Why did Boxing Survive to be the most popular fighting sport in the world despite mass deaths in World War 1 unlike other Western styles like Savate?

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Oily Dragon

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That Conan Doyle deliberately dropped the extra 't' from the name. There's little evidence one way or the other to support the thesis. It's just as likely that he made a typo. It is just as likely that Conan Doyle wrote it correctly and that his editor corrected the manuscript and he made the typo instead of Conan Doyle. It's also just as likely that it was neither a typo nor a deliberate alteration. At the time that Conan Doyle was writing the Adventure of the Empty House "bartitsu" was appearing in print a fair amount (including in some publications that he himself wrote for). It is entirely plausible that Conan Doyle just happened across the name while reading and simply mis-remembered the spelling. It should also be noted that a contemporary London newspaper also misspelled the name as "Baritsu" and Conan Doyle may have copied from that. Or it could easily have been deliberate, perhaps to avoid copyright infringement.

The point is, no one knows if Conan Doyle intended to write a fictional martial art named "Baritsu" or if he intended to use "Bartitsu" and some mistake was made by someone, himself or another, dropping a 't'.

What is clear is that, whether the spelling difference was deliberate or not, Conan Doyle was certainly intentionally implying a link to the real life Bartitsu, 't' and all.

To say that "baritsu" is a "fake" is a little akin to saying that Baker Street is fake because there wasn't actually a 221B.



No one knows for sure. Conan Doyle was known to use real life events and places to spice his writings. He was also not above creating completely fictional and impossible references, such as the famous 221B Baker Street address. There is also a historian who makes a competent case that Conan Doyle was actually the creator of the Piltdown Hoax so it's not beyond the realm that Conan Doyle actually did indulge in an actual conspiracy from time to time.
Except I'm looking at the story right now, and Holmes literally says Baritsu is "Japanese wrestling", not "the cool art that Barton-Wright chap made up".

As far as I'm aware, the only arts Doyle trained were boxing, cricket, and soccer. And yes, I'm calling it soccer, hoping to intentionally offend every European here but especially Ms. Tez.

Happy Monday!
 

lklawson

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Doyle specifically referred to Baritsu as "Japanese wrestling" and most likely had no practical knowledge of actual Bartitsu.

It was a deux ex machina to bring Holmes back from the dead.

But I'm glad you're keeping its memory alive.
Of course. But more than that. Conan Doyle's Holmes was way more than just a cerebral semi-pacifist, solving crimes from a haze of pipe tobacco and cocaine. He was a man of action and adventure. Conan Doyle cast him as a skilled fighter who knew boxing and singlestick, and an accomplished marksman who often carried a revolver and knew darn well how to use it. Throwing "Japanese wrestling" on top of the pile would be no more remarkable for Holmes than it would for Batman or Jack Reacher.

Yeah, it was a way to explain away the fall at Reichenbachfall, but it was also a way of reminding the reader of Holmes martial prowess and adding a skill to his impressive list.
 

lklawson

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Except I'm looking at the story right now, and Holmes literally says Baritsu is "Japanese wrestling", not "the cool art that Barton-Wright chap made up".
So? It was in all the papers at the time and his readers would very much have been familiar with it.

As far as I'm aware, the only arts Doyle trained were boxing, cricket, and soccer. And yes, I'm calling it soccer, hoping to intentionally offend every European here but especially Ms. Tez.

Happy Monday!
Boxing, Singlestick, and shooting. There may have been a wrestling reference as well, though I don't recall for sure.

And don't underestimate Boxing of the time. It was way more than just punching. Besides punching, it included significant stand-up grappling, throwing, tripping, choking, and even a touch of what we might consider "pressure point" attacks.

Some guy wrote a book about it.

 

Oily Dragon

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So? It was in all the papers at the time and his readers would very much have been familiar with it.
Maybe, but not like 2022 familiar. It was only a few years old when he was busy writing fiction. I saw your note about the article he might have read and mis-translated.

Holmes never wrote about any of those other arts as far as I know (other than generic bare knuckle boxing).

And 40 years later, Doc Savage was using "Baritsu" in DC comics. There had been a 4 decade period for the (what is it like a dozen?) arts of Bartitsu percolating, but in adventure lit it was always about Japanese jujutsu (and no strikes, just grapplin).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in fiction, Baritsu is jujutsu, not boxing, Savate, stickfighting, blunderbusses, or balloons. Hopefully that last joke will help wake up our British friends.

 
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lklawson

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Maybe, but not like 2022 familiar. It was only a few years old when he was busy writing fiction. I saw your note about the article he might have read and mis-translated.

