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Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

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Old 03-31-2012, 08:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

I saw this article in this site: Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work

It says here:
Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work

As a prelude to this piece I will say this: Anyone who learned, trained, and fought with Wing Chun for a long period of time should understand some truths of the art. I do not discredit anyone's experiences or call anyone or any lineage the "true" one. Yip Man taught everyone differently, but this is what my research indicates. I don't mean to offend anyone or their lineage, I am in the same boat you are!

Wing Chun now is bashed by many as a crappy and ineffective martial art, despite what it claims. These same people usually promote grappling, boxing, muay thai, and other arts that are seen in popular MMA venues... And for the most part they are right. 97% of the "Wing Chun" and Wing Chun practitioners out there suck are are an embarrassment to the Art. I include all forms of the art from JKD to Ving Tsun, Wing Tsun, BlitzDefense, and etc. Just start looking at some of the Wing Chun clips on the net and you'll see in almost all the real fights or MMA fights that Wing Chun people are getting their ass beat. And don't tell me your lineage is better, I guarantee you that 95%+ of them would get their ass beat just as badly. I used to be proud to be known as a Wing Chun guy, now it is getting to be embarrassing.
Why is this? 1) People don't train hard enough to actually fight a trained fighter or a enraged, tough, and/or savvy street fighter. They can only beat other Wing Chun people up, classmates up, or other non-fighters. (Big Fish, little pond). 2) Wing Chun is for the most part watered down and a lost art. It's a empty shell. As Yip Man told Allan Lee, "It only looks like Wing Chun but it has no substance". And this is how Yip Man wanted it - he never sold out his true art.

Some people have either consciously or subconsciously realized this and tried to fill in the gaps with other tools/arts, but this is usually only slightly better, if not a lot worse. Others stubbornly stick to a "Pure" Wing Chun, but these purists are usually the ones getting their asses beat and giving the art a bad name. It is not always their fault, in principle they are right. Wing Chun, as a complete art, should be able to handle any type of fighter it faces. But the guys who modify Wing Chun to work for them are also right - why practice something that will get you beat up?

"Although Yip Man had multitudes of students... the number of formal disciples he accecpted could be counted on three fingers on one hand. To these few who pledged their fidelity in the ritual of three kneels nine kowtows in the traditional SiFu Worship Ceremony he taught Wing Chun Wugong. This includes Wing Chun Kung Fu plus Gongli, the art of exerting power, plus the practical application of Wing Chun fighting techniques..." Wing Chun Warrior

Yip Man said he passed on the complete knowledge to 5 people ONLY. The rest of his disciples and students only got the "empty shell" (This means you and your lineage (Sorry)). Sure, Yip Man's private students know all the forms and a lot of techniques, and drills, but the real system contains so much more. It required years of very tough training, a lot of pressure on the disciple, and years of sacrifice on top of mastering everything Yip Man taught to his private students. I don't want to bash any lineages or Sifus here, but the more Wing Chun I see the more I am convinced that this is right. Yip Man did not teach the entire art to anyone he trained publicly, or any of his publicly known private students/"disciples". He only taught about 1/2 of it. I don't even think his real students even trained with the public classes. So if your teacher learned in a classroom setting (even if it was private later on), then they probably fall into this group. Learning the other half of the system meant training daily with Yip Man in person for about 4-5 years on top of the rest. These Sifus who say they know it all and trained privately with Yip Man for 9 months, 2x a week, or even a year 7x a week, etc... They were not formal disciples, only private students. They are missing a lot. And now, so are we.

Yip Man let 9 people fight for his Hong Kong school. (Not including the 5 he passed the complete system on to - these 9 included Wong Shun Leung, Lok Yiu, Taun Hong, etc.). These fighters took that "empty shell" and made it work for them... for the most part. Most evidence points to the fact the Wing Chun fighters only did okay in the challange matches. They usually got just as beat up as their opponents and there was no clear cut winner. Even Wong Shun Leung. In his very highly publicized match with White Crane master Ni Wo-tang there was no clear cut winner and both combatants were bleeding. As everyone said, it was a boring match.

Therefore, in my opinion Yip Man had 14 "fighters" at the end of his life, 3-5 of which knew the complete system. Of these 5, the last true masters of the Art, only 1 or 2 have passed down their complete knowledge to date. The training is extremely hard and tough, and people now-a-days want instant kung-fu. It is my belief that this generation of masters will be the last, and I'm not alone in this thought. No one trains 6 hours a day with a dedicated teacher for the 5-7 years it takes to master this system the way it was meant to be.

So what can we do about it? Unless you are related to one of the 5 true inheritors of the system, in my opinion all you can do is train what you are given, and fight. Get better, fix your mistakes, fill in your gaps, and fight some more. Be like WSL, Bruce Lee, and etc. Take what you know and learn to make it work for you.

Yip Man once asked, "Do you think you can learn something from a famous SiFu?" He went on to explain that just because he is famous it doesn't mean that you can learn something worthwhile from him.

