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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:25 pm    Post subject: Wing Chun Traditional vs Contemporary Reply with quote

Keeping up with times and not falling behind for Wing Chun practioners could be a challenge. Choosing to do things differently as to add grappling techniques that don't have a kata or a form opens up a new world for the Wing Chun man or woman.

One of the concept's or idea's for Wing Chun is that it should or must be tested.

Wing Chun Grappling.

The Wing Chun practioner rolling against grapplers might be the next best thing in martial arts.

What are your thoughts?
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If grappling isn't a norm for a WC practitioner, than I believe that grappling needs to be added to the curriculum. Not all fights end up on the ground, and not all stand up practitioners always remain standing. Therefore, I believe that adding grappling to WC would greatly benefit them.

I suppose, better to have learned grappling, then to have not learned grappling when it's needed.



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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do suppose all stand up styles could benefit from grappling skills, not just singling out Wing Chun.

If grappling was to become part of the Wing Chun curriculum then the clothes would need to be changed to a tougher material. Also mats would need to be introduced in to the equation.

It does take certain body types to be able to grapple effectively. As Wing Chun practioners are not all up to rolling as grapplers do, it could be a stumbling block for many to learn. I don't foresee Wing Chun grappling but I do believe an anti gappling strategy my evolve to plug the gap!

As the stand up fighter is generally about hitting or attacking the face of the opponent, it might be more advisable to attack areas that grapplers need to attack you with.

Attack the muscles and body parts that grapplers need to do damage to you with, it stands to reason. The grappler needs arms to do most of the grappling techniques, anything from the shoulder down to the fingertips should be targeted.

This strategy of limb (arm) destruction, places time more in your favor, because more blows you can land to the limbs less strength they will have on squeezing the life out of you later.

As martial artists do, we have a tendency to defend our style (comfort zone) with "I will deal with it when it happens" or "I am confident to be able to defend myself" We all need a reality check sometimes, this (post) might be applicable to you.

Personally I know the odds are on my side if I remain fighting standing up and my odds of winning diminish significantly if the fight ends up rolling on the ground. Time is in favor of the grappler and not in favor for the stand up fighter. This is why it is important to end a fight as quickly and as efficiently as possible, no matter who you are fighting; that other person could be a grappler.

If a stand up fighters looked at their opponent (grappler) as a potential 'Boa Constrictor' snake, they might have a better chance of defeating the threat more wisely. The snake is associated with some Wing Chun techniques, however the grappling snake is using coiling constrictions vs speed and cunning sensitivity tricks.

Against an experienced grappler, I know my only chance of winning is before the fight has been taken to the ground. So my best strategy is to do as much damage (while still standing) with fast precision striking and counter evasive (distancing) takedown maneuvers. Knowingly having some minimal ground fighting skills would come in handy, if the need would ever arise.

I don't see how an experienced standup fighter can (realistically) manage to win against an experienced grappler. Because the grappler still needs stand up fighting skills and has learned them as a part of the grappling style. While on the other hand the stand up fighter just thinks on his/her feet.

There are stand up styles that have some grappling-locking techniques/throws/takedowns but if the fight gets stretched out the rolling skills and experience grapplers practice far outweighs everything else the stand up fighter has.
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Wado Heretic
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would not be all that difficult for an experienced student of Wing Chun to include or add grappling to their repertoire. After all they would not be the first to begin the process;

The late Larry Hartsell's work, and the on going work of the Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do Grappling association is one. Yes, it is not strictly Wing Chun, however the entering into trapping and grappling material is very applicable to the signature range of Wing Chun, and can be used as an extension to conventional Chi Sao and Chi Gerk with some imagination. Here is a link to the website; http://www.jkdassoc.com.