Holmes never wrote about any of those other arts as far as I know (other than generic bare knuckle boxing).
A Study in Scarlet has Watson refer to Holme's expertise in both sword and in Singlestick. Watson states, "He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge. pushed to excess. When it comes to beating subjects in the dissecting-rooms with a stick"... The Gloria Scott refers to Holmes, further, as a fencer. There are numerous references to both Holmes and Watson with their revolvers. Apparently Holmes was also a fan of using a Riding Crop as a weapon (it would have been used similar to a short cudgel or a light flail depending on the crop).

And 40 years later, Doc Savage was using "Baritsu" in DC comics. There had been a 4 decade period for the (what is it like a dozen?) arts of Bartitsu percolating, but in adventure lit it was always about Japanese jujutsu (and no strikes, just grapplin).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in fiction, Baritsu is jujutsu, not boxing, Savate, stickfighting, blunderbusses, or balloons. Hopefully that last joke will help wake up our British friends.

Well, yes, "Baritsu" took on a life of it's own in fictional lore. While I can't be certain, I have doubts that Conan Doyle had any specific intentions on Doc Savage. Much more likely the writers of Doc Savage were fans of Holmesian fiction but knew even less of its origins than Conan Doyle.
 

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A Study in Scarlet has Watson refer to Holme's expertise in both sword and in Singlestick. Watson states, "He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge. pushed to excess. When it comes to beating subjects in the dissecting-rooms with a stick"... The Gloria Scott refers to Holmes, further, as a fencer. There are numerous references to both Holmes and Watson with their revolvers. Apparently Holmes was also a fan of using a Riding Crop as a weapon (it would have been used similar to a short cudgel or a light flail depending on the crop).


Well, yes, "Baritsu" took on a life of it's own in fictional lore. While I can't be certain, I have doubts that Conan Doyle had any specific intentions on Doc Savage. Much more likely the writers of Doc Savage were fans of Holmesian fiction but knew even less of its origins than Conan Doyle.
I have to admit I skim a lot of Holmes stories. They can get a little tedious.

Let's get back to "There's even a theory that Wing Chun is just English Boxing rebranded by the Chinese."

Talk about fiction. Where did you dig that up?
 

lklawson

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I have to admit I skim a lot of Holmes stories. They can get a little tedious.

Let's get back to "There's even a theory that Wing Chun is just English Boxing rebranded by the Chinese."
OK.

In Search of Wing Chun's Roots by Karl Godwin, Black Belt Magazine, Jun 1986, Vol 24, No. 6


Talk about fiction. Where did you dig that up?
Actual research. He has 8 points and 6 facts that he references and argues from those.

I don't know if it's true or not that Wing Chun is actually just rebranded English Boxing but Mr. Godwin makes a plausible case.
 

Oily Dragon

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Oh and did anybody else see Will Smith channel Ali last night and deck Chris Rock?

That was awesome.
OK.

In Search of Wing Chun's Roots by Karl Godwin, Black Belt Magazine, Jun 1986, Vol 24, No. 6



Actual research. He has 8 points and 6 facts that he references and argues from those.

I don't know if it's true or not that Wing Chun is actually just rebranded English Boxing but Mr. Godwin makes a plausible case.
Wow, that's a pretty far out theory. All 8 of his points are flawed or just wrong wrong, as are all 6 "facts".

Some are overruled by modern scholars, others are a giveaway that the author didn't really know enough about other Chinese styles to draw those conclusions (like Wing Chun being different from every other southern art, that part is just silly, all of the big southern family styles contain the same material, sometimes down to the animal/element classification and stances/footwork models).

If you want to go through them all here, I'm down. If you'd prefer a different thread, I'm also down, but we can shred this old article to little bits. And generally I don't recall BB magazine being, er, thorough in their reporting. But it's a lot of fun to go back and critique stuff. I think you'll agree.
 

lklawson

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Wow, that's a pretty far out theory.
It is controversial and generally rejected by most WC practitioners.

All 8 of his points are flawed or just wrong wrong, as are all 6 "facts".
Go on.

Some are overruled by modern scholars, others are a giveaway that the author didn't really know enough about other Chinese styles to draw those conclusions (like Wing Chun being different from every other southern art, that part is just silly, all of the big southern family styles contain the same material, sometimes down to the animal/element classification and stances/footwork models).
And the others?

If you want to go through them all here, I'm down. If you'd prefer a different thread, I'm also down, but we can shred this old article to little bits.
Go ahead.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Oh and did anybody else see Will Smith channel Ali last night and deck Chris Rock?

That was awesome.

Wow, that's a pretty far out theory. All 8 of his points are flawed or just wrong wrong, as are all 6 "facts".

Some are overruled by modern scholars, others are a giveaway that the author didn't really know enough about other Chinese styles to draw those conclusions (like Wing Chun being different from every other southern art, that part is just silly, all of the big southern family styles contain the same material, sometimes down to the animal/element classification and stances/footwork models).

