Resistance Testing of Your Art

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by Matt_Bernius, May 15, 2005.

  1. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    As many folks may have noticed, there have been a number of ongoing debates about how to demonstrate/know the efficacy of your art/system. Often this gets reduced to a competition v. no competition debate. And while there are merits to the notion of competition, I think that discussions on that level are a reduction.

    I, and there are numerous others out there who share this view, argue that it comes down to testing your art against a resisting opponent. Competition provides one method of doing this. But is it the only method? I don't think so.

    So the question becomes: what other methods can be used? What other methods does your school use? What other methods do you as a person use?

    I posit that if you can demonstrate good alternative methods of testing your system, that goes a long way to proving the efficacy of your system.

    - Matt

    Ground rules:
    I am going to ask that this thread does not descend into "well you can never really test gouging an eye" (counter: you can simulate eye gouges in a variety of ways that we've discussed a number of times) or "well if I do eye gouge my opponent, that would end the fight" (counter: the fight quite frankly ends when the opponent hits the ground or you get an opening to run... anyone who has spend enough time in this game has seen people shrug off things that should have 'stopped the fight' and sometimes get taken out by things that 'shouldn't have worked'... lets all for the moment accept that eye gouges are possible but never guaranteed) and please no "well, you can't break joints in practice" (counter: again almost all locks are breaks if sped up or having more pressure projected and extended through them... including through the use of striking).

    Beyond that, all of the usual MAP rules apply
  2. Nick K

    Nick K Sometimes a Valued Member

    Breaking demonstrates power and focus of strikes..and before anyone says it, I know that boards etc don't hit back!
  3. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    Ok... this is a start of sorts. Breaking does demonstrate power and focus, but can it be linked to delivery during a confrontation? Can you "pressure test" breaking? Any creative ideas?

    - Matt
  4. Visage

    Visage Banned Banned

    Perhaps have a moving partner holding the break-target??

    Edit> recently, I've started to feel that Taiji "Push-Hands" is a good method of training with resistance (well, at least the way we do it :p )
  5. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    How do you do it? Saying push-hands by itself isn't enough. Let's get into the nitty gritty... how exactly do you do it (and perhaps more importantly, how don't you do it)?

    - Matt
  6. Visage

    Visage Banned Banned

    how to describe, how to discribe... Dam the english language, dam it to hell... :woo: (Why can't I transfer video from my phone to computer?! It would make this much easier!! :cry: )

    Righto, ahem...

    Both practitioners stand facing each other. Both raise either their right or left arms, and make a connection at the wrist level with the other practitioner.
    Try to sense your partners intention. Instead of meeting force with force, when your partner pressures you, yield to it, redirect it, and apply your own pressure. (Ye gads, im not explaining this well... :bang: )

    Once you feel comfortable, start to guide your partner in other ways, trying to apply locks or holds. Strikes and punches can also be applied, foot trapping, sweeps, kicks.

    EDIT> Mad Frog, I know your watching!! Help me out here!! :cry:
    Last edited: May 15, 2005
  7. Bil Gee

    Bil Gee Thug

    Chi Sau (sticking hands) is the main way that Wing Chun students train to respond under pressure against an unpredictable opponent. Forearms are kept in contact and in motion whilst opponents attempt to land (soft) blows on each others bodies and heads. Its aim is to train the student to block instinctively and to strike the moment they are aware of a weakness in the others defence. The intensity is slowly stepped up during training. The rest of training is about making the very simple blocks and strikes used into reflexes that require no conscious thought.

    There is much less chance of you being hit hard than there is in full contact sparring, occassionally it hurts. The trade off is that the whole class can do Chi Sau for hours at a time and nobody goes home in an ambulance. I do go home every week with bruises, but I have never had to suspend my training because of an injury.

    Many will discount its value because of the reduced risk of injury or extreme pain, however, the situations I look back on in my life were I have been most scared had no rules, no referee, wouldn't neccessarily end if someone threw the towel in, had an assortment of potential weapons lying around and have involved more than one potential assailants who weren't wearing gloves to soften their blows.

    Unless you had a class were it was the norm for students to be taken away to hospital with serious injuries you cannot simulate the pressure that you are under when there is even a slim chance you could end up being seriously injured or killed. The only time you're ever going to know whether you can hack it under pressure is when the pooh has already hit the fan.

    You learn how to take a hit and keep your head and you get to test and improve your skills against a skilled opponent.
    Last edited: May 15, 2005
  8. Doublejab

    Doublejab formally Snoop

    We test locks by applying them and making the other person tap out. Then go over the lock again several times trying to expend less energy and be more precise with it. Then again and again. When its of a decent standard we test putting it on an unwilling opponent at progresively higher speeds. How this is done depends slightly on the nature of the lock.

