Wing Chun vs. Boxing

Kwan Sau

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some WC folks get so wrapped up with training WC vs other WC players that they don't stop to think about how someone trained in another art might approach them

Totally agree! J W is right on the money here. This lack of vision by some in the WC world makes them think there WC is good to go against EVERYONE...just because they can beat up their fellow WC partners in the kwoon.

there is good WC and bad WC out there. Bad WC might be full of all the holes the boxer was pointing out. Good WC would not.

Absolutely. The sad part is...either the boxer guy or this izzo guy isn't well versed in "good" WC in my opinion. Sadly, many internet surfers tend to lean on youtube WC'ers as gospel. Izzo being on of them. I would have had more respect for izzo if he had included the full WC arsenal...but perhaps he doesn't know it yet.

WC is an aggressive art

Agree! "Good" WC has a rich assortment of footwork which, when properly learned, drilled, trained, allows the WC exponent a wide latitude of movement in order to constantly bring the agressiveness to the adversary.

To point #3; WC does support body torquing. Watch our second form, Chum kiu.

Again, totally agree with J W here. Again, Izzo and/or this boxer guy do not understand even basic WC IMO.

Ideally, you would be defending and attacking with the same hand at the same time. For instance, you punch, I punch. My punch both deflects yours and hits its target.

Yup!!!!! Another example of "good" WC. And, as J W states... "ideally". Because not everything is 100% effective, 100% of the time.

And finally, let's not forget that "good" WC has a rich, in-depth leg / kick training arsenal. Most youtube vids and the like seem to only focus on waist up WC...forgetting the lower half of the body. This is a huge mistake. Properly trained, a WC man's legs are formidable.
 

geezer

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...And finally, let's not forget that "good" WC has a rich, in-depth leg / kick training arsenal. Most youtube vids and the like seem to only focus on waist up WC...forgetting the lower half of the body. This is a huge mistake. Properly trained, a WC man's legs are formidable.

This is something the long range kickers, like TKD guys, often forget. Unlike long range styles, WC's kicks are most effective at very close range and can delivered at the same time that we are attacking with our hands. That means that we can attack the boxer's legs and disrupt his stance creating holes for our striking attacks. A boxer's stance is not designed to deliver close kicks and punches at the same time. Kick boxers do both, but they typically kick from a longer range, then close to punch. WC is unusual in this regard.

In the lineage I train, we keep our weight back precisely so we can punch or kick at will without shifting our weight off the front leg. I know of no other system that has a structure so geared for simultaneous close range hand and leg attacks.
 

J W

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Again, Izzo and/or this boxer guy do not understand even basic WC IMO.

I'll admit that I didn't watch that entire video before my first response, just the first ten minutes or so. I went back and watched a little more, and I think I may have to agree with you about that. Their arguments start to get a little absurd near the end.

I'm certainly not an expert myself after only a couple years of training, but seems to me that pretty much everything that the boxer cited as missing from WC is actually there, and most of his characterizations of the weaknesses of WC are based on misunderstandings.

skribs, I wouldn't take anything in that video as indicative of actual WC.
 
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skribs

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Is there a better video that you would suggest?

Preferably one that doesn't assume the boxer leaves his arm out after a jab.
 

Eric_H

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I'm going to guess:
2xWrist
2xElbow
2xShoulder
2xHip
2xKnee
2xAnkle
1xNeck

That adds up to 13 joints. However, I don't see that a boxer is not in control of those. He hunches over to provide a smaller target and let his shields (arms, shoulders) protect his head and neck more.

You are pretty much spot on with the estimation of joints.

The Hunched posture does protect against incoming blows more easily - it does not protect against clinch and throw very easily. Your neck and sometimes shoulder are more easily compromised. From my limited experience in Thai kickboxing, you'll see them typically be much more upright than a western boxer because the clinch is a big part of their game. WC has the same idea.

There is no ultimate technique in martial arts, there's only trade. The posture in question gives smaller target, but easier to disrupt gravity - which one you value more is up to the style of fighting you choose to pursue and personal taste/experience.
 

J W

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Is there a better video that you would suggest?

Preferably one that doesn't assume the boxer leaves his arm out after a jab.