If you want to go through them all here, I'm down. If you'd prefer a different thread, I'm also down, but we can shred this old article to little bits. And generally I don't recall BB magazine being, er, thorough in their reporting. But it's a lot of fun to go back and critique stuff. I think you'll agree.

It is controversial and generally rejected by most WC practitioners.


Go on.


And the others?


Go ahead.
For the record, I think Oily dragon is right-that might be something to start a new thread for.
 

lklawson

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All 8 of his points are flawed or just wrong wrong, as are all 6 "facts".

So let's look at your claim that all are flawed or just wrong.
His 8 "points" first.
  1. "There is little evidence that the founding masters of wing chun ever existed. In no recorded history do we find the mention of the Buddhist nun Ng Mui developing the wing chun system." This seems to be a true statement. There don't seem to be any actual recorded documents of Ng Mui creating Wing Chun which predate modern Wing Chun's own oral history.
  2. "There is much confusion concerning the actual places in the history of wing chun. Every master has a different location for the various wing chun temples..." This also seems to be true with various Wing Chun histories giving slightly different locations or contradicting others.
  3. "There is no confirmed chronological order of events in wing chun's history. Different masters claim the art is anywhere from 150-300 years old, making dates given by Yip Man incorrect when compared to historical data." This also appears to be true. There, again, is no corroborating history outside of Wing Chun's own internal oral histories.
  4. "Wing chun lacks the ceremonies and formalities so common to the traditional systems. Rituals do not exist in the art. In pure wing chun, there are no salutations at the beginnings of its kuen (forms), as in the traditional kung fu systems." Frankly, I don't know. There are a LOT of different Kung Fu systems and a comprehensive comparison would be challenging. Maybe this statement is true and maybe it isn't. I don't think we'll be able to say one way or another.
  5. "Wing chun has little technical similarity to other Chinese martial arts. The system is revolutionary in almost all aspects. Most Chinese arts bear at least slight resemblance in technique because of common origins. The punches and kicks of wing chun, however, are structurally and theoretically different from those other kung fu styles." Again, there are a LOT of other kung fu styles to compare against. At a certain level, fighting is fighting. I'm not sure that is the evidence that he's suggesting. OTOH, most of the most popular kung fu styles do have a markedly different appearance in general technique and strategy, so maybe...
  6. "The pacifist-type tradition found in most kung fu systems is practically nonexistent in wing chun. In the shaolin tradition there is the phrase 'Check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill, for all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.' In wing chun, there is little regard for the opponent's well being; it is either don't fight, or kill. All or nothing." This really seems to make an over-broad claim about all of the rest of chinese martial arts. Not all come from the Buddhist tradition, never mind specifically Shaolin. There are plenty which are considered "military" arts or come from a Taoist tradition and the like.
  7. "It is odd that a kung fu system can be learned in a short amount of time." This may or may not be "odd" but it does seem to buck the standard for many kung fu systems which seem to commonly incorporate long and complex forms which instructors say will take years to learn properly. So, maybe... Or maybe not.
  8. "No weapons are native to the wing chun system. Most kung ful styles have weapons which originated in the the system, but winch chun did not have any weapons until the butterfly swords and the long pole were introduced from another style." To this I would say, "so what?" While not having weapons, per se, are points of commonality between 19th Century English Boxing and Wing Chun, it's not a whole lot to hang your hat on. As a minor point in support of other points, maybe. But there are lots of martial arts which don't have weapons specifically integrated into them. Interestingly, often they are sporting/competitive.
So, of his "8 Points," some appear to be well founded and others seem to be on a bit more shaky ground.

