth". It does not mean that one believes in any of the things you quoted. :)


Next question, why would I be upset about a book, and especially what is presented in Mr. Judkin's work?

There is absolutely nothing in this book which was in any way new to me, in fact I found it very lacking in substance about Wing Chun and its development. Like I said, he is limited by his sources which, when it comes to actual Wing Chun relevancy are very, very few. There is not one of these sources which I didn't already have in my personal library of martial arts books, or which I had not already seen in local libraries in Fatsaan and Gwongjaau at the time the book was published.

While the books and the sources might obviously impress some people, I am not - peoples' mileage vary.

I don't think Hunschuld or Jlq read the book. This is a very well researched historical scholarly work from a top tier university expert, published by SUNY, on the origins of the art.

Given the fact that I commended the scholarship of the book, but pointed out its weaknesses and limitations and provided a critical analysis of the main work he cites when it comes to Wing Chun and its development in Fatsaan, you conclude that I must not have read the book? I think that is a pretty weak, and more emotional conclusion than a rational one. Again, you might be very impressed by the work, but others less so. I guess the less you know, they more impressive you would find this work.

As far as reading the book, if you read what I wrote with less emotional investment in the matter, it should be pretty obvious that I have indeed read the book. In fact, I have read all the sources - and in most cases, where applicable - checked the sources of the sources quoted. As I wrote previously, there is nothing new to what he presents or sources.

:)

Once again, I will point out that the scholarship, "scientific method" and presentation is impeccable, but it is not authoritative in any way because of the problems with the - very limited sources - he draws on when he actually discusses Wing Chun (Chapter4). I suggest you take a good look at those 90 references and check out which sources he drew on and to what extent. To put this in perspective: of 90 citations, 29 are from "Fatsaan Martial Culture" (Ma Zineng), 19 from "Roots and Branches of Wing Chun" (Leung Ting), 11 from Yip Chun and Tse, 10 from Yip Ching and Heimberger and 6 from Chu, Ritchie and Yu's "Complete Wing Chun". The rest are cited just once, mostly. D
So, while you might be impressed with the number of sources listed and think it is thorough and in-depth historical scholarship, as is evident from going through the citations list, it is anything but that. I suggest you do the work to count which works are cited in chapters 2 and 3 as well, when it comes to certain subjects and then reevaluate your statement about "well researched". It is not Mr. Judkin's fault, but as I said in my first post, he suffers from a lack of sources to draw on.
It is quite amusing that on the one hand you consider Mr. Judkin's book amazing and authoritative, but at the same time seem deride Leung Ting's work, and claim it to be "subjective", when it is in fact the second most integral source which is drawn on when it comes to the history and development of Wing Chun...

:)

There's a whole range of mythbusting about various things Daoist, Shaolin, Ip family, which one would hope for in a scholarly work.

It will come across as kryptonite to the stereotype "Wing Chun Man", if he exists. And he does.

For someone like me who studies lots of styles and wants a sniff test, it's probably the best legit work out there today.

Like I said, there is nothing particularly new or revelatory in the book - from my perspective. In fact, there could have been much more mythbusting done if he had more access to local information instead of simply being an armchair researcher (I do not mean this in a derogatory fashion, but simply in the sense that he didn't do actual field research to produce new knowledge but instead relied on whatever textual material he had access to via his private collection and libraries, be the physical or virtual). For example, the exact years of Leung Jan's life and death, his family, his pharmacy, Leung Bik, etc. this is all known in Fatsaan, Hoksaan, Gwongjaau, etc. and has been for a long time. But because he didn't have access to this information, and it is not found in any of the books he had access to when preparing this work, he obviously had to rely on "old" and inaccurate stuff to draw his conclusions on. Again, it is not his fault, just a limitation caused by what sources he had access to.

In spite of the problems and limitations of the book, as I see them, I am still of the opinion that it is a must have book, it is definitely the best available of its kind, and very informative on an "entry level" for people interested in the subject. Just don't take anything in there as the final word, but a best attempt by the author(s) based on the sources available to them at the time. It is not in any way, shape or form "authoritative" or comprehensive.

I definitely agree with you that any "Wing Chun fundamentalists" will not appreciate when faced with the proposition that the stories they have heard in reality are anything but real, and there will be a certain resistance to accepting this fact. There are so many stories, so much misinformation and so much nonsense accepted as fact by different people these days, and unfortunately many people will defend this stuff with the fervor of a religious fanaticist, regardless of the magnitude and strength of evidence of the contrary to their specific beliefs.

:)


Reading through your many posts, it is clear that you do study a lof of things, but I must say - absolutely no disrespect or offense intended - that most of this seems to be at a very superficial level. If you had really studied certain things in more depth, you would not connect the dots in the ways that you do it... You might convince people who are inexperienced and who haven't really studied the subject to believing that you really have a serious level of insights and understanding of it, but old hands and experienced people, such as hunschuld and others on this forum, recognize things for what they are.

Just my impression based on what you have posted in this forum, FWIW.

:)

You say you study Wing Chun... I am curious what style you practice, under which Sifu, and for how long you have been practicing. Also, I remember reading that you were studying the Tiet Sien Kuen of the Lam family? If so, same questions.

Best regards
 

geezer

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....Let's be honest, the origin myth of Wing Chun is a lie too, and tall tale telling is a fundamental part of Chinese martial arts.

The full formal name of the Yee Gi Kim Yeurng Ma (鈭摮蝢擐祆郊) is found in practically all styles that claim Shaolin heritage (and you have to concede, few arts flex their Shaolin rep more than Wing Chun...
....It's all borrowed from somewhere else. That's the way of all things.
I must be getting really old and soft because I find myself agreeing with parts of what both you and Eric are saying.

...But anyway, it's really great to see informed people arguing about Wing Chun again! Keep it up. :)
 
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