MightyBands, home gym system

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Full Contact Wing Tsun: Remarks

Got some good feedback from you guys from my last post "Full Contact Wing Tsun"

One commenter made some great points:

  • Is the WT person who's winning actually good or just fighting against someone not as good?
  • Where did the footwork, that we spend countless hours of practice on, go under free-fighting stress?
  • Is wing tsun footwork too counter-intuitive to work?
I want to spend a few moments on each one.

First point - is the WT person actually good or just up against someone who's not so good? 

Well, that's the problem with videos. You just don't know. there's no context to anything except what's captured here. We are all judging a book by its cover. 

Also interesting, we tend to question the participants in this video with skepticism. I wonder if it was two really buff MMA guys going at it, if people would even bother questioning and just assume the guy who's winning has better "skill"?

How do you know how one's good anyway? Look at the Boztepe and Cheung fight. Both are amazing wing chun guys...but look at that video and you tell me, how would you perceive these guys to be based solely on the video?

Second Point - where did the footwork go?

WT footwork isn't, in my opinion, supposed to look like WT. It's only supposed to be functional. Hence, "functional wing tsun". Things like knee pressure, 0/100 weighting, hips forward, etc, help to create the function you need when you fight and can react in a way that's different from the conventional stance. Maybe their footwork does suck, but it's incredibly difficult to do 0/100 stepping when the other guy is falling or running backwards. 

The footwork only has to be function in that moment in time when it needs to be, when the distance is right, when the attack is right, when the defense is right.  it exists for only a fraction of a second. 

what really matters is you win the fight.  it's functional.

Third point - is WT footwork too counter-intuitive?

I don't think so. Practice it enough and stepping any other way feels counter-intuitive. same with chain punching, same with bong sao, etc.  you can see this all the time ....where the WT guy ONLY resorts to chain punches or ONLY resorts to bong sao defense.  For those doing wing chun, try throwing a hook. it'll feel incredibly awkward to you..especially with any power behind it. 

Yes the mechanics are counter-intuitive, but we train it so much that it will become normal. When it's normal, then the next stage is to train it OUT of your body so that the function remains, but you have freedom to attack in anyway the situation allows.  I think this is where many people don't get far enough in their training - to TRAIN IT OUT of their body - and then they apply their WT within the confines of how it should look..only to fail.

 Anyway, what are your thoughts? always love the comments! keeps me thinking and it's a great place to share ideas!

Until then...


Pablo said...

Could you elaborate on what you mean exactly when you refer to training something out of your body? Do you have any examples. I think I get what you're trying to say somewhat, but if possible I'd like to hear some elaboration on the concept.

As for the footwork, I think you have a point in that it doesn't have too look like the purely traditional footwork. However, I still think there's a world of difference between "traditional footwork" and "jumping all over the place". Seems to me like some form of decent rooting is still necessary in order to make your wingtsun work, and I often (but not always) get the impression that it's missing from sparring videos. It might still be possible to use it, but I think that one has to practice pressure fighting quite a bit in order to get proficient at it, which is something I miss in regular trainings.

In general the biggest issue I have with WT training sessions (I'm with the EWTO) is that we don't train enough with resisting opponents. I agree that at first, you need to practice slowly with someone who allows you to practice properly, but I also think that after a certain point, a transition should be made to really putting your principles and style to the test, which I don't think happens enough. For this reason I've recently ordered some headgear so I can do some more full contact pressure testing.

As for the MMA-guys point you made: I think the major difference there is that, usually, you still see the MMA guys using certain techniques which are quite recognisable, which is less the case with wingtsun. True, this doesn't say anything about the effectiveness per se, but seeing someone apply his techniques under pressure and succeed does instill more confidence in skill and proficiency than seeing someone flailing about.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that for self-defence, WingTsun has real advantages to offer, but I think we also have to be very critical in order to let the art and training methods evolve and become the best possible WingTsun they can be.

Gary said...

My generic answer to Pablo questions: function follows form.. so you learn an IBAS stance which is a grip to the ground for rooting.. it starts off stationary, both feet on ground equally. From here you develop some strength in it so you are hard to move. By using your 3 anchors, knee pressure, butt pressure, and gut tension( to connect upper body to lower).

Next you would learn to anchor through one foot, by letting incoming force turn you and displace/move your weight to one foot. Again without some strength this probably wont work well. Now you to choose to move, dependant upon incoming force vector.
Free leg can move without you being knocked over. So you have mobility coming as a result of rooting. Otherwise strong force would unbalance you, ie zero mobility under control.

As you crash the attacker, rooting is needed more than ever, as is mobility. Both are interdependent.

Next you have to get away from only being able to do it in the formal positions. This is the freeing of body from 'form' or as Brian puts it(at least i think this is what he means) training it out of the body. Point is not to be stiffly formal, but free to move while retaining the function. Otherwise the function wont work in most random, freestyle encounters.

Interestingly, to me at least, is that just as (extreme) mobilty is dependent upon rooting, so is power/strenth/speed dependant upon relaxation. Its not the opposites of yin-yang as most see it, but the interdependant part.You can see it in the yin/yang symbol not in the large opposing parts/black and white colors, but the small curved mingling part of the diagram. Which should prob be shades of grey, to make my point.
Whoops, starting to get philisophical, which often divorces from reality. In martial arts, anyhow.

Thats my 2 cents worth for today.

Gary said...

whoops, i'R'as, internally rotated adductor? stance

proofread much? haha.

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