Moving on to his 6 "facts."
  1. "Fact one. In his book, Leung Ting states that wing chun was developed by the residents of coastal southeast China. This was also where the introduction of Western boxing occurred. It was introduced by the sailors and developed as wing chun by the coastal Chinese." This actually contains two facts and one conclusion. Do you deny that Leung Ting writes that Wing Chun was developed in coastal southeast China? Do you dispute that Western boxing most likely was first exposed to the Chinese there? No? Good. His conclusion is likely better stated as a proposed thesis.
  2. "Fact two. In the book by Donn F. Draeger and Robert W. Smith, there is reference to the introduction of Western boxing in China during the 19th century. It must be stressed that Western boxing at this time was quite different from the modern sport. The bare-knuckle boxing of the old days was far more lethal than its modern counterpart. The lack of gloves made any blow potentially deadly. The later addition of gloves drastically changed the body positions and techniques of boxing." There is a lot to unpack in this one. Do you deny that Draeger writes that Western style boxing was introduced to China in the 19th Century and that the general time period correlates with what you can factually trace the beginnings of Wing Chun to? No? Good. While Mr. Godwin is right that 19th Century boxing was quite different, his claims that the punching was more deadly because it was bare fist is not entirely right. It's really not any more or less deadly. It's just different. I could write a whole chapter about how gloves & wraps make boxing different and why as well as the attitudes about gloves ("mufflers" or "mittens" historically). It is indisputable that the English considered Boxing to be both a sport and a very capable self defense system in the bare-knuckle era. But the short version is, no, it's not more deadly, just deadly in different ways.
  3. "Fact three. Wing chun is considered the quickest art to learn in terms of time. A student can purportedly gain proficiency in a year. Boxing is really the only other martial art that can be learned adequately in that amount of time." The first part of the statement that Wing Chun can be learned in a year is very consistent with what Winch Chun folks have been telling prospective students for ages. The supposed simplicity, efficiency, and ease of learning has always been one of their top selling points. There's really no disputing this as a claim. Many also claim that dedicated practice of boxing can bring you to acceptable proficiency in a very short time. So if one of his supporting points is that both claim a short learning curve, well, there's really no arguing that. They do.
  4. "Fact four. Wing chun is more similar to boxing than any other Chinese martial art. Pictures of the great early European fighters like John L. Sulivan show stances strikingly similar to those found in winch chun. The techniques of wing chun also seem to be realated. Both use straight punches, and both use shuffling steps to advance..." Yes. It is very true that the most common stance of 19th Century pugilism from the London Prize Ring era is strikingly similar to the base Wing Chun stance. The 19th C. boxing's Lead-off, Straight Left and Straight Right are exceptionally similar to bread-and-butter techniques in Wing Chun. The footwork, however, is a bit more sophisticated than "shuffling." ...in both arts. So, as with some of his other statements, yes there does seem to be a correlation or similarity. On the other hand, as I've written, at a certain level, fighting is fighting and a case can be made for parallel evolution as easily as one can be made for a common ancestral source. But, yes, superficially anyway, the bread-and-butter stance/techniques look very close to each other.
  5. "Fact five. Wing chun and boxing possess may of the same strategies. Winch chun is known for being an aggressive system. In early boxing, it was believed that the best defense was a good offense. The wing chun principle of sil lin die dar (simultaneous attack and defense) is a common characteristic of boxing." Again, this is 100% true. Wing Chun does promote itself as being an aggressive system on attack. Techniques like the "straight blast" are promoted as being both aggressive and highly effective. And 19th Century boxing was replete with both aggression and single-time counters such as the Cross-Counter. But single-time counters aren't particularly unique to boxing. They're quite common in Fencing, as an example. And fighting is fighting. Still if his primary point is that Wing Chun looks/acts remarkably similar to some common forms of London Prize Ring boxing, then, yes, it does. It may not be proof but it is an interesting correlation. ...and those non-proof-interesting-correlations are stacking up, by the way.
  6. "Fact six. In a 1920 book by Marshal Stillman, there is a chapter written for small people to defend themselves against larger opponents. The principles and techniques in the chapter are exactly like those found in wing chun. Why would the Chinese develop a system at this time what would be most effective against taller people? The answer could be that the Chinese used this system to defeat the taller Europeans in boxing bouts." You don't dispute Stillman's chapter as a fact do you? No? Good. Past that, OK, well, so what if the Chinese developed Wing Chun to fight taller people? That doesn't man that Wing Chun was developed from Boxing. Frankly, I don't know why he included this point. Even if true, ti doesn't actually support his claim that Wing Chun was developed from 19th Century Boxing.
So of his 6 "facts," most of the things which he says are facts actually are. How well they prove that Wing Chun is derivative of Boxing is, well, a much more open question. In my estimation it doesn't offer definitive proof at all but it does lay out a plausible theory that Wing Chun is derivative of Boxing. Which is particularly intriguing when considering that there really is no definitive and provable origin for Wing Chun.

However, your claim that "All 8 of his points are flawed or just wrong wrong, as are all 6 'facts'," is conclusively inaccurate. A few of his claims/points are have some flaws. Many of them are rock solid.
 
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Oily Dragon

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So of his 6 "facts," most of the things which he says are facts actually are. How well they prove that Wing Chun is derivative of Boxing is, well, a much more open question. In my estimation it doesn't offer definitive proof at all but it does lay out a plausible theory that Wing Chun is derivative of Boxing. Which is particularly intriguing when considering that there really is no definitive and provable origin for Wing Chun.

However, your claim that "All 8 of his points are flawed or just wrong wrong, as are all 6 'facts'," is conclusively inaccurate. A few of his claims/points are have some flaws. Many of them are rock solid.
OK, challenge accepted. I'll copy your entire post into a new thread and go over it point by point. For starters here though, using Black Belt magazine articles as evidence is a slipperly slope. I can't think of a more untrustworthy periodical. The only thing worse is trusting people claiming decades and decades of experience with a particular martial art, only to find that they really haven't even broken the surface surrounding its true ecosystem. That's what a lot of Wing Chun students suffer from. They could have 100 years of "experience", still be 100% wrong. (E.g. Ng Mui, a system for women, whatever).