He gave a scenario. Suppose Yim Wing Chun comes alive to teach you and it turns out what you learn is not practical for use in a real fight. It's outdated and useless. Then someone who is nobody shows you some Wing Chun technique that really works in a fight. Which do you think is better?

He also asked one of his formal disciples once, "Do you belive everything I say?"

The disciple replied, "Of course."

Yip Man then said, "If you believe everything I say then you will never become a good fighter".

"Why shouldn't I belive you? You are my SiFu"

"Try [the techniques I teach you] out for yourself. And when you have a problem I will correct it".

Yip Man would say not to blindly believe everything he said. He wanted you to do your own research using common sense with his teachings as a guideline. After all, how do you know you are not being cheated? (Boy, this sure applies to today's world of Wing Chun). Yip Man told all of his students to go out and fight (and a few actually did, but not most, and not most of the ones teaching today). How many people do this today vs how many are teaching Wing Chun as if they know something?

Yip Man also had the habit of telling all of his student they were right. Even during his lifetime most of his senior students were using the hands and techniques differently. They all thought they were right. Most never took his advice and didn't believe him. They should have tested their Wing Chun as he told them to. Even his own son did not.

"Application is the only way to verify the truth"

Of course you have to respect your SiFu. Use your common sense. Accept what they say, research it. Test it. Don't mystify the art. If you can't see it, and if you can't feel it, then how do you know it is correct and practical? Go fight with it, this is the only way to understand.



Again, It's not my opinion. I found it on this website
Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

Interesting criticism. Our wing chin practitioners will likely have something to say about this.
This reminds me of an article I read recently, about Dr. Yang, the White Crane master, and his search for students. He's looking for students to pass the whole of the art on to, rather than just "outer room" disciples, who he says don't recieve the real art. The students he accepts train full time with him on mountain in (I believe) California for ten years. Only 6 accepted his offer, and one dropped out after several years. Not sure where the article was, it was in a a magazine I found in the library back home. I'll post it if I can find it.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

very interesting. reminds me of the criticisms made towards several arts. im not promoting or bashing any certain art. but these trends come and go, everyone wants to be a contrarion. i really like the philosophy of wing chun, but i have no experience with it. i think this is the age old case, that there is really no certain way that is more effective. thats why any wise instuctor SHOULD encourage interests in other arts. the problem is when students start learning an art, and swear by that art. they say their art is the end all of martial arts, and everyone knows its ridiculous. if there was one certain way that was the most effective, and was proven over and over to be; then everyone would be doing that same art. the reality is that there are many different effective arts, designed for different people and different situations. i think anytime an art gets some mainstream attention, then the bashing must follow. and everyone has seen black belts or "masters" of there art that cant save their own ass or even throw kicks correctly. that is just a side effect of bad training or a bad student. lol
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

Hm. Read through it. Mulled it over a bit. Here's what I think.

1. No sources. As a journalist, I'm taught that "One source is no source. Verification comes through the exhaustion of multiple reliable sources". This article quotes frequently, but does not verify the quotes. No effort went into comfirming that what was supposedly said is actually true. This makes me highly sceptical of the accuracy of the article.

2. Very coloured writing. Observations should be objective in an article like this, an article that is written to assist the reader to form an opinion of his own. However, the part about 'secret teachings' and 'true students' is very subjective.

How do I read that passage?

Yip Man had many students. They were very different, not all equally motivated. Those with true motivation and dedication to the art did not want the training to be over. They wanted more, so they asked for more lessons. They got more lessons because of their passion for the art, which is why they were so much better than their peers.

I don't believe that Yip Man taught a 'secret system' to a select few disciples. This is a marketing strategy devised by those of his students that want a claim to Wing Chun royalty.

I am also higly sceptical about schools that do teach 'secret techniques'. I've heard stories about and experienced teachers that will hold back techniques until a student makes some sort of loyalty pledge or sticks with the same teacher for many years.

Kung Fu should be open knowledge, never should aspects be obscured for the sake of a mystic image or financial profit.

All in all, I don't think the author of this article has pure intentions OR is wildly misinformed/severely untrained in quality journalism.

---

Do I think I'm taught 'true' Wing Chun? In a sense, yes. I can't trace the lineage back to the base, I can't claim secret knowledge, I can't back up any claims of my teacher having 'inherited the true system the way That&that meant it'.

I do, however, see in my teacher a man that holds the values of Kung Fu in high regard. Discipline, passion, curiosity, brotherhood. He is open with his students, does not hold back knowledge. He answers all questions we have, even when they hint at doubt about the effectiveness of his system ("What about when a kickboxer does this?" "What about a knife? What about the other hand? What about his mates?" "What about that angle? That seems unprotected to me..."). And he answers them well, no mystical or evasive drivel.

Can I claim a superior lineage, Wing Chun royalty or secret knowledge? No.
Do I care? Not even a little.

