Why I left a Wing Chun school.

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts Articles' started by Tman, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    This isn't to bash Wing Chun. More my issues, which were no longer helped by the particular school I was attending.

    1) Chi Sao, Lok Sau

    Three years of it, never understood it. Couldn't see how it could be applied to self defense.

    2) High kicks not allowed

    Im capable of high kicks, its part of my arsenal. Why take that away?

    3) Taking in elements of other arts

    If an art is capable of teaching self defense, and I believe WC is, why incorporate ground work which isn't WC? MMA is the thing nowadays, but does ground and pound fit in with WC at a beginner level? Contradictory to my point about not being allowed to high kick I know, but I've been a confused student like I said.

    4) Not allowed to fight long distance.

    Yes, I understand that it's a close distance art. But if someone can also fight at a longer distance, again why should that be taken away?

    I've moved on and am looking at other styles. This particular club wasn't for me. It happens. But I also feel more confused about what WC was about, than when I started.
  2. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    If you’ve got a foundation in wing chun, then perhaps Jeet June Do would be a better alternative? (If there’s a JKD school within reach.)
    Xue Sheng likes this.
  3. Simon

    Simon Moved on. Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Go and find Bob Breen, or pay me a visit.
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  4. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Pretty much all self defence instructors worth the name will advise you not to kick high in real violent situations. Some will say they are fine to practice for enjoyment, the challenge, the physicality, the art, etc but shouldn't be in the "self defence" side of things. Advising not to kick high is a valid thing to say but you are still free to kick high if you wish. No one can take something away from you. I train mostly at a TKD club with no groundwork and yet on the weekend I went to a seminar that included grappling, sweeps, clinching, transitions etc. And I still had some muscle memory from doing BJJ even though I haven't grappled in years.

    Most arts have gone through a period of specialisation or change. Often due to aesthetic or stylistic reasons. Sometimes it was due to the whim of a prominent exponent or founder with an agenda. Sometimes cultural or regional. Sometimes just for "advertising" purposes so as to appear unique or special. Many arts lost a link with "reality" in that process. Wing Chun is no different. Recognising that most arts have short-falls or areas they could improve due to this kind of development is fine and natural. To not address those shortfalls would be weird.

    Wing Chun is supposed to be an art for real violence. As such it recognises that most social violence happens at close range. Touching distance or less. A couple of truisms about real violence is that you rarely have enough time or space. Both get used up very quickly. You work with what you've got. If you manage to get to long range you should be looking to tactically escape to safety rather than continuing to fight IMHO.

    I've never done the chun myself but where I see it fitting is the "conversational range" of real violence. Pre-empt if you can but if you can't...cover, strike, trap and strike in order to escape.
    Monkey_Magic likes this.
  5. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    Thanks. Ive been checking a Hapkido club, will also try Tang Soo Do.
  6. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    Cheers. Im in London as is Bob Breen, will check his website.

    I notice you're in Kent, which is a bit far for me.
  7. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    Discussion for another thread maybe, I agree to a certain extent. I have a TKD background and will not be kicking high in self defense.

    I have kicked to the mid section in self defense, which was effective.

    Yet some styles really do focus on high kicks, so there must be a practical application in there....

    When it comes to close encounters, I tend to throw. My close quarter strikes were lacking, which is one reason I checked WC. 3 years later they are still lacking and I have no clue how Chi Sao was supposed to help.

    Yes, you should run if possible. When I say long distance, I mean kicking/kneeing distance as opposed to in your face.
  8. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    You aren't the only one confused, most wing chun guys are confused by wing chun lol the only guys more confused are the jkd guys who think they are doing wing chun and know what's it's for

    You need to remember what people see as wing chun is either yip man's version or jkd version of Bruce Lee's version of yip man's version not all wing chun is close range only and not all wing chun spends a lot of time on chi sau.

    It's just the most popular version that doesn't make it the only version or the best version.