    We test reaction times by using pad drills where the person hitting the pads reacts as fast as they can to the sound of sticks being hit together. The more relaxed and focused they are the faster their reaction time.

    Power is tested through breaking boards, pad drills, bag work and, most importently, sparring. In particular pad drills where the person holding the pads moves backwards erratically are a better test of power than when the pads are static, a (little) more like hitting a person. Only for advanced student though as beginners can easily overextend and hurt their elbows.

    We also practice pushing and sticky hands in much the same way as people have described. The more advanced the student the harder the contact in the sticky hands. Its fun to do it full contact, more intimidating than regular sparring!
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
  9. LiaoRouxin

    LiaoRouxin Valued Member

    I started my life training Eagle Claw, I expanded into Muay Thai and later Wing Chun, I am certified to teach Eagle's Claw and Wing Chun. I have a second kyu in Judo, so I perhaps have more knowledge than most people regarding various martial arts. As this is so, and because I've never seen anything I would deem demonstrative of Wing Chun's capabilities, I came up with an "experiment" to try with some of my friends. It is as follows:

    Over the course of a week, following my regular routine, I would be forced into an altercation with one of my participating friends. Although I knew that I would be fighting at some point, I didn't know precisely when, where, or with whom. The rules were as follows for our fights:

    No limb breaks
    Pulled knee shots (i.e. I could attack the knees, but I'd have to pull the shot at the last moment to a tap so it wouldn't cripple the person if it was successful)
    No weapons
    I had to use moves within the Wing Chun syllabus that I had learned, which meant no groundfighting, only limited throwing and qinna.
    My opponents could use any style or styles they thought best to defeat me with

    My opponents were to wear groin cups and sports eyewear to allow groin and eye shots be practiced.

    My opponents' skills are as follows
    #1 uses Muay Thai primarily but knows how to shoot and submit people in grappling
    #2 is a 4th kyu judoka and is an Eagle's Claw student
    #3 is a highschool wrestler
    #4 is a 4th kyu judoka and mid-level Wing Chun practitioner

    It is important to note that all of my opponents outweigh me by at least 35 pounds, are several inches taller, and are less experienced in martial arts.

    The result of this test were interesting: I lost 5 out of the 8 encounters. Knee kicks as a whole seemed to either miss or were successfully defended. A few traps worked, but Qinna and clinching worked better. Attacking the groin was difficult against the stand up exponents, but easier against the more dedicated grapplers. Judo is very effective against Wing Chun in more open spaces, and wrestling is very practical in cramped spaces. The lack of any hook punches made Wing Chun punching combinations easier to defend by experienced stand up people. It was much more difficult to generate power in a Wing Chun punch than in a boxing/Muay Thai punch. The straight kick has become one of my new best friends. I was unable to make enough stopping power with the bongsao, but the paksao was easily my most effective defensive tool.

    I'm writing up a full report of this experiment and I'm thinking of putting my other styles under such a stress test.

    It's also important to note that I regularly spar with these people and win more often than not.
  10. Bil Gee

    Bil Gee Thug

    You have done well to have reached instructor level in two martial arts just aged 18. Not only that but you have extensive experience in Muay Thai. I guess you're more than a little prodigious in your skills.

    I'm curious about who certified you to train others in Wing Chun?

    Do you think that a 4th Kyu Judoka has enough skills to be able to represent their art?

    What is the "stopping power" that you need to generate with a bong sau. I thought that there was no power in the arm and you relied on structure, whilst staying relaxed?

    What specifically was it about Wing Chun punches that made them easier to defend?

    Surely as a Wing Chun sifu you didn't have any problems generating enough power to hurt your opponents?

    I don't understand how someone as skilled and experienced in Wing Chun as yourself kept "missing" with the knees, can you explain?
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
  11. 19thlohan

    19thlohan Beast and the Broadsword

    Practising against resistance is absolutely necessary. I've never been part of a school that didn't spar with good contact. There is nothing wrong with competition but it's not necessary. You can spar or grapple or whatever with in your school. The problem is that many techniques can't be done in competition. If you punch at me and I hook your wrist and show a strike to your elbow while it's straight you know damage would have been done. If I use a foot trap and force you off balance and demonstrate a knee stomp to your exstended leg you know the fight would be over. When sparring in your own school your class mate would acknowledge that he lost that exchange but in a tournement your opponent is there to win. He won't stop unless you make him. These aren't the types of techniques that control him enough to slowly apply pressure until he taps out. Either you hit hard and fast with the intent of cuaseing major danage or you don't use them and who wants to break an arm or leg to win a trophy?