Sorry, I don't have any videos for ya. I'll try to give you my take on your original question, though, which I believe was the advantages of the typical WC stance/guard vs a boxer's typical stance/guard.

First, equal hands. Facing your opponent square on, both hands are in play without having to rotate the body. A boxer needs to rotate their hips and shoulders to get the cross out, so only the lead arm is in play until they do that. Second, with the arms extended in jong sau instead of held close to the face for defense, they are closer to the target, so a smaller movement is needed to attack. Think of this as an aggressive offensive position rather than purely defensive. Third, once contact is made with the hands/arms, we will have tactile information from our opponent. WC will act to get in and establish contact with the opponent quickly, and move to off balance or uproot them. We can react quicker to our opponents moves when we can feel what they are doing. With our hands back in defense, we have to rely solely on visual information. And assuming a square on stance with the feet, instead of one leg leading, we are now free to step in with either foot. The whole body is coordinated on the attack. With one leg back, you have much further to step to bring the rear leg forward.

There is of course more to it, and there will always be trade-offs, but hopefully that gives an idea of some of the advantages to our WC approach.
 

geezer

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There are quite a few.

Help me out here. I can't think of any other well known system that specializes in infighting using a back-weighted stance allowing you to execute simultaneous flurries of punches and kicks. Now my WC doesn't do that so well, and I usually keep my feet on the ground, but my old Chinese sifu used his feet as dextrously as his hands to strike, check, sweep, lock and trap. Anyone who has seen advanced chi-sau with chi-gherk knows what I'm talking about.

Now I'd guess that some of the other southern Chinese "narrow bridge" systems such as pak-mei, southern mantis, southern dragon and so forth, share some of these skills, and I've seen some similar things in FMA, but if you guys know of other arts that share this focus, let me know.
 

Xue Sheng

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Help me out here. I can't think of any other well known system that specializes in infighting using a back-weighted stance allowing you to execute simultaneous flurries of punches and kicks. Now my WC doesn't do that so well, and I usually keep my feet on the ground, but my old Chinese sifu used his feet as dextrously as his hands to strike, check, sweep, lock and trap. Anyone who has seen advanced chi-sau with chi-gherk knows what I'm talking about.

Now I'd guess that some of the other southern Chinese "narrow bridge" systems such as pak-mei, southern mantis, southern dragon and so forth, share some of these skills, and I've seen some similar things in FMA, but if you guys know of other arts that share this focus, let me know.


Xingyiquan, Taijiquan, Baguazhang all use a back weighted stance all fight in close and all can kick and punch at the same time

A lot of CMA styles have simultaneous kicks and punches but they are not all back weighted stances
 

geezer

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Xingyiquan, Taijiquan, Baguazhang all use a back weighted stance all fight in close and all can kick and punch at the same time
A lot of CMA styles have simultaneous kicks and punches but they are not all back weighted stances

Thanks, Xue. I've seen things like that in Xingyichuan and taijiquan but I have no knowledge of those systems.

Now about the back-weighting. Unless you have your weight back you can't really work your punches and kicks simultaneously since you need to unweight the lead leg before you can lift it up to kick. If you are back-weighted, the lead leg can come into play as needed. The result is fighting with both hands and one-leg at the same time as you can see in the following picture:

http://www.wtcolorado.com/2006 Seminar/slides/More Intro Chi-Gerk.jpg

Actually, IMO most of the time you are better off not trying to fight with three limbs at once. I really like the following explanation by Alex Richter:

 
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First, equal hands. Facing your opponent square on, both hands are in play without having to rotate the body. A boxer needs to rotate their hips and shoulders to get the cross out, so only the lead arm is in play until they do that.

Considering the hips pretty much move with the hand, I don't see this as making the punch much slower.


Second, with the arms extended in jong sau instead of held close to the face for defense, they are closer to the target, so a smaller movement is needed to attack. Think of this as an aggressive offensive position rather than purely defensive.
Third, once contact is made with the hands/arms, we will have tactile information from our opponent. WC will act to get in and establish contact with the opponent quickly, and move to off balance or uproot them. We can react quicker to our opponents moves when we can feel what they are doing. With our hands back in defense, we have to rely solely on visual information.

And assuming a square on stance with the feet, instead of one leg leading, we are now free to step in with either foot. The whole body is coordinated on the attack. With one leg back, you have much further to step to bring the rear leg forward.

