View Full Version : Psuedo-Challenge at my Dojo

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5/30/2003 6:14pm,
First some background. My martial arts instructor teaches different things. He has separate programs for traditional Wing Chun, American Kenpo, his own style called Five Animal Kenpo, and self-defense. Five Animal Kenpo is the bread and butter, that program has the most students and has a special place in his heart because he created it. He loves doing Wing Chun, and considers it be such a great art he continues to teach it although there are relatively few students interested. He has a 4th degree black belt in the Parker American Kenpo system and that is the art he spent most of his life doing and teaching. The self-defense he teaches on occasion at seminars and special classes is just fighting without any of the other stuff associated with any of the other art forms, meaning the fighting parts of his self-defense program aren’t dumb downed versions of the other 3, they stand on their own and are designed to be practical and effective with no consideration to aesthetics or anything else.

Now the other day, a young man of about 20, fairly large, came in my dojo and asked to speak to the head instructor. My instructor introduced himself and asked how he could be of service. The guy said he was interested in Wing Chun and wanted to see what it was about and what it had to offer. My instructor quickly tried to explain the basic gist of what makes Wing Chun, Wing Chun and demonstrated some stances and movements.

The guy said he was particularly interested in what Wing Chun had to counter grappling techniques, like those found in forms of Ju-Jitsu. This is where my instructor started to get suspicious. Now if I had asked a similar question during class, my instructor would answer, “Honestly, not much” and be done with it then and there, but this guys growing attitude and aura of hostility prompted my instructor to ask him out to the floor show he could show him. It wasn’t confrontational at all. Both were on the surface being polite.

Here is what happened. First of all my instructor restricted himself to only “what a Wing Chun practitioner would do”. He explained how he would try to keep a grappler at a distance and hit before his opponent could close and grapple. He asked the other guy to come forward slowly like he was attempting a takedown. As the other guy stepped forward into range my instructor threw a front kick to his groin area, close but not making contact, and followed up with a couple of chain punches.

The guy said that would never work, especially against a big guy like himself. He stated a trained grappler would shrug off a few “weak” hits and complete the take down. My instructor replied that is why it is important to hit “hard”. The other guy was still skeptical and my instructor invited him to do whatever he wanted. The guy shot in again, faster and with more force this time, and my instructor gave him a front kick that stuffed him and put him on his ass. Since the guy wasn’t in range he didn’t bother with the chain punches.

As the guy stood up he said that he still didn’t think the technique would really work, because he was holding back out of respect for my instructor as a teacher and wouldn’t come at him with full force. My instructor replied that there really wasn’t anything here that the guy was looking for and suggested he leave.

This story isn’t about how Wing Chun is the “ultimate fighting art”, because it is not. It’s not even about how Wing Chun has effective measures in it designed to defeat grappling, because it really doesn’t. The truth is if my instructor was attacked in real life, he wouldn’t use Wing Chun. He wouldn’t use either form of Kenpo he teaches either. He would probably use the stuff he teaches in the self-defense class, which is pretty basic by comparison.

What this story is about is NOT believing the hype of martial arts, no matter what your style is. The guy that came into the dojo didn’t want information about Wing Chun, he wanted to verify his preconceived notion that grappling styles are vastly superior to Wing Chun. A notion that was probably put into his head most probably by some form of formal martial arts training in one of those styles. Believing that there was no way a Wing Chun guy could stop a grappler was exactly what led to him underestimating his opponent and his defeat. My instructor sensed this in him and used it to embarrass him and teach him a lesson.

So if you are going to visit other schools, make sure you are going there for the right reasons, not just to prove your way is best. And if you are going to challenge someone, make sure you have the skill necessary to turn your school’s dogma into reality.

<marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>

5/30/2003 6:46pm,
My instructor told him to to whatever he wanted. The other guy was the one that said he wouldn't go full force "out of respect".

He ended up leaving because his ego wouldn't be able to take it if a "inferior" style like Wing Chun could defeat his grappling. He didn't want to find out for sure. I mean if you are defeated by and inferior art, it must mean you have vastly inferior skill.

Not to mention the fact that he came in and lied about wanting to take Wing Chun. He never had any intention of training in the art.

And like I said, if they were really fighting, my instructor wouldn't use Wing Chun.

<marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>

5/30/2003 6:51pm,
You can not defeat takedowns without training takedown defense. This "defeating takedowns with strikes" idea has been disproved many times over in MMA.

5/30/2003 7:15pm,
Well, maybe this particular guy's takedowns were particularly sloppy.

All in all, I don't think there was a challenege issued here. It seems to me that the guy came to the dojo with the intent to prove his point, but for some reasone stopped just short of issuing a challenge, which would have been the logical next step. Chances are, this was because he realized that he may very well get his ass handed to him by a "wing chun guy", and would have to deal with the embarassement.

