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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gary Lam Challenge Video - The Takeaway Lesson

Okay guys, here are my thoughts on this video. But if you have no idea what i'm talking about then, you'll want to check out my initial post on this topic.

A few things I want to say up front:

  • Yes, this isn't a real fight. I think everyone knows this, and the first one to admit that would be Sifu Gary Lam (i would expect). it is just chi-sao, but in the realms of wing chun, especially at a seminar where some guy from another school just wants to cross-hands, considering this a "challenge" match is not unreasonable.
  • Was the "challenger" disrespectful? I don't know all the details as the video gets cut, so it's hard to say what the intention or discussion was prior to the exchange. But if the "challenger" just wanted to roll and then right away goes to punch him - it could be interpreted as disrespectful, especially from a Chinese culture point of view. At the same time, Sifu Lam should've been better prepared crossing hands with some unknown person..and you just know he wants to test skills...
So my observations:

Sifu Gary Lam was too nice or at least, didn't really put on the pressure until he got hit.

But once he did, you can tell right away who had the better structure, wedging or pressure..or whatever you wanted to call it, as he could pretty much keep advancing while the challenger had to step back away many times..almost running back or hopping out of the distance, let alone clearly getting hit or could be hit many times.

Now i'm not going to really go into really technical stuff. I'm not an expert, a teacher, etc. And it's easy for anyone to criticize anything they see over video and say that his structure is bad, or they're stiff, or there's no control etc, etc.

What I would like to point out is that Sifu Gary Lam has been doing this for a long time. He's very well known and has some very notable students as well. So obviously this guy is pretty good. At least better than many of us...and by us, probably the majority of us reading this blog post right now.

Yet, he still got hit the first time. Yet, he did tense up. Yet, he was stiff. Yet, he did muscle his way in. Yet, he didn't sink..and the list goes on.

It doesn't mean he sucks or he's bad at wing chun.

To me, it just goes to show you how difficult it really is to apply wing chun in a stressed out situation. And for any of us to criticize them, is, in my opinion, kind of silly unless you yourself have been in a situation like this or worse, while using your wing chun.

It goes to show how our natural tendencies of using muscle, of getting stuff, or stressing out can really inhibit wing chun. And it goes to show how hard you really have to train and really have to make sure you train in a context that replicates this type of stressed out environment. If you don't, you're practically wasting your time.

If you're training with students who go easy on you too much or you're training with partners you know that you can easily overtake, then you're not training buddy.

What's worse are the students who pick "weak" partners because they know they can handle them.

i can't stress this enough - if Gary Lam is considered stiff, or stressed, etc then just imagine what you, myself or anyone of us would be like if we were in that situation! And the best part, it's not even a real fight scenario.

If your level of chi-sao is, let's say, an 8 out of 10, in the class room, it's probably a 5 out of 10 in a challenge situation and probably a 1 out of 10 in the street.

How do you make your chi sao an 8 out of 10 in the class room, challenge match AND in the street?

Until then.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Was Going to Write About Boxing and Wing Tsun But...

A fellow WT colleague of mine (you can find his blog here) sent me some very interesting links regarding the recent "challenge" match between the very well known Sifu Gary Lam and Simon Benozzo from "Miko Kung Fu".

There is a video of the incident here.

So what are your thoughts? My comments to follow.

Until then.

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