Is Wing Chun a Religeon Method of Selfdense?
Are Wing Chun practitioners gong to move ahead or live in the past? Isn't that the real question.
I have been concerned about Wing Chun as a whole over the past few years as more information has become available on the web about other forms of Wing Chun. My concern is that practitioners are often more concerned about preserving what Wing Chun was rather than push it into the future. This is evidenced by comments that you see on every message board, video posting site, and magazine criticizing someone for not practicing "real Wing Chun" or "true Wing Chun."
Masters make videos on youtube to demonstrate their chi sao skills as if the barometer of Wing Chun skill is chi sao. In these videos I see Wing Chun practitioners who have taken nothing from boxing in the last 30 year. These great masters along with their pupils ride their chins high (exposing themselves to throat attacks) and never use the highly efficient shoulder defenses and head moments. If we as WIng Chun practitioners are truly holding to our principles then isn't a shoulder shrug, a lowering of a chin, or a shoulder roll a demonstration of true economy of motion?
What it really amounts to is that no techniques can be accepted until such time as a federation head sees enough criticism regarding the styles ability to deal with certain type of technique so he pulls out, “the secret Wing Chun technique,” that is being revealed address people concerns.
In addition, in my 18 years of Wing Chun training, if I have learned anything at all Wing Chun is nothing at all without footwork. In addition, WC is nothing without a good dose of old fashioned boxing covering maneuvers or hard blocking to deal with situations where your mobility has been cutoff by your opponent. Nonetheless, chi sao is over emphasized at the expense of training out of movement and those who advocate the use of boxing covers or hard blocking are dismissed nothing short of Wing Chun heretics who practice a bastardized form of Wing Chun. However, in an effort to codify and preserve "real Wing Chun", I argue that it's chief practitioners have unintentionally turned their art into a sport similar to judo where additional martial arts training is required to use it effectively.
This question has little do with MMA. I am merely pointing out that a style should be effective at the ranges of fighting that its practitioners claim it to be effective at. Wing Chun can be a devastating style or a devastating failure if you don't train properly. In my mind, the goal of Wing Chun is to immobilize an opponent’s weapon or weapons in order to deliver clean unimpeded strikes or offensive techniques.
I am disturbed by the slothing around with no real stance, intensity, or physical exertion during chi sao that passes as real fight training. Especially considering the time that people devote to it. Moreover, chi sao is like a speed bag to a boxer. No boxer would want to go to the fight without getting his bag work in, but no boxer would take bag work to be the point of his training. Yet, in Wing Chun, we have built a monument to our speed bag known as chi sao.