Sunday, August 28, 2011

Western Boxing - Add That To My Resume!

Over time my training has evolved, and the lessons and message from my Si-Fu has evolved as well. For me, it went from traditional or typical wing tsun training (eg. chain punches, weight on back leg, chi-sao, head up, etc) to a change in frame, where wing tsun is chinese boxing - it's something that is alive and heavy handed and the entire body works together...while this is differentiated from "typical wing chun" training where you see people just chain punch (ahem, rabbit punch) their way through everything. While it may be effective for some it also may not work for many - as you can see on Youtube all the chunners getting knocked out by right cross or left hooks...


Wing tsun is kung fu and kung fu is chinese boxing. The idea here is that it's boxing. Bring the boxing back into kung fu! back into Wing Tsun! This message has definitely been hammered in (at least to me) over the last few years. Once you have a functional tan sao or bong sao, etc, you throw all positions away and focus on the "boxing" aspect of the fight.

Sounds obvious as you read this, right? But you never see this anywhere. Every 'chunner" just rabbit punches their way through things as that's all they know...let alone pretty lame punches to boot. If you're going to chain punch, make sure they have boom!

Anyway, the point of all this - I've joined a wester boxing gym. The purpose of me doing this is all fitness, but hey, why not make this an opportunity to figure out how to make my wing tsun better by learning boxing. And, maybe it'll help me put the boxing back into Chinese Boxing!

No one knows I've had any martial arts experience or am studying wing tsun. I want them to treat me completely new. I'm there with an open mind and ready to absorb all they can throw at me. It's going to be quite exciting.

This isn't some cardio boxing class - this is a boxing gym. I expect blood, sweat and tears and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you!


Until then.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Legend of the Fist

Had the chance to catch Donnie Yen in the Legend of the Fist. To sum it up, I rather enjoyed it quite a bit!

This movie continues where Bruce Lee left off in the Chinese Connection (you know, the movie where he beats up an entire karate dojo). Donnie Yen plays Bruce Lee's character in the Chinese Connection, Chen Zhen, but the movie takes place 10 years after the events of the Chinese Connection.

I didn't have any expectations going in but as a fan of Bruce Lee, this movie pays homage to his fans and Bruce. There are signature Bruce Lee moves in this movie, the Kato outfit, and numerous references to the Chinese Connection movie. They've updated the dojo fight and incorporated elements of the Chinese Connection very nicely into the Legend of the Fist. Even the Bruce Lee war cry makes its way into the movie - ha! I liked it!

Now I'm by no means a kung fu movie enthusiast, but I really enjoy how other kung fu movies have really taken the story of the Chen Zhen/Chinese Connection and expanded on it.

Here's a quick run down:

  • Jet Li's Fearless: This is the story of Chen Zhen's Sifu, Huo Yuan Jia: his history, how he built the school and the famous fight that he lost against the Japanese.
  • Bruce Lee in Chinese Connection: After hearing the death of his Sifu against the Japanese, Chen Zhen takes matters into his own hands and avenges the death of his Sifu, while also paying the ultimate price.
  • Jet Li in Fist of Legend: Probably one my favorite movies, Jet Li's Fist of Legend is a retelling of the Chinese Connection. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out. Watch the subtitled version, not the dubbed version.
  • Donnie Yen in Legend of the Fist: Chen Zhen's story continues after beatuing up the Japanese and manages to avoid executionby escaping to Europe using his skills in the battle field, only to return to Shanghai after world war 1, and takes on an active role in uniting China.
Let me know what you guys think!

Until then.



Sunday, August 7, 2011

THANK YOU!

Hi all - I just wanted to say thank you to all my readers out there and to those that comment on my post! I'm not leaving or anything but just wanted to say thanks!

I always read your comments and always find them thought provoking or sometimes funny - whatever the case, it's always great to hear thoughts and ideas from you.

Best part ever - I have yet to experience a comment thread bashing as to who would win in a fight: Seagal or Van Damme...or Boztepe and Gracie ;P

And a big thanks to my Si-Fu for letting me say whatever the heck I want to say on here. I can criticize WT to my hearts content or question the effectiveness of karate any way I want. Sometimes (although rare) I may not even fully agree with what I'm saying but just want to let my mind be free and to visit the 'what if' scenarios. I can assure you the only person that drives this blog is myself. I'm not here to promote a school, a lineage, or anything like that.

I can bash all you guys equally and freely behind the security of this keyboard! haha, I kid I kid.

Anyway, always glad to here from you guys and to see the stats of visitors!

Until then.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ip Man 2 Review

I finally had the chance to catch Ip Man 2 on Netflix. As you already know, I am a fan of the first Ip Man movie. So what are my thoughts on the second one? Obviously, not as good as the first one. But why? What went wrong?

For one, i didn't really care for the story line. The first movie established Ip Man as a reputable fighter among the schools, and this sequel told that same story again but in Hong Kong. Then, almost out of nowhere, they brought in the 'westerners' as the common enemy to unite all the Chinese that have been fighting each other the entire movie..and of course, the Westerner is quite one dimensional - big, muscular, arrogant, powerful and yells a lot. What also added to the lameness of this whole thing was that the transition to the "western" enemy was quite abrupt and was just tossed into the story to give the story an ending.

On top of this - the fighting wasn't great. The wing chun wasn't as nicely demonstrated as in the first film and got really "posey" throughout - there were also really tight camera shots and wire tricks - there wasn't that gruesome wing chun that was demonstrated in the first film (think of that amazing Ip Man vs. the 10 black belts scene).

It would've been interesting if they would show more realistically (yet still flashy) how wing chun could perhaps deal with a western boxer - the cameras were too close to really get an idea, and only the end of the fight, did they show some true gems (eg. attacking the biceps, shoulders).

Fights against Sammo Hung weren't that great either.

I also noticed that the Ip Mans leg work during the fight scenes were barely involved - it was all upper body. I think it would've been cooler to show the leg work more during hands work..especially against the western boxer.

Ok that's my rant..err review. What are your thoughts?

Until then.

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