There has already been a movement of so called anti-grappling in Wing Chun, and from my taste of it and what I have seen, it does not live up to its expressed goal and aim. Mostly because it has been created by Wing Chun purists who have a concept of grappling based on observation, but not experience or actual experimentation. However, I believe some of it could still be used for inspiration if put under appropriate pressure testing; one could possibly eliminate the absurd from the plausible, and create workable "sprawl and brawl" tactics. Here is a you-tube example of some of it; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBhkm9copcA. It is actually probably one of the better examples out there, and even then it is somewhat lacking in sense when one understands what grappling with a non-passive opponent is like.

Another source I am hesitant to add as it is not strictly Wing Chun is the Koppo of Seishi Horibe. As seen in this video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm3Ux0VzIA8, Koppo worked from a range very similar to that of Wing Chun, and includes a degree of sohpisticated grappling. I suspect it could serve as a springboard to some ideas. It was somewhat road tested in Vale Tudo at the Koppo vs Keisyukai events; with one loss and one win to the Koppo fighters at the first event, and a collection of draws for the second event. Though, it must be added that the two Koppo fighters who partook in the Universal Vale Tudo 2 were defeated in their first fights. However, a few early shoot-fighting/Hybrid wrestling pioneers including Funaki Masakatsu, also trained in it. The main problem though is deciphering the material if one is not a Japanese speaker, and the material that exists in video is not of great quality nor easy to access even if one is. However, there is a number of videos on youtube, and if one is only using it for ideas rather than to follow faithfully it could still be useful.

The issue with Wing Chun, or any traditional martial art, and the addition of sophisticated grappling is that in many cases it does fly in the face of K.I.S.S; keep it stupid simple. A principle most pragmatic self-defence arts were built around; barring only to an extent the arts as developed and maintained by the warrior classes, for use on the battlefield which required sophisticated skills which acknowledged different dangers than civilian self-defence.

Wing Chun though, has largely been a vehicle for civilian self-defence, and relies on the simple tactic of the blitz at its most basic level. The blitz is one of the favourite methods as used by muggers, a vicious continued attack to overwhelm their victims defence. It is also one of the more instinctual methods as employed by the untrained in a physical confrontation; in an average fight around 8 punches are thrown by either fighter, and the fight lasts seconds. Wing Chun merely refined this into a tactic based on quickest point from A-B to outpace the common attackers untrained offense, and integrated the other basic premise of pragmatic self-preservation; attack where you are most afraid to be attacked, in other words the easiest to hit vital points, while defending your own vulnerabilities. Its third, and most advanced tactic, is to undermine the attackers footing, and to prevent him moving forward, or out of combat.

Sophisticated grappling does not naturally come into this way of thinking, when the point is to outpace an attacker and recapture the initiative; compared to combat sports or combatives where gaining the priority is as important as recovering it. This defensive way of thinking can be viewed in Karate, Kempo, other schools of Quan Fa, and other forms of pragmatic self-defence which developed in relative ages of peace or within the realm of civilian violence, rather than in times of war or among professional soldiers.

Can one add sophisticated grappling to the traditional arts, yes, but one must beware not to tack it on, and also keep one eye on the original goal of the art. However, I would argue it would take one becoming obsessed with grappling for at least two years, if you have any talent for it, and getting to a point where you can finish people on the ground before one can realistically add grappling to their over all skill-set; in terms of bringing it all together in free-sparring and training drills.

A good start for a would be Wing Chun Grappler might actually be Muay Thai, or Saimese Boxing in general, and learning how to clinch and understand the subtleties of Kubi-Sumo. It would better fit the usual range Wing Chun fights within.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Wado for your in-depth views and participation on this topic.

Having watched the Wing Chun anti grappling video, it would be more interesting to hear what grapplers have to say about it.

My opinion on the video is, the person supposedly attacking as a would be grappler is a Wing Chun man. This looses credibility with me instantly, maybe this view of mine is being a bit too harsh but I would prefer not to sugar coat this issue.

Also in the video, regarding the anti grappling techniques used on the attacker 'grappler" he didn't retaliated whatsoever and had ample opportunitys to do so.

