Sunday, January 29, 2012

Knife Fight and MMA

I was forwarded this very interesting article from a WT colleague of mine. The article can be found here. It essentially breaks down the positives and negatives of fighting in the ring/octagon/sparring vs. self defense. He uses a good example of a popular MMA fighter, defending himself in a street fight only to realize that the attacker pulls a knife out and slashes him up.

Notably, he talks about how, in the street, you just never know what your attacker may pull out from his bag of tricks, ahem, a knife for example. The ring doesn't teach you how to isolate and secure the weapons at play, or be aware of potential attacks, the adrenaline rush of a street fight vs. a ring fight, the list goes on and on.

All his points are valid and I encourage you to read it.

In my wing tsun class (and pretty much all other wing chun classes - at least that's how they market themselves), we emphasize the street fight scenario. It's not about the knock out, it's about getting out of the situation. It's about fighting without fighting. It's about awareness.

But taking the example of story in the article above, even in wing chun classes, there's very little emphasis on dealing with attackers that MAY pull out a knife. Dealing with the sucker punch, dealing with a cut up bottle, with a surprise attacker, and the list goes on and on.

As much as we like to think we do...we don't.

There's just to much to learn in class. We have chi-sao, our forms training, stance training, footwork, and then elements within each ot those - drills, chi-sao sections, endurance training, chain punching...

When you step back, only a mere fraction of your training touches on "what if the attacker had a knife"?

a mere fraction.

that's because i'm still working on my stance. I'm still working on fixing up my bong sao.

there's just too much to learn it seems.

So yes, while wing chun positions itself as street self defense...i ask, is it really?

Until then.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Combo Hitting

In my last post, I talked about the idea of chain hitting. I would like to extend on that a bit further. Whether it's training wing chun or even observing others at the boxing gym, it seems that the first hit is always the hardest and then the second or even the third hit is substantially weaker.

Why is that always the case.

Or, another common scenario is the one-two hit, where the second hit is the hardest, but the first hit doesn't really do much.

In wing chun training, it seems this also happens. Yes we learn to chain punch or chain hit, but the first hit always seems the hardest and the hits following up are much weaker. The hits all come in a one beat count - one - one - one - one..each hit being fairly strong/powerful.

But if you extend that power to a two beat count - onetwo - onetwo -onetwo...or even a three beat count onetwothreee - onetwothree...

I would expect the hits to be quite weak after the first hit and...even if the subsequent hits are strong, the person hitting will tire quite quickly. Why? This is quite normal as we practice in our drills, it's always the first hit that we emphasize, in which the drill resets. so it's always the first hit at a one beat count.

As an experiment, i want you to try it. Hit a heavy bag as hard as you can...try for different combinations and see what you discover. See if your one beat count hits harder than your three beat counts.

Now try to discover what it takes to really throw powerful hits, three times in a row or four times in a row.

Until then.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Idea of Chain Punches

Chain punches are almost a radical way of fighting. the method of the throwing the punches is quite different from conventional styles of combat and goes against the natural feel of what a punch may seem to be or should be.

It's the primary (and some feel it's the only) weapon in wing chun and drills, either partner drills, or solo drills require a lot of chain punches being thrown. Once you're past that initial learning curve, chain punches do feel quite natural and can be quite powerful.

Looking at the concept of chain punching, is the idea of chain hitting. Combining non stop attacks from all weapons - punches, kicks, elbows, knees in a continuous flurry. It may not look like chain punches anymore..and may not even contain chain punches. the concept is functional and that's what matters.

But have you tried this before? Have you tried training this way? It certainly wakes your body up - and also tells you how your body is quite limited to chain punching, i might add. It's a crude awakening. And it's also freaking exhausting, draining your energy reserves quite fast.

You gotta make each hit count - no rabbit punches here - it's incredibly difficult to do. Most people would only be able to throw 1, 2, MAYBE 3 punches max at full blast, and after that they're outta steam...or the punches/hits thereafter are pretty much harmless.

If you don't know what I mean, I think you should try it. Try to chain "hit" not just chain punch and at full capacity - make it count. Do this for 30 seconds and see where you're at on the stamina level.

The answer may surprise you.

Until then.

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