Coming from TKD, I don't think it's too much effort to move forward with either foot (depending on where our weight is). It's a further move forward moving from right leg back to right leg front than square stance to right leg front, which means longer step but more distance gained, so I guess I see what you mean regarding trade-offs.

As to another art that focuses up close, I'd put Muay Thai on the list. It might not be simultaneous punches and kicks, but the signature strikes for MT, IMHO, are the elbow and knee strikes, which are great close-in strikes. Those spinning back-elbows are particularly nasty.
 

blindsage

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Thanks, Xue. I've seen things like that in Xingyichuan and taijiquan but I have no knowledge of those systems.

Now about the back-weighting. Unless you have your weight back you can't really work your punches and kicks simultaneously since you need to unweight the lead leg before you can lift it up to kick. If you are back-weighted, the lead leg can come into play as needed. The result is fighting with both hands and one-leg at the same time as you can see in the following picture:

http://www.wtcolorado.com/2006 Seminar/slides/More Intro Chi-Gerk.jpg
This is a basic traditional position in Taijiquan.
White-Crane-Spreads-its-Wings-Cheng-ManChing.jpg

Looks pretty much the same as the pic you posted.

As Xue said, many Chinese styles do it. Systema does it. Some karate styles do it. There are a number of other styles that do.
 

blindsage

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Pretty much explains the problem with most WC vs. boxing videos.

 
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Xue Sheng

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Thanks, Xue. I've seen things like that in Xingyichuan and taijiquan but I have no knowledge of those systems.

Now about the back-weighting. Unless you have your weight back you can't really work your punches and kicks simultaneously since you need to unweight the lead leg before you can lift it up to kick. If you are back-weighted, the lead leg can come into play as needed. The result is fighting with both hands and one-leg at the same time as you can see in the following picture:

http://www.wtcolorado.com/2006 Seminar/slides/More Intro Chi-Gerk.jpg

Actually, IMO most of the time you are better off not trying to fight with three limbs at once. I really like the following explanation by Alex Richter:



Xingyiquan fighting stance

images


Taiji stance is similar and turn the waist and you pretty much have bagua too.

Also you can (and many do, including me) train a simultaneous kick and strike or kick and block followed by a strike in Xingyiquan 5 elements form with virtually every one of the 5 elements. Also in Taijiquan there is a lot that is done in application that is not seen in the form. And both Xingyi and Taiji can kick and punch at the same time backing up

Baguazhang

ZhaoDaYuan.jpg


Taijiquan (Yang style) the fighting stance in taijiquan is very similar to Play the Lute/Pipa ( 手挥琵琶 > shou3 hui1 pi2 pa > Hand Strums the Lute) Which looks similar to the picuters below although I do not believe any of the following Taiji photos are pipa they are all showing the back stance

ycf_roll_back.jpg


Mester-Tung-Ying-Chieh1-177x300.jpg


chen.gif


Even squirrels do it :D


9fa09e3c3a9b6c094ea6a7292be7ae0e.jpg
 
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Actually, we use a similar hand position in hapkido. However, I think of that as more related to grappling (ready to intercept an attack and then use the attacker's momentum) than striking.
 

J W

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First, equal hands. Facing your opponent square on, both hands are in play without having to rotate the body. A boxer needs to rotate their hips and shoulders to get the cross out, so only the lead arm is in play until they do that.

Considering the hips pretty much move with the hand, I don't see this as making the punch much slower.

You're right, a skilled boxer can get that cross out there and back pretty quick. But it still takes a split second longer to throw a cross than a jab, because you have to turn the hips/shoulders and the hand has to travel a farther distance.

WC's main objective is efficiency. While not as powerful, the jab is more efficient than the cross. With my facing square and my hands closer to the target, I'm trying to create a more efficient attack for both hands. This can shave valuable split-seconds off of my attack. Not alot, but every split second counts in a fight and could make the difference between landing my attack and getting punched in the face.

And assuming a square on stance with the feet, instead of one leg leading, we are now free to step in with either foot. The whole body is coordinated on the attack. With one leg back, you have much further to step to bring the rear leg forward.

Coming from TKD, I don't think it's too much effort to move forward with either foot (depending on where our weight is). It's a further move forward moving from right leg back to right leg front than square stance to right leg front, which means longer step but more distance gained, so I guess I see what you mean regarding trade-offs.