    If it doesn't work for you don't sweat it try something else out
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  9. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Which versions of wing chun aren’t like this? Which are the “good” types of wing chun?
  10. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    I never said what I was describing was good wing chun or better just different

    Mainland foshan wing chun is different , William cheungs is primarily long range
    Vietnamese wing chun has both long and short
    Some lineages do more single sticking and teach to occupy the centre without much double hand chi sao

    It's said yip man and his senior placed more emphasis on chi sau when he came to Hong Kong probably because of the middle class students he was aiming for
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
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  11. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    When I think of Wing Chun I find its often worth remembering the fight between Emin Boppit and Ip Chun. Looked horrible. Never seen anyone in Wing Chun do better though, save for Alan Orr.
  12. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    That was William Cheung to be honest tips kids would I fear have looked even worse
  13. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Well you catch my drift. Those are supposed to be the best. Didn't look great and the art as a whole is unproven at best.
  14. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    It's the most popular form of Chinese martial arts in existence ( putting tai chi to one side) and the one that can post the least fighting clips go figure

    One of those guys in that fight openly cried when Jon blooming and his guys paid him a visit and asked for a fight in answering his open challange , true story
  15. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    There are plenty of issues with Wing Chun and with most of the schools. It doesn't help anything to dance lightly aroudn that.

    It's reaction training and most of it is usually done badly. People will do it too closely, with no structure, or by trying to "win" at chi sao by grinding down their partners shoulder endurance, etc. It does have a place but I certainly think most schools place far too much emphasis on it.

    I think that makes sense...sometimes. You wouldn't complain that you couldn't do groundwork in boxing or that you couldn't punch people in judo. I think there's a time to isolate for the specific style you're training, but you also have to open up and learn to deal with things outside your style.

    It sounds like you're complaining that the school actually was incorporating stuff from other arts. No? I always found wing chun trapping and striking to fit very well with grappling and striking on the ground.

    The longer range stuff doesn't come around until you do the training for the Sue Mai Gwan.

    Find what works for you. I think the best way to sum up wing chun is that it's a style which is still saddled with mechanics which are related to its weapons and tends to suffer for it when it comes to empty hand training. It's more like a weird Chinese version of HEMA than it is like other empty handed arts.
    Monkey_Magic likes this.
  16. Black Wolf

    Black Wolf New Member

    So.... how are things at the new school? Does it seem to be working out, better?

    As for the "no high kicking", one school I trained at was very SD oriented and had a saying: "The only time you kick a man in the head....... is when he is on the ground" :D I tend to agree. I have made the mistake (luckily in a controlled environment) of throwing a kick high enough, at a guy quick enough to catch it and knock my other leg out from under me. While that lesson has stuck with me, I actually DO see the importance of being able to kick high because (in the real world) you might have to kick high just to hit a low target. Maybe you guys are on stairs, maybe he is on the table.

    As far as "no long range". If you and another guy are stalking each other, hands up, slightly outside of punching range, waiting for the "opening"....... you're venturing further and further away from "Self Defense" and entering the realm of "mutual combat"

    I am new to Wing Chun and am diggin it. Then again, I kinda mush it up together with the other things I have trained. Hopefully, you find what you like. Let us know :)
    Tman likes this.
  17. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    That would be Emin Boztepe and William Cheung, not Ip Chun
  18. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    That's what I said..... Emin Boppit :D

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  19. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    Been taking Hapkido and Tang Soo Do, both are close to Tai Kwon Do which I did loads in my late teens/early 20's.

    Giving it a trial, so far so good.

    The other issue with the WC club I was at, were people going hard. Granted you need a bit of rough and tumble for realism, but when egos comes up it can be a bit problematic. Chi Sau at this place was like a cross between patta-cake and smack you in the face. I can understand this in sparring, but not chi sau.

    Some of the senior level students were a bit too fond of bashing people. I've sparred a fair bit when younger, entered tournaments. But I don't take pleasure in seeing people in pain, and don't feel I've achieved something by inflicting it. Especially if the person is a lower level than me, or a beginner.
    Not all senior students were like this, more a few bad apples. But it was something that was permitted and it didn't feel right.

    As I said, I wouldn't use high kicks in a fight. Im 5' 10", so there's plenty of people taller than me. I have kicked to the mid section in self defense.
    Kicking high in class for me, opens out the body, trains the balance and adds to stamina. And it's very enjoyable.

    Sometimes, its finding the right club and instructor, than it is style. I like to feel de-stressed and invigorated after training. The attitude I described above was creating the opposite feeling.
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  20. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Glad you found a training environment that suits you better. :) Most of us do this for fun after all.

    Follow your bliss, whatever school or style that is.
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