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  1. #1

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    From karate to wing chun to boxing

    Or, 'Oddessy of a bonehead".
    Somebody asked me if I could put up a bit about my experience going from wing chun to boxing and a bit of background so I'll get started now and I'll come back and finish it. For what its worth...
    The first martial art I did was tkd when I was 11. I didn't do it very long, the only thing I remember was a 13yo girl in the class made me sneak out of class with her and tried to kiss me. Like a *****, I ran away.
    When I was 17 I started doing karate (goju-ryu) with a seriously hard-core senseii who only had a handful of students, didn't charge any money ("it's either business or budo, it can't be both"), and had a lot of expectations as to how I would live my life. I trained every weeknight after work and on Saturday mornings, rarely drank and never to excess, and generally tried harder to be more polite/have more attention to detail/be more respectful/mature/show better ettiquette/more self control/self discipline etc etc. I believed that this was the path to becoming a great martial artist. I had one fight in this time, and I had my arse handed to me. I rationalized this somehow and kept on training. I turned 20 in Okinawa and recieved my black belt in the Jundokan. The day after I got it I walked proudly into the dojo, and another black belt approached me to do some partner work, and proceeded to beat the **** out of me. He only stopped when I got a little bit teary (I was still a bit soft in the head) - I clearly didn't deserve that belt and he was letting me know. Fair one.
    The 3 months I spent in Okinawa opened my eyes to a lot of things. Not only did they train a lot more aggressively over there, but they seemed to enjoy life a hell of a lot more than I had been. Every night after training they would take me to a bar and get me shitfaced, tell hilarious stories about a variety of non-pc stuff, sing karaeoke, treat women respectfully but then talk like men about them after they had gone. When I went back home I trained for another couple of months then quit, I couldn't stand living like a puritan anymore especially when I couldn't fight my way out of a wet paper bag.
    Through a weird but funny guy I met named Lucky Phil (lucky to be alive was apparently the origin) I was introduced to Adam about 6 months later. Adam was a wing chun instructor who did private lessons out of his garage. I asked about being a student and he gave me the run down on wing chun. When he had finished I asked about the etiquette, the discipline and so on. He said, "I'm not your mum. The discipline is in the training. The etiquette is just normal western etiquette. We don't bow, or pretend to be Chinese, you just call me Adam. Pay attention, don't waste my time and don't be an arsehole. That's it". There were no belts, sashes, gradings or anything like that. Just good chun.
    I'll have to come back to this guys, duty calls.

  2. #2
    Tonuzaba's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Paci, I asked you to elaborate and thanks for doing so. :-)

    Please, continue.

    CLICK & WATCH
    :
    I got BULLSHIDO ON TV!!!

    "Bruce Lee sucks because I slammed my nuts with nunchucks trying to do that stupid **** back in the day. I still managed to have two kids. I forgive you Bruce.
    " - by Vorpal

  3. #3

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    No problem :-)
    I trained with Adam once a week and practiced at home every day. Training was very basic, standing in the basic stance, yi ji kim yeung ma. and punching. Well, learning to stand in yi ji kim yeung ma anyway. I slowly learnt how to balance out the muscles isometrically against each other so it didn't hurt my knees, and punch short little centreline punches. Initially everything was very isolated, a very rigid and immobile stance coupled with an arm punch. To finish the lesson we would do plyometric frog jumps, chinups and pushups. Repeated sets of the frog jumps would absolutely blow up your legs, 5 times up and down his driveway with 60 secs rest between sets would make you have to go and lie down for a while. My legs would still be sore a week later sometimes when I went back to training. Incidentally a good trainer told me years later that a physiotherapist would shriek in horror if he ever saw me doing that, but I got away with it unscathed and put on a lot of strength in my legs and lower body.
    Either the increased strength or proprioception or both started to have u big effect on my stance. Now when I sat in it I felt like there was a wall behind me. Like the way a bodybuilder will make his pecs jump one side then the other, I'd relax the stance so it was just 'ready', then fire one side and feel the glute and hammy explosively drive the hip forward. This had a big effect on my punching power and for the first time I started to feel like I had something.
    Perhaps prematurely (6 months training and hadn't even moved my feet yet) I took this feeling down to a local boxing gym and requested to do some sparring. I got a few raised eyebrows of course, and they put me in with a guy of roughly the same height and weight who had had 6 amatuer fights. I formed the classic wing chun posture, one arm extended 3/4 forward and the other just behind it and kept my body front on to him. I couldn't honestly tell you what my feet were doing, I think I just walked toward him. The best thing going for me was that this briefly confused the hell out of him. It took two minor exchanges and way longer than absolutely necessary for him to figure out "yep, this is exactly what it looks like" and plant a cracking overhand right in the middle of my face. My nose sprayed blood. We continued briefly and he continued to circle away, probably more out of kindness than anything else, before the coach called time and said "lets go get you cleaned up". I chatted with him as I washed my face and if he thought I was a bit silly which he no doubt did, he was very polite about it and we ended up having a good yarn about martial arts and boxing etc before I thanked them both and left.
    Back at Adams I was very mildly berated for doing what I'd done at my current level of training, but he did start introducing saam gok ma and stepping into my training so it wasn't all bad news.
    TBC

  4. #4

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Sorry I have to keep leaving off, I'm doing this on the company dime. Hope I'm not being too long-winded or self-indulgent, if that is the case I'm sure the bullies will let me know and I'll skip to the good bits.

  5. #5
    Tonuzaba's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This can transform into your future training log easily, that you definitely should be keeping.

    CLICK & WATCH
    :
    I got BULLSHIDO ON TV!!!

