Walking the line between Striking and Grappling in Wing Chun

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,887
Reaction score
2,883
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Wing Chun is typically described as a close range, stand-up striking art. We generally do not do a lot of clinch-work and do little to no grappling ...that's worth a damn anyway. I went to one WC "anti-grappling" seminar that taught a few really basic things ("stand up in base, etc.) and some really dubious techniques, including some sketchy take down defenses, etc. I was surprised because I knew the WC instructor was a solid grappler close to getting on his BJJ Blackbelt (which he has since earned). His explanation was that it was the best he could do for a group of people who had no grappling basics and little desire to learn them! Sad but true, eh?

The problem I see is that in WC our best work is inside, at a very close range that makes a knowledge of grappling essential. Too bad for me. At 66, with joint and back issues it's not smart for me to take up grappling again in any kind of serious way. Still, there are a few grappling moves that I was once good at (50-some years ago) that I still use in my WC. And they work for me. Beyond that I heartily recommend that any of my handful of students who are serious about self-defense cross train at a good grappling school. But these guys are almost as old as me and probably won't. But I digress...

What I really want to discuss here are some of those movements that are on that boundary between striking and grappling that we can integrate into our WC ....like when working chi-sau (or pummeling?) ....anyway here are a couple I've been messing with:

1. An arm drag done from a more upright position, leaving a little space so that when you take your opponent's side or back, you may continue striking (vs. breaking him down to the mat).
2. A duck-under, especially when working elbows...which I use a lot. When my opponent throws a high hacking elbow, I pass it and do my old wrestling duck-under to get a really good position. Fun stuff. Any thoughts?

Arm-Drag (a video posted by John Wang in another thread):

Duck-Under:

BTW, it's some good people on this forum who have really motivated me to make these explorations. So much for the critics who say that forums are a waste of time. I disagree! :)
 
Last edited:

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
10,950
Reaction score
2,845
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
Duck-Under:
When you apply duck-under (head circling),


you have to watch your opponent's

1. horizontal elbow strike to the side of the head.
2. horizontal hammer fist to the side of the head (hook punch, horizontal hammer fist combo - the figure 8 strike).
3. vertical back fist on top of the head (hook punch, vertical back fist combo).
4. reverse head lock (head lock, reverse head lock combo).

To use your hand to push your opponent's elbow away from you can be helpful, but it's still not 100% safe.


Here is an example that a head lock is changed into a reverse head lock.


The reverse head lock can be used as a choke, not a good place to be in.

 
Last edited:
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,887
Reaction score
2,883
Location
Phoenix, AZ
When you apply duck-under (head circling), you have to watch your opponent's:

1. horizontal elbow strike to the side of the head.
2. horizontal hammer fist to the side of the head (hook punch, horizontal hammer fist combo - the figure 8 strike).
3. vertical back fist on top of the head (hook punch, vertical back fist combo).
4. reverse head lock (head lock, reverse head lock combo).
Good position makes a lot of difference:

For #1 and #2 above, keeping really tight and pressing your head and neck against your opponent helps control his arm so he doesn't have a gap to generate striking force.

For #4, entering with good posture, bending your legs to change levels so you keep your head and torso upright (instead of bending forward like doing a "tackle") helps, as does lifting up your head and using hour it like a "fifth limb".

As for #3, "a vertical backfist on top of the head" - Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm having trouble visualizing that.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
10,950
Reaction score
2,845
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
For #4, entering with good posture, bending your legs to change levels so you keep your head and torso upright (instead of bending forward like doing a "tackle") helps, as does lifting up your head and using hour it like a "fifth limb".

As for #3, "a vertical backfist on top of the head" - Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm having trouble visualizing that.
For 4, IMO, whether to keep head upright, or bending forward, the reverse head lock will still work. The reverse head lock (horizontal hammer fist) can hit on the back of your opponent's head when his head is upright. The neck is not as strong as the arm.

For 3, the following striking combo can happen.

- right hook, right back fist, left cross.
- right hook, right back fist, left hook.
- right hook, right back fist, left uppercut.
- right hook, right back fist, left overhand.
- right hook, right back fist, right hook.
- ...

The vertical back fist may just trigger your opponent to raise his arm to block it.
 

Latest Discussions

Top