There was a type of realistic street brawling aspect to some of the video footage, which seem plausible in street fighting scenarios. Should be noted that the Wing Chun fighting style has a back alley history attached to it and not an octagon, with lights, music, action, money!

I am aware that Wing Chun has anti grappling techniques but if they are practiced only against other Wing Chun grapplers then it is training to be defeated by real grapplers.

What grappling has that Wing Chun hasn't is the rolling techniques. The anti grappling Wing Chun needs to address this fact and incorporate 'Rolling'

As Wado suggested (I agree) a few years training in grappling is needed for the Wing Chun fighter. Grappling is far more sophisticated than it seems; having said that Wing Chun is also more sophisticated than it seems also.

Personally I liked the Koppo video that you (Wado) made a link to, as viewing and incorporating different styles is a part of my game. Thanks for that!

Grapplers don't fall nicely in to a pre arranged style so (Stand Up) fighters can defeat them; far from it. JKD concepts tried to address this type of issue and it came down to the man and not the style will be the victor.

The idea of combining Muay Thai to Wing Chun has been kicking around for some time now. Perhaps this is the right time in martial art history to combine Wing Chun-Muay Thai with Jujitsu.

We now live MMA (mixed martial arts) times and the days of the best martial art style is over. Delusional or virtual martial arts, it is now the actual that wins the credit and respect of the majority.
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guird
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Styles: BJJ, MMA, Gongkwon Yusul

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's fine for arts to train a single range in isolation, in which case it's up to each individual to crosstrain other ranges. Better to learn a tried-and-tested grappling curriculum than to try to make somthing up based on knowledge of a standup striking style.

I think WC has bigger issues it needs to adress first in any case, both in terms of politics and quality control.
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Wado Heretic
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that was my main problem with the anti-grappling material. It is against a complacent opponent, and against a Wing Chun Student, who has watched the techniques and knows how to do them; but has never done them against a resisting opponent who knows what they are doing, nor has actually used them to finish a spar on the ground. It demonstrates some interesting ideas about applying Wing Chun to that dimension of fighting; however, a lot of it we can see is non-functional simply by observation, but I think some might be worth trying through pressure testing. Just to see whether the idea of Wing Chun Anti-Grappling actually has any basis in reality, and if turning the idea into repeatable and practicable drills is possible and worthwhile.

I would take any of the Koppo material with a pinch of salt, but some of it is interesting, and thought I would share as it seems applicable to the topic. As mentioned it had moderate to almost no success in the early days of Vale Tudo and free-fight, and Seishi Horibe definitely overestimated what he was teaching. However, it is very close to what I imagine full-contact Wing Chun sparring might look like, and does work from a similar range; so beside Jeet Kune Do it is perhaps the closest a Wing Chun student might find to applied Wing Chun. Glad it has been appreciated.

I would say every art has a specialty; something its founder and then following propagators emphasised as the most practicable tactics or tactics for combat. For Wing Chun this would be the blitz, for karate that would be Ikken Hissatsu, and for Brazilian Jujutsu eliminating advantages by forcing the fight to the ground where skill matters most. Should every art be adaptive or specialise is a question for those who propagate the art, and I think the age of the one dimensional art has come to a close, but it is a fair point that no single method of instruction should attempt to a be a 1 shape fits all. Flexibility in self-defence, and flexibility in free-fighting are quite different, and should be accounted for. All I would say is that when it comes to grappling, you do need to roll with people who know how to grapple; it is the only safe way to practice grappling against a resisting person. Grappling in a resisting manner when you have two people with no clear idea is just dangerous, and inviting injury.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As guird pointed out the quality control aspect of Wing Chun. There is controversy over 'Chi Sao' in the Wing Chun community.

Some say that Chi Sao is too sensitive of a training exercise to be viable. To practice it for fun only.

