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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Are You Caught In The "Tap-Tap" Trap?

I studied about 4 years of Shito-ryu karate. I really loved it and it really opened my eyes to the benefit of martial arts, and more importantly, the benefits of having a good martial arts school. The class was very traditional - much of the moves were taught in Japanese, there were bowing etiquette we had to follow, etc.

The class consisted of a lot of basics training (stance, punches, blocks, kick drills, etc) and then there was kata training and then kumite (pre-arranged and freestyle).

As I progressed, my focus centred a lot on free style kumite. i just loved the rush. But right away, i noticed how limited the fighting was. Reverse punches and round house kicks were pretty much the primary weapons..some may have opted a front kick with their reverse punch, but the reverse punch was your bread and butter.

I noticed that the seasoned fighters - competitive champions - had a knack of pulling their punches or, in a sense, 'ended' the fight as soon as a clean hit was registered. Sure the punches still hurt, but there was a lot pull back and reset..and many times, even before the refs even call the hit. It was an automatic response.

Now, with wing chun. I see a lot of that type "automated pull back" with people training chi-sao. Instead of hitting, they just tap or stop the punch or just push, but not really hit..or not hit, but tap really fast. Although I understand that you cannot hit the partner during chi-sao training (otherwise they would never train with you again), the wing chun student can fall into that trap of automatically assuming that a tap EQUALS a hit.

Of course, they will realize that a tap is not a hit when they step into a free-fight situation.

Scary stuff.

Don't fall into the tap-tap trap! There are ways to train you wing chun under controlled conditions, in which the hits are 'turned up' a few notches so that you're tapping, you're not pushing, but you're actually practicing hitting. of course, there are stages to such development, but that's where your instructor should guide you.

If all you guys do is tap each other, you're wasting your time.

Until then.

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