Again, similar principle to the above. I know you TKD guys can move your feet pretty quick (I used to do TKD way back when), but there's less ground to cover from a neutral stance.

Pretty much explains the problem with most WC vs. boxing videos.


The man makes a great point. To really make a WC vs boxing video, both participants would need to be skilled in both WC and boxing. Otherwise they're just making stuff up. As he admits, he knows nothing about WC and is just making it up, so of course his "Wing Chun" looks laughable. Same thing when a WC guy with no boxing experience talks about how to defeat a boxer- it just ends up looking silly because the "boxer" in those videos won't actually fight like a boxer.
 
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mook jong man

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I think it may be worth clarifying , that when we talk about a simultaneous punch/palm strike and a kick in Wing Chun .
It is not just throwing a punch and a kick out there at the same time , the non striking hand will also be controlling the opponents arm via wrist latching to drag the opponent into the strikes , or otherwise engaged in deflecting the opponents strike.
So it will be three limbs in operation at exactly the same time.

Not all Wing Chun lineages have the back weighted stance , in my lineage both feet are equal distance from the opponent and the weight is distributed 50/50.
The logic being as others have alluded to earlier that we have equal opportunity to use either leg to attack/defend with or either hand.
It's also thought that from this stance the total mass of the body can be greater focused to the centerline , but I shall not be getting into that at this juncture.

What I did want to mention is that Geezer's lineage may use the back weighted stance , but as with all Wing Chun the shoulders and torso will still be squared on to the opponent , enabling either arm equal opportunity to trap while the other hand strikes or , in conjunction with a kick.

It could very well be my eye sight , but in the pictures posted of other CMA they are indeed in a back weighted stance , but I'm afraid that is where the similarity ends.

The shoulders and torso appear to be angled , from a Wing Chun stand point this would make it impossible to have equal opportunity to be able to use either arm for defence /attack equally.

The front arm and leg could certainly launch a simultaneous punch and kick , but with the torso angled and the reduced range of the rear arm I don't see how it could be brought into play quick enough to fulfill a trapping function.

Of course the torso could be squared up again when getting into close range , but that takes time , time you might not have when someone has already made contact with your arms and is affecting your balance.
 

Xue Sheng

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I think it may be worth clarifying , that when we talk about a simultaneous punch/palm strike and a kick in Wing Chun .
It is not just throwing a punch and a kick out there at the same time , the non striking hand will also be controlling the opponents arm via wrist latching to drag the opponent into the strikes , or otherwise engaged in deflecting the opponents strike.
So it will be three limbs in operation at exactly the same time.

Not all Wing Chun lineages have the back weighted stance , in my lineage both feet are equal distance from the opponent and the weight is distributed 50/50.
The logic being as others have alluded to earlier that we have equal opportunity to use either leg to attack/defend with or either hand.
It's also thought that from this stance the total mass of the body can be greater focused to the centerline , but I shall not be getting into that at this juncture.

What I did want to mention is that Geezer's lineage may use the back weighted stance , but as with all Wing Chun the shoulders and torso will still be squared on to the opponent , enabling either arm equal opportunity to trap while the other hand strikes or , in conjunction with a kick.

It could very well be my eye sight , but in the pictures posted of other CMA they are indeed in a back weighted stance , but I'm afraid that is where the similarity ends.

The shoulders and torso appear to be angled , from a Wing Chun stand point this would make it impossible to have equal opportunity to be able to use either arm for defence /attack equally.

The front arm and leg could certainly launch a simultaneous punch and kick , but with the torso angled and the reduced range of the rear arm I don't see how it could be brought into play quick enough to fulfill a trapping function.

Of course the torso could be squared up again when getting into close range , but that takes time , time you might not have when someone has already made contact with your arms and is affecting your balance.

You would be surprised what you can do with that back hand, at that angle, in Xingyiquan.

Taiji that back hand may have just grabbed you for control and then kicked and punched you or any number of other things.

But you are correct, it is not likely to ever look like the Wing Chun stance you are talking about
 

Nabakatsu

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I would love to see some examples. I am genuinely interested in the internal styles, and you worded it in such a way that has me most curious!
 
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