Wing Chun as a part of the MMA mix?

geezer

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These days if you go online or on YouTube it seems like everybody loves to trash WC as a useless or even "fake" martial art. This always seemed odd to me since when I first got into Wing Chun in the late 70s and early 80s it held up really well when I'd spar with my buddies who practiced other arts like Shotokan, Kenpo and TKD. And when it went to the ground, I could always fall back on my instincts as a high school wrestler.

Well that was before BJJ and UFC hit the scene. Now, decades later, it seems like TMA has become the laughingstock of the internet, and WC (WT, VT) has become the poster-boy for the evils and deficiencies of every TMA out there. And, this has definitely adversely affected the level of interest in WC.

Yet there are a few contrarians out there who not only respect the value of WC (and other TMAs) but even work to incorporate it as part of a valid MMA training program. I've mentioned innovative WC coaches like Alan Orr and Mark Phillips before. Locally, we've got a guy named Martin Torres -- a boxer, escrimador and MMA coach who integrates some WC concepts with good results. And now noted Shanghai MMA coach and Youtube guru Ramsey Dewey posts this interview. Take a look and see what you think.

 

Tony Dismukes

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I mix a little bit of WC into my MMA sparring. The trick is, I dont try to force it or set out with the intent of Im going to show how I can make WC work. There are just certain moments here and there, usually during a transition at close range, where a WC style hit, using the body dynamics I learned from @yak sao , just naturally flows and makes sense.

Im not sure that it makes sense as a primary foundational style in a MMA context, but it can have its uses as a supplemental style.
 

Tony Dismukes

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If I can make some generalizations beyond my personal sparring experience...

I think Wing Chun has some cool training methods for developing certain specialized skills which can be useful in certain fighting situations. Where I see WC practitioners running into problems is when:
  • They try to fit all their fighting into those specialized skills regardless of whether they are appropriate for the situation at hand. Staying within the paradigm becomes more important than effectiveness.
  • They dont do hard contact sparring (or in many cases, any real sparring at all)
  • They only spar other WC practitioners and dont have a realistic sense of how other kinds of fighters move and how to deal with them.
  • They confuse excellence in a training drill (such as chi s瓊o) with actual fighting ability.
  • Theyre more invested in believing their training has all the answers than in searching for those areas where their training doesnt have good answers. (To be fair, this mindset is hardly limited to WC practitioners.)
Im not saying that all WC practitioners have these problems, but Ive certainly seen plenty who do.
 

drop bear

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Who is the wing chun instructor who is a legitimate badass?

So for example lomenchenco opens a school near me and and a wing chun school opens up next door. Who would run the wing chun school that anyone would want to go to?

I put it to you there is almost no vehicle to become good via wing chun. And I think that is a leadership issue.
 

Flying Crane

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These days if you go online or on YouTube it seems like everybody loves to trash WC as a useless or even "fake" martial art.

Honest question: why do you personally care what other people on the internet who you dont know and who dont know you (and who are an infinitesimally small portion of the population at large, even if limited only to the population of martial artists) think about what you do?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I like to use the WC principle to drill a hole through my opponent's boxing guard. If I can separate my opponent's arms away from his head, the striking game end and the wrestling game begin.

Not sure that was what WC center line strategy was designed for. But it's an excellent bridge to connect the striking game and the wrestling game.

Will this strategy be used in MMA game? I think it will someday.
 
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geezer

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Honest question: why do you personally care what other people on the internet who you dont know and who dont know you (and who are an infinitesimally small portion of the population at large, even if limited only to the population of martial artists) think about what you do?

Present company excluded I presume!

But to respond to your question, the internet informs what an awful lot of people think these days. Image is important. How our arts are perceived by the larger culture we reside in does directly influence how popular the art will be and possibly even whether it will continue to be practiced by future generations. Moreover, you need good coaches and training partners. You can't become excellent just training by yourself. So when the culture shifts, there are consequences. I am told that many TCMAs are dying out on the mainland, and what remains is often not the same as what existed before.
 

Flying Crane

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But to respond to your question, the internet informs what an awful lot of people think these days.
Well, yes and no. I think the general population is savvy enough to know not to believe everything they read on the internet. They can also tell a blow-hard when they see one. A lot of stuff on the internet does have that stink about it.

Image is important.
It is if you are selling something.

How our arts are perceived by the larger culture we reside in does directly influence how popular the art will be and possibly even whether it will continue to be practiced by future generations.

I think you are confusing the larger culture with a small group of people who have an agenda to push.

Moreover, you need good coaches and training partners. You can't become excellent just training by yourself. So when the culture shifts, there are consequences.
You need to train in a way that produces results. That can mean any of many possibilities. It does not mean that you need to fall in line with what those agenda-pushers are trying to tell you that you need to do. If you like what they are telling you, then feel free to join them. But you most certainly do not have to.

And I dont understand your point of the culture shifting and having consequences.

I am told that many TCMAs are dying out on the mainland, and what remains is often not the same as what existed before.
They are dying on Mainland China because the government controls everything, and the government has chosen to not give support to the older methods. The government has actually chosen to actively suppress them.

The Chinese government is pretty savvy in recognizing an opportunity to make money. The fantasy of the Shaolin Temple is a good example. They set up training halls for foreigners who come and pay a lot of money to learn Modern Wushu disguised as Shaolin martial arts. They send Modern Wushu performers around the world disguised as Shaolin monks. Its a sham. Modern Wushu was a creation of the communist government in the 1950s, as a national sport and exhibition art form. It is entirely under their control.
 

wayfaring

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I really like that interview with Yi Long. I can see centerline basis in his fighting movements.




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