Pin Sun Wing Chun Level 1

Gerry Seymour

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That is an interesting question. I don't know the answer. With intense training and good coaching, some people (not me) pick things up very quickly. On the other hand, some things just take time to get right. But that doesn't mean spending your entire life following a sifu.

After a certain point, there are things you have to figure out on your own. Moreover, different people may discover different ways of doing things depending on what works best for them.

Some folks won't accept anything that doesn't come from their sifu. Personally, sometimes I like figuring things out on my own.
Agreed, on all points. I tend to take more calendar time to learn things, because I have to think them through to really internalize the concepts. Until I do that, I will only ever be moderately good at it.
 
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Here is some very old footage of Fung Keung doing the basic Ku Lo Pin Sun Chi Sao at a demo.

 

DanT

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Here is some very old footage of Fung Keung doing the basic Ku Lo Pin Sun Chi Sao at a demo.

It looks a lot like Bak Hok push hands. The only thing missing is groin strikes and thoat grabs. Lots of groin strikes and throat grabs...
 

geezer

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It looks a lot like Bak Hok push hands. The only thing missing is groin strikes and thoat grabs. Lots of groin strikes and throat grabs...

How about throat strikes and groin grabs? Call it Donald style.
 

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How about throat strikes and groin grabs? Call it Donald style.
Oh believe it or not Bak Hok has plenty of ways of grabbing the groin. Master Ken got most of his methods from Bak Hok apparently.
 

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I've made this point before.....but how much do you guys think you could learn if you spent several hours on a near daily basis training with a Master teacher for 2 or more years straight?

I think I'm more important point before you get to this is the overall method. When you look at how Wing Chun is taught traditionally one can make a very solid argument that the method is to a degree superfluous.

Over and over again in many lineages you see 108. That number is neither you need to Wing Chun more arbitrary. 108 is a very important number in Chinese culture and I believe its origin is in Buddhism. So you have a teaching method that is arguably not tied to the actual learning of the martial art but tie to a cultural tradition and religious superstition.

As such it would seem natural to me for someone to come along and and potentially see a usefulness 4 changing if not the function of the art how it is taught. I say this because you can have the greatest teacher on the face of the planet but if a teaching method is complicated this can work against his skills as an instructor.

In modern martial arts I think good examples are how the military teaches combatives. It is very highly tied to traditional martial arts the techniques will not create it out of whole cloth but understanding that in the military you have to A. teach speedily and B. Have a method that can be absorbed by the lowest common denominator you end up getting a more streamlined teaching process.

In reading this thread it has made me ask "what would TWC be if we just did the drills?" When we do the drills, which sound very much like the San sik you describe, the instructor will often step back and say "see just like in the form". Well if it is just like in the form isn't the inverse true? If the inverse is true, while the form definitely helps provide a richer context, is the form strictly necessary for most practical purposes?
 

Gerry Seymour

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I think I'm more important point before you get to this is the overall method. When you look at how Wing Chun is taught traditionally one can make a very solid argument that the method is to a degree superfluous.

Over and over again in many lineages you see 108. That number is neither you need to Wing Chun more arbitrary. 108 is a very important number in Chinese culture and I believe its origin is in Buddhism. So you have a teaching method that is arguably not tied to the actual learning of the martial art but tie to a cultural tradition and religious superstition.

As such it would seem natural to me for someone to come along and and potentially see a usefulness 4 changing if not the function of the art how it is taught. I say this because you can have the greatest teacher on the face of the planet but if a teaching method is complicated this can work against his skills as an instructor.

In modern martial arts I think good examples are how the military teaches combatives. It is very highly tied to traditional martial arts the techniques will not create it out of whole cloth but understanding that in the military you have to A. teach speedily and B. Have a method that can be absorbed by the lowest common denominator you end up getting a more streamlined teaching process.

In reading this thread it has made me ask "what would TWC be if we just did the drills?" When we do the drills, which sound very much like the San sik you describe, the instructor will often step back and say "see just like in the form". Well if it is just like in the form isn't the inverse true? If the inverse is true, while the form definitely helps provide a richer context, is the form strictly necessary for most practical purposes?
If we start from the assumption that teaching by forms is overly complicated (and let's not question for the moment whether that's true), training would likely still follow that method. The easiest way to teach is pretty similar to how you were taught. To do otherwise means learning a whole new set of drills, starting points, and transitions - not to mention learning to recognize a new set of bad habits engendered by the new approach. And that means instruction likely becomes worse before it becomes better. So, even if an instructor doesn't think it's the best approach, they are likely to continue with it, rather than experiment (on students) with an entirely new approach.
 

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I think I'm more important point before you get to this is the overall method. When you look at how Wing Chun is taught traditionally one can make a very solid argument that the method is to a degree superfluous.