Others belive Chi Sao is totally unrealistic and not to bother practicing it at all. Reason being no one fights this way. Standing in a stationery rolling arms with an opponent trying to sense an opening is never going to happen in reality.

While others have become so good at using Chi Sao that it has become like a type of sparring and in doing so has replaced sparring altogether.

Chi Sao and Centre line theory is what makes Wing Chun unique, different from all other styles. Without these aspects, it cannot be or call itself Wing Chun.

Another aspect of Wing Chun controversy within it's community is the weight distribution in stances.

As in using 50/50 at all times and the 30/70 traditional view point. The hoping forward is also under scrutiny because of the being unbalanced on one foot lacks power and stability in offensive and defensive situations.

All of these issues with Wing Chun in my eyes are normal. It is not a rigid or regimented style. All arts have a foundation but it is the personal interpretations and individual uniqueness combined with that art is what brings it to life.

Reason is no one is built the same. Wrestlers for example might find that Chi Sao practice is too sensitive for their fighting game and would prefer to slam the opponent to the ground instead.

Whereas as slimmer person is unrealistically going to slam someone to the ground that is double their own body weight. Yet have a better fighting chance using deflecting and countering techniques found in Chi Sao.

Also late starters to Wing Chun and or have practiced other styles previously have already wired and sealed their fighting skills. Trying to adopt another style may seem awkward or not totally compatible.

As Bruce Lee was always seeking the truth in his martial art life. To strip away the unessentials. To practice what works for you and build upon that. That the individual is more important than the style. To be like water and adapt oneself.

Bruce Lee highlighted Wing Chun's potential as a formidable fighting style to the world. It has grown up and developed for over 300 years in relative obscurity. Even now it is still evolving and adapting to the needs of the 21st Century fighters. What we may call traditional Wing Chun or classical Wing Chun is very recent, probably from Ip Man's interpretations.

Wing Chun is very rich in many aspects. If practiced traditionally or adapted as Bruce Lee did. There are many layers of understanding in the Wing Chun system or style. Just depends how far a person wants to go to seek out and explore the Wing Chun enigmas close up in person.
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Ingdow
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

guird wrote:
I think it's fine for arts to train a single range in isolation, in which case it's up to each individual to crosstrain other ranges. Better to learn a tried-and-tested grappling curriculum than to try to make somthing up based on knowledge of a standup striking style.

I think WC has bigger issues it needs to adress first in any case, both in terms of politics and quality control.


I share this opinion.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point to remember that Wing Chun is a close combat style. Side and back kicks (from long legged fighters) usually work well against (slim but well proportional) Wing Chun stylists and (short muscular) grapplers fair even better.

Kicking styles utilize their hips for kicking with and grapplers control their opponents hips. While in Wing Chun hips are utilized to throw a plentitude amount of punches with; you do the math.

Must keep in mind that not every Wing Chun fighter has popped out of the same (Ip Man) cracker jack box. Skill levels differ from one individual fighter to the next.

Bruce Lee would change his fighting style in mid stream. This is how the JKD concept came about (to intercept) use what worked in the moment and not echoing techniques from the past, hoping they would succeed.

Bruce Lee used the term "organized despair' for martial artists that practiced a style that was not capable of being efficient or effective in reality.

Nothing wrong with Wing Chun, maybe just to consider to adapt it to the 21st Century surroundings, that could have more open space (than Wing Chun was developed for) to fight in a larger place than a telephone booth and perhaps to suppose that the opponent could be aiming to slam dunk your face in to the concrete pavement, while you are not given the chance to utilize your sensitivity (touch and speed) Chi Sao skills.

Maybe Bruce Lee had foreseen the future within Wing Chun's limitations and then used Wing Chun as his foundation for JKD. Just as 'Chi' cannot be separated from blood. JKD cannot be separated from Wing Chun.

Certainly not advocating mixing caffeine with Wing Chun, even if it does make chain punching technique faster; Bruce Lee would never condone it so neither should you.
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