Minh Duc Judo / Combat Wing Chun
Ok. first off. about the scores. I tried to average the scores of both sides of the school together. That is why the scores are what they are. if there are any questions about my ratings. I will be happy to answer them.
If angry or people who feel insulted from the school come in on this thread. I mean no disrespect. These were just my honest observations and my opinions given my background in FMA and as I only spent 1 month there. I probably didn't get the "breadth" of your wing chun system or what not. I was never dishonest in my conduct at your school. I didn't lie about my background or my goals. I was as open minded as possible. and I really did want to learn. (Especially the Judo). In fact the only reason I'm not there right now is that only tuesday and thursday was not enough judo for me. I still have respect for the people there and feel that the instructors and most of the students were great people.
I'd like to organize my review this way. First formal description rating then a sort of "journal or overview of my 1 month there"
The Facility itself:
part of a generic business plaza.
half of it is dedicated to the combat chun classes with wooden dummies askew. kicking/punching focus pads. and other misc CMA items. Noticed they had some FMA equipment. mostly the really cheap crappy padded sticks (ones that use this crappy plastic as a core with padding on the outside that bend after they absorb one good hit)
There was one muay thai bag (century one. I have one at home just like it.)
and two other normal heavy bags in the corner)
The other half of the facility was a nice judo studio setup. if a bit small (the mats I mean)
but given the space they have to work with. It is quite nice. There's quite a number of trophies by the mirror in front of the mat so they do compete. They even take field trips to randori with other larger judo clubs (Denton Optimist Judo Club) which I think was our sensei's original club.
Credentials of the instructors:
Combat WC Sifu: Ki Sung/Leung Ting lineage by way of Steve Cottrell for over 10 years or somehting.
Minh Duc Judo Sensei: 2nd or 3rd Dan Blackbelt from the Denton optimist judo club
Typical Class/Training Methods/Curriculum:
* Light Stretching/Warmup 5 - 10 minutes.
* Conditioning/Coordinating Drills
* Solo or Co-op drills
* Forms (UGH)
* Stretching/Warmup/Conditioning - 15 - 20 minutes. (Pushups,Shrimping, breakfalls, etc)
* One on One learning techniques and drilling. Either Newaza or Tachiwaza.
Focus on technique and learning how to do the move. and also being uke to help the other guy work on his throws as well. (30 - 45 mins)
* Randori!!!!! FUN. Applying your techniques under pressure. not being afraid to experiment or try things. Physically exhausting but oh so rewarding. (15 - 40 mins)
General Criticisms(see my diary for details):
* Weapons work I saw students performing... was very poor..
(I am primarily a FMAer with exposure to Modern Arnis, PTK and Doce Pares)
so by my standards the knife work was atrocious. not the worst i've seen..
but far from what I'd say would be effective in a self defense situation.
* Forms.. forms.. useless(IMHO) forms. I guess I like hands on stuff.
because practicing the forms in front of the mirror was the most frustrating annoying thing for me. If I want to learn competitive choreographed dance, I would go back and rejoin the dance team at my university.
* NOT ENOUGH OF IT. Tuesday and thursday isn't enough for me to get my fix mannnnnnn. I need to be thrown or be throwing people into the mat like every day mannnnnn. although frlom my understnading. this is temporary. supposedly the mon/weds judo instructor would be coming back.
Alrighty, formalities out of the way.
Diary of a 1 Month Traditional Chunner/Judoka.
So my original FMA academy shut down due to lack of interest/lack of lots of students. It was a Modern Arnis school. (Aware of the stigma of Modern Arnis being watered down FMA) I'd been on and off there for about 4 or 5 years. I decided I needed to find a new place to go and since I wasn't in school this semester I could be really dedicated.
I decided I wanted to walk the way of his holiness Masahiko Kimura and
learn how do uchi mata, osoto gari and the rest of the sacred techniques of the kodokan
Found this spiffy judo place only about 15 mins away. Looked promising. I drive up and I see the oddest thing. One side says Judo. the other says Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Curiouser and curiouser..
Chun.. and Judo. Makes no sense I think to myself.
WC a art notorious for never having any alive intense training
and Judo a art where intense alive training is what they live for..
in one school?
It boggles the mind i tell you!
So i go in. It's a monday so apparently because one of the judo instructors has temporarily left. There is only judo on tuesday and thursdays. I see the WC guys doing their thing. so I ask if I can observe. and I watch them do the usual chun-like activities.
I chat with the sifu who is a pretty easy going individual. He tells me about the benefits of the chun, and I inquire about the lack of alive training or if they actually spar and bang it out and he says they do all the time. This interests me because I've never ever ever seen WC practiced full contact all out before. even on youtube... (No Boztepe vs Cheung don't count)
I conversate further with sifu and ask him about if they compete or have a team. and he says they are looking to form a team to compete (which if they have by now. is great considering how few chun schools actually do anything competitive).
I inquire about the strange combination of judo and wing chun in one school and he says they complement each other greatly (I raise my eyebrow here.) WC for the striking and Judo for takedown and grapple. Intrigued I am.
I say I'm interested in taking both the chun and the judo and will come back the next day...
to be continued.. (the 1 month has already happened. Im just sleepy right now and need to rest so I can write the rest of the diary in accurate detail)
You'd think a school with "Combat" in its name would have at least one video up of general sparring. Too bad.
I have to say that I've always felt it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get a feel for a school based on one or two visits. The fact that you spent a month there to get a better feel for the comings and goings of the school is to be highly commended. How many sessions did you attend?
interesting blend. the trapping range experts now with throwing experts. with some punch defense
This is actually a true story. narration and comments are min all things I witnessed during my time at the school.within these diaries come from
details of the more interesting days I can remmeber in great detail.