Over and over again in many lineages you see 108. That number is neither you need to Wing Chun more arbitrary. 108 is a very important number in Chinese culture and I believe its origin is in Buddhism. So you have a teaching method that is arguably not tied to the actual learning of the martial art but tie to a cultural tradition and religious superstition.

As such it would seem natural to me for someone to come along and and potentially see a usefulness 4 changing if not the function of the art how it is taught. I say this because you can have the greatest teacher on the face of the planet but if a teaching method is complicated this can work against his skills as an instructor.

In modern martial arts I think good examples are how the military teaches combatives. It is very highly tied to traditional martial arts the techniques will not create it out of whole cloth but understanding that in the military you have to A. teach speedily and B. Have a method that can be absorbed by the lowest common denominator you end up getting a more streamlined teaching process.

In reading this thread it has made me ask "what would TWC be if we just did the drills?" When we do the drills, which sound very much like the San sik you describe, the instructor will often step back and say "see just like in the form". Well if it is just like in the form isn't the inverse true? If the inverse is true, while the form definitely helps provide a richer context, is the form strictly necessary for most practical purposes?

Give me something to count and I will count it in a way that it comes out to 108, or 8, of 5, or 18, but never 4. It is true that those numbers are superstitions, but I think that the forms are the forms, the techniques are the techniques and the coincidence that it happens to come out to 108 has more to do with how and what you count than what you actually do. It's easy (easier in fact) to count differently and come out to a different number. I've done some business in China with modern tech companies and when you look at their org charts and project plans, you'll see these numbers as well. It's steeped in their culture. It's fun to play along, but I don't think that it actually means anything.

For me, the forms matter. They help me and they help my students. We spend a lot of time on application, most of our time, in fact, but I think the forms ground us. I still get things out of them after all these years. Things that I wasn't necessarily taught, but having the forms is like having a set of encyclopedias ... or a science text book on Kindle. It's reference material, certainly no harm comes from it. I suppose I could teach the system without it, but I wouldn't want to.
 

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If we start from the assumption that teaching by forms is overly complicated (and let's not question for the moment whether that's true), training would likely still follow that method. The easiest way to teach is pretty similar to how you were taught. To do otherwise means learning a whole new set of drills, starting points, and transitions - not to mention learning to recognize a new set of bad habits engendered by the new approach. And that means instruction likely becomes worse before it becomes better. So, even if an instructor doesn't think it's the best approach, they are likely to continue with it, rather than experiment (on students) with an entirely new approach.

Good points and perspective. Perhaps a pedagogy could be developed and perfected to teach Wing Chun without teaching forms, but it might take a few generations of teachers.

I just don't see the forms as a liability or a tax that is worth investing eliminating.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Good points and perspective. Perhaps a pedagogy could be developed and perfected to teach Wing Chun without teaching forms, but it might take a few generations of teachers.

I just don't see the forms as a liability or a tax that is worth investing eliminating.
That's why I made the assumption for my statement. There are both positive and negative effects of forms. Some good stuff has been taught with them. Some other good stuff has been taught without them. I like them, and dislike some of the effects they have on students. I've added new ones and de-emphasized old ones in my curriculum. I have a definite love-hate relationship with them.
 

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In Yip Man Wing Chun, though there are only 3 forms + Mook Jong + weapons. Putting the weapons aside, I don't know which one I'd do without.

I know that some systems have dozens and they are some times more esoteric, but Wing Chun is fairly bare-bones.
 

Juany118

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Give me something to count and I will count it in a way that it comes out to 108, or 8, of 5, or 18, but never 4. It is true that those numbers are superstitions, but I think that the forms are the forms, the techniques are the techniques and the coincidence that it happens to come out to 108 has more to do with how and what you count than what you actually do. It's easy (easier in fact) to count differently and come out to a different number. I've done some business in China with modern tech companies and when you look at their org charts and project plans, you'll see these numbers as well. It's steeped in their culture. It's fun to play along, but I don't think that it actually means anything.

For me, the forms matter. They help me and they help my students. We spend a lot of time on application, most of our time, in fact, but I think the forms ground us. I still get things out of them after all these years. Things that I wasn't necessarily taught, but having the forms is like having a set of encyclopedias ... or a science text book on Kindle. It's reference material, certainly no harm comes from it. I suppose I could teach the system without it, but I wouldn't want to.

The thing is that the idea of 108, isn't mine, its from rather reputable scholars of Wing Chun like Sifu Danny Xuan (among others). Next when it is in form after form it beggars, imo, coincidence. It would not be unusual either, if we take the origin of WC (coming from the 5 Shaolin Masters) at face value as Shaolin is steeped in Buddhist thought.