None of his claims are rock solid, really. He's a student of Wing Chun trying to differentiate Wing Chun from the rest of CMA (that's a big mistake), and trying to make the case that Wing Chun = Boxing (all CMA contain boxing, e.g. Ping Choi, Gwa Choi, Chou Choi, etc etc). The author isn't a scholar or historian, he's a Wing Chun apologist trying to align with sport boxing for cred, which is probably why he's making a case claiming Ming-era martial arts were based on Qing-era British colonialism (which failed to penetrate mainland China). According to actual scholars, that is a fallacy.

The origins of Wing Chun have been mapped to a network of people who are Chinese and never interacted with the British (Judkins, again). In fact, according to "Creation..", there are practically zero references to British influence, aside from 19th century influence in Hong Kong (which is not really that close to where Wing Chun first cropped up). So to claim these networks of mainland folk (many of whom were underground secret societies) were influenced by British sailors on the coast doesn't hold any water. Otherwise they'd be documented.

But on a practically level, again, all of Wing Chun's forms, techniques, and weapons are found in arts well predating the Ching Dynasty. And the idea that white people in Britain had to save Chinese boxing is pretty racist, but it's a common theme with so-called "Western" martial artists who think the West is best.
 
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Oily Dragon

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I think that it fits in the subject of Western Boxing but if you want to break these posts off into a separate thread, that'd be OK too. :)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
This sentence right here illustrates that you have a strong bias. You believe Western Europeans invented fist fighting, glove wearing, dodging, slipping, bobbing, weaving, boxing footwork, parrying hands, clinching?

Hoo boy, no. Let's work on that. You've clearly studied some arts, but you could learn a thing or two.

First lesson, don't trust BB Magazine for anything factual.

Second, if the British created Wing Chun, did they also create Shaolin? Because that article's main argument is that white people from ships brought martial art to China. Oops, that contradicts 6000+ years of graphic imagery. By the time the first British boat entered Chinese waters, the Chinese were already boxing, sparring, and mastering a hundred different hand to hand weapons. They also invented gunpowder around the same time Britannica hadn't even become civilized and was still under Roman dominance.

1648573426178.png
 
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lklawson

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OK, challenge accepted. I'll copy your entire post into a new thread and go over it point by point. For starters here though, using Black Belt magazine articles as evidence is a slipperly slope. I can't think of a more untrustworthy periodical.
Then you need to get out more.

The only thing worse is trusting people claiming decades and decades of experience with a particular martial art, only to find that they really haven't even broken the surface surrounding its true ecosystem. That's what a lot of Wing Chun students suffer from. They could have 100 years of "experience", still be 100% wrong. (E.g. Ng Mui, a system for women, whatever).
That's nice. It's also not relevant to the claims.

None of his claims are rock solid, really.
He made several claims which are either indisputable or rock solid. Do you deny that Leung Ting writes that Wing Chun was developed in coastal southeast China?

He's a student of Wing Chun trying to differentiate Wing Chun from the rest of CMA (that's a big mistake),
Irrelevant to the thesis.

and trying to make the case that Wing Chun = Boxing (all CMA contain boxing, e.g. Ping Choi, Gwa Choi, Chou Choi, etc etc). The author isn't a scholar or historian, he's a Wing Chun apologist trying to align with sport boxing for cred, which is probably why he's making a case claiming Ming-era martial arts were based on Qing-era British colonialism (which failed to penetrate mainland China). According to actual scholars, that is a fallacy.
I'm not sure you read the same article.

The origins of Wing Chun have been mapped to a network of people who are Chinese and never interacted with the British (Judkins, again). In fact, according to "Creation..", there are practically zero references to British influence,
That's nice. And also not relevant.

aside from 19th century influence in Hong Kong (which is not really that close to where Wing Chun first cropped up). So to claim these networks of mainland folk (many of whom were underground secret societies) were influenced by British sailors on the coast doesn't hold any water. Otherwise they'd be documented.
Says who? You? Undocumented just means undocumented. That's kind of the point.

But on a practically level, again, all of Wing Chun's forms, techniques, and weapons are found in arts well predating the Ching Dynasty.
Frack, an argument is easily made that they date back to the Egyptians. That's not the point.

