I beg to differ.
Originally Posted by Gypsy Jazz
Xingyi Grappling - Part 4
Because of the almost total efficiency of BJJ and because everybody was going down, some myths were created back in the 80's and early 90's:
1 - All the fights begin standing and end up on the ground - there is nothing you can do about it.
2 - If a BJJ fighter takes you to the ground, then it's all over.
3 - If a BJJ fighters achieves the "mounted" position, it's all over.
4 - You have to learn how to fight on the ground
5 - Mixed martial arts are the best
These statements are, in fact, ridiculous. But I understand why most part of people believe them. Having in mind the Wu Shu dance, you really begin to think that you have to learn ground fighting and really begin to believe in these "myths." But they are not true at all. Let's analyze them.
1 - All the fights begin standing and end on the ground - Why is that? Why do fights end up on the ground? What happens is that people, first of all, are not learning real Gong Fu, so they don't have the necessary technique to avoid being taken to the ground.In how many ways you can take a person to the ground? Mainly 3 or 4, and the other techniques are only variations. Learn how to counter these movements, like the famous "double leg" or the Brazilian JJ "baiana." They are not difficult to defend.The Gong Fu style you practice should give you tools so you can deal with this techniques. What is lacking to the Gong Fu people out there ( in terms of Xing Yi ):
a - The mind set. The beast inside.
b - Strong Stances - San Ti Shi training is vital here - spend a lot of time on it.
c - Chen Jin
d - How to Fa Jin, and how to release power using short movements.
e - How to use elbows, knees, hips, and shoulders. The 2 man form Pi Wuxing and the bear form are to be trained very well.
f - Reality training. Full power sparring with no protection.
g - A good teacher.
In case you don't lack the above mentioned things and BJJ fighters still take you to the ground, well, then, train more.
2 & 3 - If a BJJ fighter takes you to the ground or achieve the mounted position, it's all over - So again here, we have a common problem. People don't know real Xing Yi Quan. They think they know or, worse, they are conscious they don't know but they want to fool other people. And again, what people (most people) know as Xing Yi is a lie. That's why myths like this spread so fast, because almost no one out there can prove they are only myths. If these people really know Xing Yi, they would understand that XY is not based on techniques, but rather in principles. It is in fact very simple to understand. Teachers train their student in the use of techniques that work for certain situations. At the moment their the opponent makes a different movement, they can't react , because they were not taught how to counter these movements; they didn't learn the proper techniques to apply. So at this point you can already understand that to know techniques is but a single step. More important than this, is to know the mechanics that work behind the techniques. You have to know the concepts. Concepts work in any situation; they work standing or on the ground. A very good example is about how to defend a punch. You have to look deep in to the movement (the punch) and understand that before being a punch, it's a straight force. So if you learn how to defend straight force attacks, and not only a punch, you can defend (using the same movement) a punch, a frontal kick, a side kick, a wrestlers double leg or a BJJ "baiana," for all these movements are in fact straight forces in motion. All good Xing Yi fighters know this. Well, at least they should. And more than anything principles are always principles, standing or on the ground.
4 - You have to learn how to fight on the ground - Wrong. Totally wrong. This is exactly the mistake BJJ guys never made. High levels of skill in any martial come only through specialization in a certain art. How do you expect to be proficient in Xing Yi also learning JJ, or wrestling? Why is so easy to take the Gong Fu guys to the ground? Because they are not specialists. At the other hand, BJJ fighters spend hours and hours at BJJ schools learning... guess what? Yes, only BJJ. After a couple of years, they are specialists in BJJ. Do grapplers learn boxing techniques? Yes, they do. But just a little. They know they will always be ground fighting specialists and they understand they only have to learn enough so they won't be knocked down in the process of taking you to the ground. They also understand that boxing is a very very small part of what they need, because the rely in the ground fighting techniques to finish the opponent. What do Gong Fu guys do ? Exactly what they shouldn't. Instead of training what they are supposed to, Gong Fu, they decide that they have to divide their time between Gong Fu and BJJ or wrestling. They should do what BJJ fighters do. Train a lot in what their are supposed to be specialists ( Gong Fu ) and have a minimum knowledge about ground fighting, so that in the case they go to the ground, they will no be finished. So what happens today is that grapplers are extremely good in what they do ( specialists ) and have a minimum knowledge of the standing game ( a lot of people is doing crosstraining and they are very good standing and on the ground, but the best fighters are still the specialists ). At the other hand, Gong Fu fighters are not so good standing and are also not so good on the ground. Some might even argue that " I train only Gong Fu and I still don't feel safe! ". Well my friend, the question is: what kind of Gong Fu are you training? If it is the " kick boxing " kind of Gong Fu, you will never feel safe anyway. For this is only sport. Kick boxing is ok, but don't expect do beat a man like Rickson Gracie with that. You need a real martial art. You need Xing Yi Quan.
5 - Mixed martial arts are the best - Nothing, nothing is better than specialization. When people have only part of a knowledge, something incomplete, they have to look out for other sources of knowledge.Imagine you have a half filled glass of water (your Gong Fu) but you have to fill the glass up. The problem is that you don;t have water anymore (you have a limited knowledge about the Gong Fu principles). In this case you have to find out other liquids to fill the glass up. You have a little bit of orange juice (grappling) and you have a bit of, say tequila (kick boxing). At the end, the glass is filled up, but the truth is that you have only a bit of everything. So as a fighter, you are not very good in grappling, not very good in kick boxing and not very good at Gong Fu. You have a bit of everything and at the same time you have nothing.
It's true that many BJJ are now going a bit deep into boxing and Thai boxing, but take a look at the best guys ever : Rickson Gracie, Helio Gracie, Carlson Gracie, and Rolls Gracie; they are or were absolute specialist in BJJ. How about the famous Che Yi Zhai, Guo Yun Sheng, Wang Xiang Zhai ? Ok. Tell this guys they should mix a lot of martial arts together. Guys that never lost a single fight after they were well trained.
The objective of this article is not to teach any Xing Yi Quan techniques, or teach you how to handle a grappler. This things can't be learn through the Net. For this you need a good teacher that really understands the principle of XY. What I do want to do, is to clarify all these myths that were created around the grappling arts. If you learn Xing Yi from a good teacher, you have all the conditions to defeat a grappler. The problem right know is that since 1920's BJJ was being perfected and focusing itself in street fight efficiency, while Chinese Gong Fu, as we saw, was being modified into a kind of beautiful dance.
I want to add here that the attitude of some Chinese masters adds a lot to the Gong Fu world's situation today. But this is a subject for another article, the one entitled "Did Chinese martial arts missed a bit of reality over the years." ... coming soon ...