    As for eye guges and the likes when I did white crane there were alot of soft target techniques in sparring. We used plastic sports gogles instead of head gear so that you could practise crane wing and beak strikes to the eyes. You could strike directly at your opponants eyes without pulling your shots.
  12. LiaoRouxin

    LiaoRouxin Valued Member

    The Ving Tsun martial art academy of Wan Chai under shifu Ao Yeun. I have been fortunate that I had many martial artists in my Chinese family, two Shaolin stylists and a Thai fighter. This past year I've been especially lucky that I completed all of my school credits for the year save two classes, so I have a great deal of time to devote to my training.

    I just saw your post was edited so I will edit mine as well, Psin:

    "Do you think that a 4th Kyu Judoka has enough skills to be able to represent their art?"
    Yes. In this case I think these two young men are very indicative of the average level of skill of people practicing Judo in my country

    "What is the "stopping power" that you need to generate with a bong sau. I thought that there was no power in the arm and you relied on structure, whilst staying relaxed?"

    As I was taught the bongsao it is used to deflect a blow aimed for the head. My opponent compromised this through superior force and speed behind his punch, so that even though he was driven slightly off target, it still made a clean hit on my cheek.

    "What specifically was it about Wing Chun punches that made them easier to defend?"

    There is little variation in the origin and destination in Wing Chun punches. Also, there is a smaller variation within the punches themselves than in most standup arts. People who realize this can exploit it easily and become very adept at defending.

    "Surely as a Wing Chun sifu you didn't have any problems generating enough power to hurt your opponents?"

    "Enough" power is not the same as "As much" power. The punches in Wing Chun can be powerful, but I've yet to make any wing chun punch as powerful as my right cross. There is a fundamental difference in how Wing Chun punches are delivered that removes much of the projection of Muay Thai or boxing punches, which is that the punching foot does not pivot in WC, so all the projection is from the hip area. This is why if you punch a bag as a boxer it will swing more than if you punch it as a Wing Chun fighter.

    "I don't understand how someone as skilled and experienced in Wing Chun as yourself kept "missing" with the knees, can you explain?"

    Easily. Movement of the opponent. It's all very well to practice knee kicks on a wooden dummy or training partner, but in comparison with an actively resisting opponent seeking to crush you into little bits of curried mush, the wooden dummy and training partner are static. When I would miss it would usually be to an area just outside of the joint, like further up on the knee area or onto the calf. In an altercation people move constantly, with their knees pumping so that it becomes difficult to make such a shot accurately. It is like aiming a roundhouse at somebody's jaw. You know it will hit them, after all you sent it, but you dont know if it will hit exactly where you aimed it. People move their heads, so you might hit their neck or maybe their cheek. The same thing goes with knee kicks. It will hit, but not neccessarily where you would wish it to. Especially given that many people train to avoid such kicks.
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
  13. tekkengod

    tekkengod the MAP MP

    if we must go into this again. there is one safe alternative to street fighting.

    get in the cage and show your stuff. against an MMA practictioner would be nice. but if you want to test YOUR art than it could be 2 practictioners of the same art. but i think a comp with MMA style rules would be the safest and most effective way to do so. The early UFCs showed us this.
  14. Bil Gee

    Bil Gee Thug

    How did they show us this? Do you get into streetfights were there is a referee handy to ensure that everybody fights by the rules, were your opponent wears gloves and never uses weapons?
  15. tekkengod

    tekkengod the MAP MP

    it showed the style vs style thing very well. the pure strikers got eaten alive and the well rounded fighters dominated.

    lets not get into this whole "street" {tm} thing again, i don't wanna have to smack the street quote on here and have scarlet get a .44
  16. Bil Gee

    Bil Gee Thug

    Perhaps the reason that it keeps coming up is because its a valid point.
  17. tekkengod

    tekkengod the MAP MP

    *heavy sigh* :rolleyes:
    one more time people. and lets ALL try to read it this time OK! i've posted it atleast 4 times and it always ends the argument. so please listen, and comment intelligently

    Originally posted by WING CHUN LAWYER


    The Street(tm) doesn’t exist. There is no such a thing as a place where lava and broken glass on the floor prevents you from groundfighting while multiple opponents want to stomp you and everybody but you carries knives and baseball bats but never a gun and you have no friends and you are alone and suddenly all those eye gouges and dim mak strikes and Israeli army death touches you shouldn’t be able to deliver because you can’t land a punch in a sparring situation to begin with suddenly become effective.

    There is no such a thing as that. Period. Every situation is different. A martial art which doesn´t emphasize hard contact sparring and good physical conditioning will not suddendly turn you into a killing machine when you step outside the dojo, okay. You ARE a wimp if you can´t spar and if you can´t do 20 push ups in a row, and this is true inside or outside the dojo. If you can´t make a punch work in a controlled environment using gloves you won´t be able to make it work outside the dojo, and if you can´t make a punch land you will not be able to deliver an eye gouge effectively.

    Goddamn it people. This is not an argument, this is just obvious.