And the idea that white people in Britain had to save Chinese boxing is pretty racist, but it's a common theme with so-called "Western" martial artists who think the West is best.
I don't know where you got that idea. I certainly didn't write that and I didn't see it in the referenced article. Please point me to the quote where the author writes that white people in Britain had to save Chinese boxing or I'm calling Straw Man on that.
 

lklawson

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This sentence right here illustrates that you have a strong bias. You believe Western Europeans invented fist fighting, glove wearing, dodging, slipping, bobbing, weaving, boxing footwork, parrying hands, clinching?
What are you smoking? I never wrote nor implied any such. If you're going to just make up **** and claim I said it, then we're going to have a hard time having any conversation.


Hoo boy, no. Let's work on that. You've clearly studied some arts, but you could learn a thing or two.
Yeah, let's work on that, shall we?

First lesson, don't trust BB Magazine for anything factual.
First lesson, don't assume you know what I have done or what my experience is, never mind assuming you know what I believe or think. For frack's sake you tried to use a source to prove I was wrong (or something) written by a friend of mine in which I was attributed as a source in the acknowledgements.

Second, if the British created Wing Chun, did they also create Shaolin?
No one in this discussion, including the articles author, Mr. Godwin, ever claimed the British created Wing Chun. The closest that anything has come is that the Mr. Godwin claims that the Chinese used English Boxing to create Wing Chun, partially as a way to fight the taller Europeans.

Are you trolling me or did you just not actually read the article?


Because that article's main argument is that white people from ships brought martial art to China.
No it isn't. Again, are you trolling or did you just not read the article? Yes, I'm 100% serious about this question.

Oops, that contradicts 6000+ years of graphic imagery.
Straw Man. No one made the claim that the British brought martial arts to china besides you.

By the time the first British boat entered Chinese waters, the Chinese were already boxing, sparring, and mastering a hundred different hand to hand weapons. They also invented gunpowder around the same time Britannica hadn't even become civilized and was still under Roman dominance.

View attachment 28285
That's nice. It's also 100% irrelevant and 100% Straw Man.

I grow weary of your misstating and misrepresenting the authors claims and statements. I grow weary of you misrepresenting my statements. I grow weary of you conflating my personal beliefs with what Mr. Godwin states merely because I brought his statements to your attention.
 

Oily Dragon

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You really don't like being questioned do you? You couldn't even wait for me to make the new thread.

Now, I have to copy all that into the new thread and rebut not only that article, but all that snide commentary too?

Fine by me, dude.
 

Oily Dragon

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Forget it let's do it all here, since you like block quote gish galluping.

So let's look at your claim that all are flawed or just wrong.
His 8 "points" first.
  1. "There is little evidence that the founding masters of wing chun ever existed. In no recorded history do we find the mention of the Buddhist nun Ng Mui developing the wing chun system." This seems to be a true statement. There don't seem to be any actual recorded documents of Ng Mui creating Wing Chun which predate modern Wing Chun's own oral history.
Ng Mui is a legendary figure, so what? There are hundreds of non-legendary figures.
  1. "There is much confusion concerning the actual places in the history of wing chun. Every master has a different location for the various wing chun temples..." This also seems to be true with various Wing Chun histories giving slightly different locations or contradicting others.
That's an opinion, "every master" is a giveaway. Again, the recorded history illustrates a webwork of Wing Chun expansion from interior southern China to the coast.
  1. "There is no confirmed chronological order of events in wing chun's history. Different masters claim the art is anywhere from 150-300 years old, making dates given by Yip Man incorrect when compared to historical data." This also appears to be true. There, again, is no corroborating history outside of Wing Chun's own internal oral histories.
There's plenty of corroborating history. In books.
  1. "Wing chun lacks the ceremonies and formalities so common to the traditional systems. Rituals do not exist in the art. In pure wing chun, there are no salutations at the beginnings of its kuen (forms), as in the traditional kung fu systems." Frankly, I don't know. There are a LOT of different Kung Fu systems and a comprehensive comparison would be challenging. Maybe this statement is true and maybe it isn't. I don't think we'll be able to say one way or another.
It's not true, unless someone believes Wing Chun was made up outside of China. Wing chun sun toi? No oranges? Lion dance? Come on.
  1. "Wing chun has little technical similarity to other Chinese martial arts. The system is revolutionary in almost all aspects. Most Chinese arts bear at least slight resemblance in technique because of common origins. The punches and kicks of wing chun, however, are structurally and theoretically different from those other kung fu styles." Again, there are a LOT of other kung fu styles to compare against. At a certain level, fighting is fighting. I'm not sure that is the evidence that he's suggesting. OTOH, most of the most popular kung fu styles do have a markedly different appearance in general technique and strategy, so maybe...
"little technical similarity"..."revolutionary"..."different from those other kung fu styles", all wrong. Wing Chun is a cousin system to the Five Family styles, Southern Dragon, Fujian Crane....and on and on.
  1. "The pacifist-type tradition found in most kung fu systems is practically nonexistent in wing chun. In the shaolin tradition there is the phrase 'Check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill, for all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.' In wing chun, there is little regard for the opponent's well being; it is either don't fight, or kill. All or nothing." This really seems to make an over-broad claim about all of the rest of chinese martial arts. Not all come from the Buddhist tradition, never mind specifically Shaolin. There are plenty which are considered "military" arts or come from a Taoist tradition and the like.
The big difference between Shaolin Si, and Wing Chun, is hundreds of years of warfare and philosophical development. Keep in mind that by the time Ip Man learned Wing Chun, there might have been about 30 practitioners total left alive (Judkins).
  1. "It is odd that a kung fu system can be learned in a short amount of time." This may or may not be "odd" but it does seem to buck the standard for many kung fu systems which seem to commonly incorporate long and complex forms which instructors say will take years to learn properly. So, maybe... Or maybe not.
No kung fu system is learned in a short amount of time. That includes boxing and Wing Chun. I know people who learn a little boxing often thing they're good at it, but we both know that's not true. Hence, all the Wing Chun people who can't fight. They haven't paid their dues.
  1. "No weapons are native to the wing chun system. Most kung ful styles have weapons which originated in the the system, but winch chun did not have any weapons until the butterfly swords and the long pole were introduced from another style." To this I would say, "so what?" While not having weapons, per se, are points of commonality between 19th Century English Boxing and Wing Chun, it's not a whole lot to hang your hat on. As a minor point in support of other points, maybe. But there are lots of martial arts which don't have weapons specifically integrated into them. Interestingly, often they are sporting/competitive.
This is also totally untrue. Wing Chun is not a 100% empty handed art. None of them are. And arguing about when weapons were introduced