Also note, I am not saying that the forms do not matter. I find them extremely useful myself. I make sure I do the forms daily just as a form of meditation, and in meditating I reinforce my Art. It also reinforces me overcoming my right side dominance and the like. My final point is simply connected to my reference of Paramilitary training. If you are looking to create a practically effective fighter as fast as possible, not being concerned about the richer context of the art, the rituals which can aid training (emptying the cup and the like), and continuing the tradition, there are other ways to teach. So it's not about a better method, it's about what method do your current circumstances demand.

All teaching is like this. As an example I see the Socratic/Confucian method of teaching to be similar to that of Traditional Martial Arts training with forms. You not only learn the subject matter, but you also learn deeper topics. Since the learning process includes an open dialogue between the student and the instructor, it can take longer to learn the "facts" but as you learn the facts you have a deeper understanding of the topic (not just the what or how but the "why"), learn critical thinking skills, it encourages creativity, listen skills and the ability to actively reflect on issues.

The more typical, and faster, method of learning that largely revolves around the memorization and regurgitation. You are practically effective, you know what happened on a specific date, know how to solve a particular equation or a passage from a great play, but the deeper lessons can be lost. The thing is, depending on your circumstances, learning the deeper lesson may be impractical. In the Martial Arts context maybe the teacher is quickly trying to train fighters for an existing conflict, as an example. In such a scenario waiting many months, even years to have an effective fighter is simply not an option.
 

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I know that the 108 thing isn't yours. I'm just saying that I'm not convinced that there are really 108 techniques or moves in everything that people say there is. I can count that way, but it feels convulutated and if I count as I see it, I usually come up with a different (insignificant) number. It is important that they/we SAY that it comes out to 108 for the reasons you described.

But, if I'm asked to teach a self defense seminar, I would not teach forms. If someone from another system wanted to work with me on some aspect of something to solve some problem they were having in ... I don't know...sparring, I would not teach forms.

But when someone comes to me to learn Wing Chun, over time, I think the value of the forms far outweighs the effort.
 
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Perhaps a pedagogy could be developed and perfected to teach Wing Chun without teaching forms, but it might take a few generations of teachers.

It already has! That's what Pin Sun Wing Chun is! Unless you are considering the San Sik as "short forms", which they are. ;)
 

Juany118

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I know that the 108 thing isn't yours. I'm just saying that I'm not convinced that there are really 108 techniques or moves in everything that people say there is. I can count that way, but it feels convulutated and if I count as I see it, I usually come up with a different (insignificant) number. It is important that they/we SAY that it comes out to 108 for the reasons you described.

But, if I'm asked to teach a self defense seminar, I would not teach forms. If someone from another system wanted to work with me on some aspect of something to solve some problem they were having in ... I don't know...sparring, I would not teach forms.

But when someone comes to me to learn Wing Chun, over time, I think the value of the forms far outweighs the effort.

You kind of touch on what I'm saying. Tumi studying Wing Chun is about more than just wanting to defend myself. However I have taught certain techniques to people I work with and friends of mine, largely females who want to learn to defend themselves, that are from Wing Chun, but I was not teaching WC. A good example is the straight punch. It was funny really. I taught a friend, with her husband, the straight punch. He was holding the pad and when she finally got it he said "damnit Juany!!!!" Because she is 5'4, he is 6'0" and she about knocked him on his butt.

What the above means is that, imo, how you teach a Martial Arts is very much about "why" you are teaching it and the "why" will influence the "how." Whether the how is correct or not depends on the why.
 
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Well! It appears at least 2 of you were able to see the previous video, so let's try a couple more! :)

Fung Leung doing some Chi Sau at some kind of demo event:


Fung Leung doing some of the third level sets:



Fung Leung and Fung Keung are Fung Chun's sons. Fung Chun was the "patriarch" of Pin Sun Wing Chun until his death in 2012 in his 90's. Realize that Fung Chun studied with Wong Wah Sam who studied with Leung Jan. So here was a man who was Leung Jan's grand student and heard direct stories about Leung Jan from someone who actually knew him and studied with him in person! And he was around until 2012!

Anyway....Fung Leung is the older brother and known as more a fighter. This is the guy I would love to figure out how to visit in Shaping China.
 

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From looking at Kulo stuff it's become apparent to me that Wing Chun was once something far greater and more practical than it is today and that saddens me because you would think it'd be the other way around. What went wrong?
 
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From looking at Kulo stuff it's become apparent to me that Wing Chun was once something far greater and more practical than it is today and that saddens me because you would think it'd be the other way around. What went wrong?

Maybe it went from a "fighting art" to an emphasis on being good at Chi Sau? I think it certainly has become too "specialized" and somewhat narrow in focus.
 

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Here is some very old footage of Fung Keung doing the basic Ku Lo Pin Sun Chi Sao at a demo.


I see so many rope hands in this video; rope hand, rope hand, rope hand... Bak Mei just does not do chi sau. :D
 
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