I'm good where I'm at. I have faith in that.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

I was a wing chun practitioner, and I will be the last one who says that every wing chun school is a good one. Because, as you already said, that's just not true. But I don't believe in your numbers. For example; learned wing chun for 5years from a master, who was like 6 ' and 4.77 " tall and he was verry strong. the fact is I'm 6 ' and 0.44" I'm pretty skinny and not verry strong, so after he tought be the basics I figured this system won't work for me. And I got a little sceptic about the system as well. After that I visited an other wing chun school (or Ving tsun this time), and there was this teacher who was a litle smaller than me, and a bit stronger but besides that our postures matched quite well. And the things (I thought) my "old"wing chun lacks, are got covered by this "new" wing chun. Also he asked me to attack him however I liked, so I threw him some sanda combinations (that looks alot like kickboxing combinations), although I wanted to throw some sanda combinations because before my first movement his fist was only inches before my head.
So what I'm trying to say is every wing chun master teaches his own system which works for him (like you said), so if you want to train wing chun find a master with a similar posture and look how he reacts on some MMA or kickboxing moves, ask him questions about the system and be honest to yourself if this will work for you as well. But there is no way you can say that (almost) every wing chun now practiced is an empty shell.

Also I like to give a quick comment on your post

Quote:
Originally Posted by boyles159 View Post
I saw this article in this site: Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work

(...) Yip Man taught everyone differently(...),

Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
doubt it, everyone interpreted it different

Quote:
Originally Posted by boyles159 View Post
I saw this article in this site: Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
(...)Just start looking at some of the Wing Chun clips on the net and you'll see in almost all the real fights or MMA fights that Wing Chun people are getting their ass beat.(...)

Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
Every (full contact) sparring MATCH has it's rules, as long as these boundaries are around there is no way a wing chun fighter can use it's whole system. Imagen an MMA fighter who is not allowed to kick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boyles159 View Post
I saw this article in this site: Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
(...) Yip Man did not teach the entire art to anyone he trained publicly, or any of his publicly known private students/"disciples". He only taught about 1/2 of it. (...)
Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
I don't think Yip man was the person for keeping wing chun a mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by boyles159 View Post
I saw this article in this site: Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
(...)Even Wong Shun Leung. In his very highly publicized match with White Crane master Ni Wo-tang there was no clear cut winner and both combatants were bleeding. As everyone said, it was a boring match.(...)
Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
what did you expect when to masters confront each other. I don't think one style is superior to an other so If you both can fight don't think you'll be able getting out of this fight unharmed (again look at an MMA fight).

Quote:
Originally Posted by boyles159 View Post
I saw this article in this site: Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
(...) Go fight with it, this is the only way to understand. (...)

Wing Chun Fight Club - Opinion: Why Wing Chun Doesn't Work
Ofcourse it's ok to check if your fighting works (thats the reason I like to train full contact as well) but I don't think the "go out and fight" mentality fits martial arts.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

now thats what we call an informative and unbiased reply! kudos!
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Post Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

This seems to be more about Wing Chun Mcdojos than the style itself. To be frank, I have a funny feeling you can make these arguements about ANY martial art. As far as the actual style goes, it's a style formed around scientific ideas. That being said, if you sleep through your physics class, well of course you won't learn physics!

I've learned more concepts to work with than techniques, ideas for me to base my own training off of. I practice very informally and to be frank, I can't tell you the names of the strikes. Why? Because it doesn't matter what it's called. A technique is a technique.

I think the most trouble a Wing Chun practitioner can have is if he focuses too little on the "boring" ideas of the art.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by martialfreek View Post
Ofcourse it's ok to check if your fighting works (thats the reason I like to train full contact as well) but I don't think the "go out and fight" mentality fits martial arts.
This is very important. It's often overlooked, but the majority of traditional schools will not appreciate it if you come in and start challenging people just to 'see who is better'.

Remember that if you want to test your skill at a different school, you should be respectful of their customs.

A few tips:

- Stick around for a few lessons and actively try to use the material you're instructed to use during that class. It shows respect.
- If you intend to use your system against theirs, ask if that's okay and present it as an exchange of knowledge, rather than as a personal quest.
- Always thank the instructor for his time, effort and courtesy.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoRave View Post
This is very important. It's often overlooked, but the majority of traditional schools will not appreciate it if you come in and start challenging people just to 'see who is better'.

Remember that if you want to test your skill at a different school, you should be respectful of their customs.

A few tips:

- Stick around for a few lessons and actively try to use the material you're instructed to use during that class. It shows respect.
- If you intend to use your system against theirs, ask if that's okay and present it as an exchange of knowledge, rather than as a personal quest.
- Always thank the instructor for his time, effort and courtesy.
I don't think that should apply to Mcdojos, the owners are big time scammers and some act tough and act like they're the shit
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

Quote:
"Application is the only way to verify the truth"
thats the best part of the article imo.

i dont see any wing chun in MMA fights. which part of the MMA rules does prevent wing chun practitioners from applying their art in the octagon?
i know i will get bashed for this, but i'm still curious if anybody can answer my question.
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Wing Chun Ineffectiveness

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