    "Bruce Lee sucks because I slammed my nuts with nunchucks trying to do that stupid **** back in the day. I still managed to have two kids. I forgive you Bruce.
    " - by Vorpal

  6. #6

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Back again, with a little spare time to add to this.
    The first time I got to actually use any of this, I was working at a bottleshop in a fairly shitty industrial area in Spearwood WA. The bottleshop adjoined onto a bar and as it was relatively quiet most nights, they would only staff the bar with 2 girls and I would kick everyone out at the end of the night and lock up.
    One night one of the girls came running into the bottleshop from the bar and told me that a big guy had gone apeshit in the bar and was smashing everything up. I pulled the sliding doors to the shop closed as my mind turned over the word 'big' quite a few times, and walked through the short series of corridors and into the bar. As I did, everything started to feel a bit surreal which I think is what gave me a sense of calmness. People were just standing around looking a bit gobsmacked, tables were turned over and the place was a mess. The other barmaid excitedly told me the guy had smashed all the mirrors in the ladies toilet as well.
    "Where is he now?" I asked. "He's in the carpark" she said.
    I looked out the open door and windows and saw him striding across the carpark with 2 guys following him, trying to subdue him. He was angrily shrugging them off as they walked out of vision. I weighed up my obligations and figured I would see if I could get the guys details from someone else at the bar and just leave him in the carpark, as there was clearly going to be no reasoning with him. At that time though he came back into view and was making a bee-line for the door, head down, fists balled and staring staring straight at me. I felt the adrenalin rise in my chest. As he came through the door he never took his eyes off me and kept coming straight forward. I took a small step towards him and then launched, driving my right leg back into the ground and throwing my right fist. It hit him square on the jaw and his legs gave way. He fell straight to his knees and then comically pitched over sideways. I looked around to see what sort of chain of events this was going to set off with his friends but they just gawped. Eventually one of them apologetically introduced himself as the mans boss and gave me some contact details. The guy on the floor came to and was still angry but also very confused, and didn't offer much resistance when his mates took him outside and drove him away.
    It was the first time I had ever knocked anyone out and I was fucking elated. Now I started to look around the bar not to see if there was still a threat, but to see just who exactly had witnessed this awesome spectacle. Not one cool person, just the usual assortment of drunkards and deadbeats. Never mind, I was still stoked. I closed up the bar with just a little bit more swagger than was usual, and drove to The Norfolk, where a training partner was the head doorman, so I could tell him the story.
    I think at the time I actually berated myself when I looked back at the punch because it wasn't strict chun form. It was the basic punch with a whole lot of body english. I believe now that the strength of wing chun is to train strict form with the intent that when you fight you are going to take the brakes off, be free to use as much body english as you desire and just basically punch like hell. All that strict form just prevents you from going too wild and sloppy. You can quickly reel it in, change direction, regain your postural reference. You have more accuracy and control.
    I know chun has its detractors but it certainly worked for me, and I'm not talking about this first time knockout that gave me such a boner back in the day. One thing I will say though is that I don't believe wing chun fighting should look anything like wing chun training, or anything else for that matter. It should look like a fist fight, not a martial art. Hope thats making sense to someone out there?

  7. #7

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    yes, but then the question becomes : why train in a way that does not actually simulate a fight?

    Prepare as you compete; to get good at soccer, you don't just dribble the ball around during practice, you play lots of (mini)matches.

  8. #8

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think we agree.. my biggest criticism of most chun schools is they don't spar enough or even at all.
    I think that because of the hectic nature of sparring and fighting, a lot of technical skills are better learned and developed at a reduced pace or in isolation, and then integrated into sparring.
    The soccer player practices his kicks, practices his passes, does his drills, and tries to apply those skills in the practice matches and ultimately the game.

  9. #9
    It is Fake's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This is newbietown all I will say is Bar, alcohol and welcome to one of the most used often ridiculed stories we hear on Bullshido.

    Also we are currently having this discussion in another thread. No one says do not learn in a controlled environment. No one says do not learn at a reduced pace. This is a weird strawman that is suddenly rearing its ugly head again.

    The problem is, people learn at this reduced pace and never, or on a very limited basis, increase to full speed and pressure. You know, what we advocate on bullshido, aliveness.
    Last edited by It is Fake; 5/29/2011 9:15am at .

  10. #10

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by It is Fake View Post
    This is newbietown all I will say is Bar, alcohol and welcome to one of the most used often ridiculed stories we hear on Bullshido.

    Also we are currently having this discussion in another thread. No one says do not learn in a controlled environment. No one says do not learn at a reduced pace. This is a weird strawman that is suddenly rearing its ugly head again.

    The problem is, people learn at this reduced pace and never, or on a very limited basis, increase to full speed and pressure. You know, what we advocate on bullshido, aliveness.
    Alright well I'm not sure what rules I am transgressing here if any and hopefully you can spell it out a bit more clearly.
    If I am to continue with this account then most of the encounters within happened at bars or near bars, with varying degrees of alcohol involved. I never seemed to get in fights at the art museum. Whether I continue or not is entirely up to the members, if it is irrelevant or it's been done to death then no worries, I can understand that and I have no problem with it. It's just an account of several fights I had in which the training I did affected the outcome. As to what thread it belongs in, I was just relating my own personal experiences so I thought my own thread in newbietown to be ideal. I am more than happy to stay out of any argument as to whether or not traditional martial artists spar enough, especially when we all agree that they don't.
    Anyway I'm not seeking the respect and adulation of my peers here so I have no attachment as to whether this story gets told or not. Having said that I'm not looking to be ridiculed either so lets just leave it at that.

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