"butterfly swords being introduced from another style" made me chuckle. The person writing this is basing his knowledge on his own class notes, or something. Hence no actual reference.
So, of his "8 Points," some appear to be well founded and others seem to be on a bit more shaky ground.
All 8 points are fallacies.
Moving on to his 6 "facts."
  1. "Fact one. In his book, Leung Ting states that wing chun was developed by the residents of coastal southeast China. This was also where the introduction of Western boxing occurred. It was introduced by the sailors and developed as wing chun by the coastal Chinese." This actually contains two facts and one conclusion. Do you deny that Leung Ting writes that Wing Chun was developed in coastal southeast China? Do you dispute that Western boxing most likely was first exposed to the Chinese there? No? Good. His conclusion is likely better stated as a proposed thesis.
Wing Chun was not developed by the "Coastal Chinese". And again, all of Wing Chun is contained in older Chinese styles (which include every "Western" boxing technique").

  1. "Fact two. In the book by Donn F. Draeger and Robert W. Smith, there is reference to the introduction of Western boxing in China during the 19th century. It must be stressed that Western boxing at this time was quite different from the modern sport. The bare-knuckle boxing of the old days was far more lethal than its modern counterpart. The lack of gloves made any blow potentially deadly. The later addition of gloves drastically changed the body positions and techniques of boxing." There is a lot to unpack in this one. Do you deny that Draeger writes that Western style boxing was introduced to China in the 19th Century and that the general time period correlates with what you can factually trace the beginnings of Wing Chun to? No? Good. While Mr. Godwin is right that 19th Century boxing was quite different, his claims that the punching was more deadly because it was bare fist is not entirely right. It's really not any more or less deadly. It's just different. I could write a whole chapter about how gloves & wraps make boxing different and why as well as the attitudes about gloves ("mufflers" or "mittens" historically). It is indisputable that the English considered Boxing to be both a sport and a very capable self defense system in the bare-knuckle era. But the short version is, no, it's not more deadly, just deadly in different ways.
Boxing was nothing new to the Chinese when the British decided to start partying off the Chinese coast.
  1. "Fact three. Wing chun is considered the quickest art to learn in terms of time. A student can purportedly gain proficiency in a year. Boxing is really the only other martial art that can be learned adequately in that amount of time." The first part of the statement that Wing Chun can be learned in a year is very consistent with what Winch Chun folks have been telling prospective students for ages. The supposed simplicity, efficiency, and ease of learning has always been one of their top selling points. There's really no disputing this as a claim. Many also claim that dedicated practice of boxing can bring you to acceptable proficiency in a very short time. So if one of his supporting points is that both claim a short learning curve, well, there's really no arguing that. They do.
That's not even a fact.
  1. "Fact four. Wing chun is more similar to boxing than any other Chinese martial art. Pictures of the great early European fighters like John L. Sulivan show stances strikingly similar to those found in winch chun. The techniques of wing chun also seem to be realated. Both use straight punches, and both use shuffling steps to advance..." Yes. It is very true that the most common stance of 19th Century pugilism from the London Prize Ring era is strikingly similar to the base Wing Chun stance. The 19th C. boxing's Lead-off, Straight Left and Straight Right are exceptionally similar to bread-and-butter techniques in Wing Chun. The footwork, however, is a bit more sophisticated than "shuffling." ...in both arts. So, as with some of his other statements, yes there does seem to be a correlation or similarity. On the other hand, as I've written, at a certain level, fighting is fighting and a case can be made for parallel evolution as easily as one can be made for a common ancestral source. But, yes, superficially anyway, the bread-and-butter stance/techniques look very close to each other.A
Also not a fact. This statement suggests a very shallow understanding of southern Chinese kung fu.