I will also include my judo diary as well.
The time frame is roughly September to October.
Diary of 1 month Chunner
My first actual day of class I'm introduced to a couple of the
"Senior" students or "black shirts" to be honest alot of names
aren't coming back to me except for Sifu Phu Pham.
Apologies diary. I know you deserve much better.
One of the senior students was white, tall, and quite skinny/underweight for his height.
What some on here would label a prototypical chunner. Let's call him Steve.
Another was a asian student (assuming vietnamese ethnicity)
who was about my height (5'5/5'6) and weight (150lb).
He looked a little bigger than me (I have a self-image problem. I think I always look 120lb)
so I'll assume he's 5 - 10 lb more than me.
Then a "Iron Palm guy" Shorter vietnamese guy. would spend hours of class. just slamming his palm repeatedly against a bag full of shot. I tried it a couple of times for shits and giggles, not pleasant.
Then there's the other WT students.. they'll have nicknames as they didnt stick in my memory so much.
So first to the Sifu's ofice to pay the tuition for the month (70 for CHUN, 70 for JUdo)
He tells me he'll give his brother's half to him for me.
then shows me proudly a letter on the wall from a school called
Shaolin Kickboxing that basically called their art ineffective inauthetnic kung fu
and challenged his school or him to a fight. (http://www.shaolin-kickboxing.com/)
Is that school's website.
I found it very amusing that a white guy teaching a vietnamese shaolin kickboxing school wanted to challenge a vietnamese guy teaching a chinese kung fu school.
Seems like something that would stem up over forum drama.
but apparently his Combat Wing Chun beat the Shaolin Kickboxing school.
I was kind of skeptical.. (Dojo challenges? never really heard of them be fo reals)
that I forgot to ask him if he had any video. If i do go back there for judo. I'll be sure to inquire about this.
a video of Wing Chun winning can only be good right?
anyway. I ask him how often do dojos challenge him or does he challenge the dojos and how I thought it was like just always all talk, no action. He's like sometimes we do it every other week. Next week we are oging to challenge the local TKD school.
I'm all like thinking that sounds.... like potential hilarity.... I MUST attend and videotape this event.
anyway.. conversation gets cut short.. and class begins..
YEAHHH LETS WING CHUN FIGHTING.
oh... I hvae to learn the stance...
Alright, toes all pigeon toed. (explaining to them i have flexible flat feet and pigeon-toeing is a little bit different for people like me)
Now punching motion. Gotta work on my punching motion. First I'm told its like pedals on a bike and to keep my elbows in for structure(TM)
afterwards. Time ot learn the basic blocks and drill them on the dummy.
I pretty much knew them already.. appearing to me as altered application
from angles of block from FMA
they flowed pretty naturally except
I had to alter aspects of my check/clear or grab/disarm habits
and had to change my footwork up.
to be honest I just didn't even try to learn the names of the actual blocks aside from pak sao and bong sau.
As for the Sil Lium Tim form.
It was fairly easy. and having to do it slow and fast over and over was annoying.
Forms were my main bane and hate in Modern Arnis. having to do them again made my ADD go into overdrive.
Finally finished with co-op drills.. feeding pak sao's or pak saoing someone's punches.
only slightly more mindless than a dead pattern sinawali drill once you get the rhythm going.
anywayy.. 7:30 rolled around (5:30 to 7:30 is beginner WC) adult judo starts at 7:30.
Yay for me. Chunners are all like "Your taking both chun and judo?" "Why take judo that's just a sport. it's not good self defense". Like a good open-minded individual. I'll let their statements speak for themselves. I rush to hurrly put on my still not completely shrunken new swain century judogi with my shiny white belt..
I sit and begin to daydream of becoming a filipino masahiko kimura
when sensei enteres the room and then commands us to do much physical labor.
Things like stretching, then running, then 40 pushups, then 40 judo pushups, then shrimping, then this one exercise where your partner lays on his back and you drag him by his gi to one side of the dojo, then you get down and he pulls you back.
My partner for most of judo (and also one of the few adults) is this tall indian guy who's a programmer. He's a brown belt and pretty quiet spoken and a good teacher. He taught me Osoto Gari, Uke goshi and demonstrated Uchi Mata to me. (My unicorn is a perfect uchimata)
I also learned pretty quick I needed to spend about 10 - 15 minutes redoing my breakfalls.
It may have been good enough for Modern Arnis/Shotokan Karate stuff but in judo
it was worthless and sensei commanded I breakfall left, then right, over and over until he was satisfied that I wouldn't beocme a flailing monkey when thrown.
Whooo then randori came around. This randori was against my partner the brown belt
It was quite one sided... Me trying to get his weight off balance.. and go for the osoto gari.. I tried to fake looking like im going to sweep the other leg and try the osoto gari once more. He vcounters with a sweep i leap over.
I'm like hmm ok well.. if you can't work what you just learned... go for broke with what you know. i released the gi momentarialy looking like im going in for a btter grab with more leverage, then shot down for his legs. Apparently I didnt do a good job not telegraphing this and he sprawled and then I was thrown and then instantly in a armbar from which I was forced to tap out.
All in All a fun first day at judo.. and kind of dejected about the chunning training.
hopefully next day will be more fun!
to be continued (hey its christmas eve. I'm only up because of insomnia and the sleep medicine is kicking in. Day 3 - 4 - 5 will be up shortly)
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO