Rant: Wing Chun Elitism

Marnetmar

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Has anyone else noticed a certain elitism in the Wing Chun community? Mainly this consists of No True Scottsmans about what is or is not Wing Chun based on what one person's master/lineage has told them. Even though there are thousands of different lineages of Wing Chun, people seem to refuse to acknowledge the concept of different lineages and look at things from the perspective they have been taught and only from the perspective they have been taught. You can see this in the way people argue over people like Leung Ting and William Cheung and whether or not their Wing Chun is True(TM) because they take a different approach to a few techniques. You can also see it in who I like to call Centerline Nazis which I don't think is a term that needs any explanation. It may not be what the glorious Yip Man taught, but that doesn't make it not Wing Chun. If it does, Pan Nam and Yuen Chai Wan would like to have a word with you. (Not trying to disrespect Yip Man here as my lineage goes back to Leung Sheung, I'm just trying to make a point)

So in short, most, if not all of these arguments about what is or isn't Wing Chun really seem ridiculous. William Cheung's WC is not an example of something that is Not Wing Chun(TM) because he doesn't make use of every single technique in every single method you've been taught or simply because you don't like the guy.

If you want an example of something that is Not Wing Chun(TM), look at Isshin-Ryu Karate. (No disrespect for Isshin-Ryu either, I'm just using it as an example because it makes use of some concepts that are also in Wing Chun since it also evolved from White Crane)
 
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Takai

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I suppose the same thing could be said about most martial systems. Part of it is marketing, part misconceptions, part arrogance. I spent over 15 years in Kenpo and the bitter infighting I had to put up with at times was ridiculous.

This really isn't a Wing Chun thing. It isn't a Martial arts thing. It is (imho) a human thing.
 

tshadowchaser

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Takai has said it exactly as it is. This matter of what is true or not true and what is "the only legit" way of doing things goes on in most martial arts
 

mook jong man

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With Yip Man's Wing Chun , the whole thing is held together by a set of five governing principles.
When people start abandoning those principles or distorting them with their own interpretations that's when the wheels start to fall off the wagon , and you end up with people doing whatever they want.

No matter what spin you put on it , a round house kick to the head is not a Wing Chun technique and is not an example of either economy of movement nor directness.
But that is precisely what I witnessed years ago at a demo when a certain school got up to demonstrate their chi sau.
 

strike101

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I don't take much notice of Wing Chun Lineages to be honest. I plan to try out different schools around the UK and then make my mind up.

There's nothing wrong with refining Wing Chun. NO art is perfect and none are beyond improvement. The problem is, there are certain core principles that make Wing Chun Wing Chun. If ones interpretation goes completely against that then you have issues. Think of it this way. Nearly all of Wing Chun relies on certain principles. Lets take economy of motion for example. If you try to evolve wing chun by "sometimes" going against this with new techniques, then what about all the other techniques in Wing Chun that rely on economy of motion? You end up with an art that contradicts itself in various areas. You need certain pillars that must be upheld when teaching an art.
 

wingchun100

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I've never paid attention to lineages myself until I got online and learned of all these debates. I'm lucky enough to live in an area that is dominated by tae kwon do schools instead of wing chun schools LOL. There is only one guy who actually runs a wing chun school and has done so for over 20 years. I'm sure there are others around here who teach privately and never bother to rent a training hall, but they come and go so fast that you barely know they are there.
 
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