  1. "Fact five. Wing chun and boxing possess may of the same strategies. Winch chun is known for being an aggressive system. In early boxing, it was believed that the best defense was a good offense. The wing chun principle of sil lin die dar (simultaneous attack and defense) is a common characteristic of boxing." Again, this is 100% true. Wing Chun does promote itself as being an aggressive system on attack. Techniques like the "straight blast" are promoted as being both aggressive and highly effective. And 19th Century boxing was replete with both aggression and single-time counters such as the Cross-Counter. But single-time counters aren't particularly unique to boxing. They're quite common in Fencing, as an example. And fighting is fighting. Still if his primary point is that Wing Chun looks/acts remarkably similar to some common forms of London Prize Ring boxing, then, yes, it does. It may not be proof but it is an interesting correlation. ...and those non-proof-interesting-correlations are stacking up, by the way.
"Aggressive system". Seriously, why do you think Wing Chun is more aggressive than other systems? It's not. There are throat ripping techniques in many CMA.
  1. "Fact six. In a 1920 book by Marshal Stillman, there is a chapter written for small people to defend themselves against larger opponents. The principles and techniques in the chapter are exactly like those found in wing chun. Why would the Chinese develop a system at this time what would be most effective against taller people? The answer could be that the Chinese used this system to defeat the taller Europeans in boxing bouts." You don't dispute Stillman's chapter as a fact do you? No? Good. Past that, OK, well, so what if the Chinese developed Wing Chun to fight taller people? That doesn't man that Wing Chun was developed from Boxing. Frankly, I don't know why he included this point. Even if true, ti doesn't actually support his claim that Wing Chun was developed from 19th Century Boxing.
I sure do dispute it.
So of his 6 "facts," most of the things which he says are facts actually are.
No.
How well they prove that Wing Chun is derivative of Boxing is, well, a much more open question.
It's pretty open and shut.
In my estimation it doesn't offer definitive proof at all but it does lay out a plausible theory that Wing Chun is derivative of Boxing.
It's not a plausible theory, according to historians.
However, your claim that "All 8 of his points are flawed or just wrong wrong, as are all 6 'facts'," is conclusively inaccurate. A few of his claims/points are have some flaws. Many of them are rock solid.
The entire article is BS.
 

lklawson

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You really don't like being questioned do you?
I don't like being misquoted and misattributed. If you want to argue against something I wrote, then do that. But don't make up something, attribute that to me, and then argue against that.

I also don't like other people being misquoted and misattributed. You did that too. I'm still waiting for you to show me where anyone suggested that "white people in Britain had to save Chinese boxing," or "the British created Wing Chun," or that the "article's main argument is that white people from ships brought martial art to China." All of these are straw statements which no one but you wrote.

Now, if you want to debate the points of the article, then do that. I laid them all out. I will happily either agree or disagree. But when you just make something up which wasn't there, it becomes impossible to have a reasoned discussion.
 

Oily Dragon

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Then you need to get out more.
You just wrote an essay in response to my pledge to start a thread to discuss this topic with you.

Now you're being nasty.
That's nice. It's also not relevant to the claims.
Of course it is, otherwise I wouldn't have brought it up.
He made several claims which are either indisputable or rock solid. Do you deny that Leung Ting writes that Wing Chun was developed in coastal southeast China?
NO he didn't. Leung Ting is wrong too.
Irrelevant to the thesis.
No it's not.
I'm not sure you read the same article.
I read that article, and I've probably studied Wing Chun more deeply than you have.
That's nice. And also not relevant.
Yes it is.
Says who? You? Undocumented just means undocumented. That's kind of the point.
I think you need to research more, and read Black Belt Magazine less.
Frack, an argument is easily made that they date back to the Egyptians. That's not the point.
It is, you're promoting a wacky theory form Black Belt magazine about Wing Chun being British boxing.
I don't know where you got that idea. I certainly didn't write that and I didn't see it in the referenced article. Please point me to the quote where the author writes that white people in Britain had to save Chinese boxing or I'm calling Straw Man on that.
Yes you did, when you said there's a theory that Wing Chun is just rebranded boxing. You meant Canterbury boxing, don't deny it!
 
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