    Look, I have seen some fights. Not one of them was just like the other, sometimes there were weapons involved, most of the time there weren´t, and if someone has a gun all bets are off.

    I´ll give an example of a real situation, which happened on the real world (as opposed to the Street(tm) ). One of the guys at the MT gym got into a fight in the street, with a guy who had a stick. He was attacked by surprise, and got hit in the arm, hard enough to leave some marks three days later (that´s why I asked him).

    The stick broke, and the MT guy proceeded to beat the hell out of the other guy with his remaining arm and with his knees. And he did. Because he didn’t panic and he knew how to beat the hell out of someone who was trying to do the same to him, and both things he learned at the gym.

    Yes, there could be multiple attackers with knives, chainsaws and machineguns, but there weren´t. And even if there were, he could more easily handle any real situation with the physical conditioning, the aggressive mindset and the tested and proven techniques he learned at the gym than he could ever hope to if he had only non-sparring martial arts training with little physical conditioning to deal with the situation.

    So kindly quit mentioning the Street(tm) will you. There is no such thing as The Street (tm). There are situations and situations, but an aggressive mindset, physical conditioning and workable techniques acquired through sparring will help you in any violent encounter.

    Scarlet will be here soon.
  18. LiaoRouxin

    LiaoRouxin Valued Member

    Psin, check my reply post on the previous page. Have I adequately answered your queries or do you have other things you wish to have addressed, which I would be glad to do?
  19. Bil Gee

    Bil Gee Thug

    I understand the point you are making. However, I still don't think that you're right.

    I'll try to explain my point again.

    I amongst others have specific goals in learning MAs. That is to defend myself and to hurt those who would hurt me.

    The situations that I am likely to get into if this happens are without rules, my have multiple opponents and may have weapons.

    The places I am likely to get into trouble would be bad places to be on the floor grappling with an opponent.

    I want to stay on my feet, not try anything fancy, and fight as few people as I have to for a short as time as I have to before I can get away from the situation.

    I have no interest in learning techniques that are not the most effective in disabling my opponent and helping me to get away.

    I have no respect or regard for the welfare of my opponent.

    I have no interest in rules and holding back with my opponent.

    I am unlikely to be attacked in a UFC cage, by a an opponent wearing gloves.

    I have no doubt that UFC fighters are quite formidable opponents and would eat most martial artists alive.

    That is because they are professional competitive fighters, I am counting on not getting into street fight with a professional competitive fighter, whether I do BJJ or not and train seven days a week I'm still going to get my ass kicked.

    The same goes for a professional boxer.

    So I have chosen a martial art that meets my specific needs. I regard Wing Chun as my best option.

    I have no interest in spending any time whatsoever learning anything about fighting within a set of rules.

    On the topic of "the street"
    There is fighting in cages or rings that abides by a set of rules and then there is fighting that happens outside of control situations. This is the kind of fighting that has no rules whatsoever. It can be in the street, in a bar even in your own home. It can and has happened anywhere you can think of. You could call it "real fighting" or you could talk about "bar fighting" or you could call it "butter fighting". The name doesn't matter, if you don't like "the street" then suggest another term.

    Sometimes on "the street" you may get into a 1:1 fight with somebody on their own, in a place where you can be on the ground without risking injury from broken glass or passing cars and where there are no potential weapons in reach, and were somebody will step in if you decide that you've had enough. If you train hard with MMA, that day you will be "the man", because you will have spent your entire training gearing up for just that scenario.

    Where I come from this is not something that happens often, so I have no interest in training how to deal with a set of circumstances that I am never going to face.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2005
  20. Bil Gee

    Bil Gee Thug

    I'm still confused.

    You are 18 years?

    It would take at least 4 years to gain a blackbelt in Wing Chun, working hard and leaving little time for any other martial art.

    I guess that "Eagle Claw" would have similar stringent requirements.

    So we're looking at 8 years.

    Then there is Knife, Systema, SAMBO, Kyokushin, Judo and Muay Thai, Muay Thai you have done for at least as long as the Wing Chun.

    I couldn't find your sifu's name in any of the main Wing Chun lineages, could you point me to a link to your school.

    Why is "enough" power not enough, why do you need "as much". How hard do you have to hit someone to break their nose?

    Didn't you address this issue when you did "sticking legs" training.

    I can see how superior speed would do it, although I thought that as you were an instructor you would have been faster than a student. However, if done correctly I don't understand how a bong sau could be overcome by the force of a punch, as it is able to redirect the force of the most powerful blow, with minimal exertion, that's the whole point of it I thought?

    Surely Wing Chun practitioners also recognise this, why do you think that they don't realise how its possible to learn how to block their punches whilst in a real fight with them, and keep allowing themselves to be beaten in chi sau with such innefective techniques?

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