I remain, Hapko3

5/30/2003 9:10pm,

That is why I called it a "pseudochallenge". The guy really didn't want to go there in the first place. He wanted to walk in, show someone up, and tell his buddies about it. As soon as it looked like that might not happen he backed down.

Now I'll be honest if it got to the point where the guy wanted to have a JJ versus WC full contact grudge match, my instructor would turn him down, if only because it would be inconstistent with his training style and fighting phliosphy to restrict himself to just Wing Chun. But the guy didn't say "I'm a better fighter than you, we will now fight", he asked what Wing Chun has to combat grappling and my instructor tried to show him.

And yes Truewrestler (welcome aboard by the way), you are totally right, if you are talking about a equal levels of skill strikes generally will not be able to handle grappling. What my instructor did wasn't the best thing to do, but it was good enough to stop this guy. Especially the second time when the guy knew EXACTLY what my instructor was going to do and had every chance to do something to counter it. If his grappling was better he could have just as easily taken my instructor down and shown him up.

And if that happened, it would only prove what my school already teaches, that although it can be a beautiful form of art with some decent fighitng applications, Wing Chun isn't good at everything. This guy's problem was he relied on the mantra of his training, not his own skill to get him by.

Just like people who think spin kicks are too stupid to use in a fight often get hit by them. They don't train against them and if someone actually throws one on them they end up freezing. They get hit simply because of the fact they convinced themselves no decent fighter would ever throw one and don't know how to react if one does. Then they have to deal with the fact that a "stupid and ineffecitve" move just knocked them out.

<marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>

5/30/2003 9:24pm,
Spin kicks are an extreme example, but I have seen it happen, especially in professional kickboxing like K-1.

But that is just an extreme example. A lot of arts think that it is ineffective to kick above the waist and refrain from doing so. They unintentionally program themselves to assume that everyone else fights the same way.

I've seen a lot of American Kenpo guys get kicked right in the face, because they believed that kicks to the head took too long and were too easily defended against to be effective.

Typically when there opponent threw the kick they automatically responded with a downward block even though the foot was headed at their head.

<marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>

The Wastrel
5/30/2003 9:24pm,
I was screwing around and threw one at Doch yesterday. It was pretty funny.

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."

5/30/2003 9:26pm,

What happened? Was he shocked and get hit, did he automatically take you out, or did he just freeze not knowing what to do even though you missed?

<marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>

The Wastrel
5/30/2003 9:34pm,
He said he was going around to my back. But he was standing still when I saw him...heheh. We were just throwing strikes to set up for takedowns, not really trying to make contact at all. I think I could hit a lot of people with the kick I'm talking about, when I want to. Problem is that they need to be absofuckinglutely decisive if they're going to work. A little shift and you land a glancing blow.

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."

Omen Stone
5/30/2003 9:55pm,
You if see a chance to kick some one in the head. Kick them in the fucken head, it looks like it really really hurts.

"You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans."-George Carlin

5/30/2003 10:05pm,
Err... actually I must have miss spoke I was rushing in and stopped as we were messing around at that point. You telegraphed pretty badly. People at my school throw spinning heel kicks and if they're not set up they are easy to deal with.

<img src=icon_smile_8ball.gif border=0 align=middle>

The Wastrel
5/30/2003 10:06pm,
I was telegraphing on purpose, we weren't seriously striking. I just brought it up because it was funny. Oh...and I said I could hit "a lot of people". I didn't say I could hit Doch.

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."

Edited by - The Wastrel on May 30 2003 22:07:36

Edited by - The Wastrel on May 30 2003 22:21:39

The Wastrel
5/30/2003 10:10pm,
Actually, when we meet, I telegraph all my kicks, and I deliberately kick quite slowly. I guess I should have said so. I HATE getting my shins dinged if I don't need to. I know...wah-wah. However, most of the time I am throwing legit hand strikes. I'm sure you've noticed the difference.

If you want, next time we meet I will throw some earnest kicks.

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."

Edited by - The Wastrel on May 30 2003 22:11:55

The Wastrel
5/30/2003 10:16pm,
By the way, how do your ribs feel? ;)

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."

deus ex machina
5/31/2003 12:08am,
Wastrel 0
Dochter 1


"All this talk about 'newbies' is making me a little nervous. You guys don't have any sort of secret hazing initiation involving wooden paddles and me screaming 'Thank you sir, may I have another?!' do you?"

5/31/2003 12:47am,
I fucking hate getting kicked in the head. We have an ex-Muay Thai guy who's fast as hell and he can kick to the head effectively. I love/hate sparring with him: terror is both exhilarting and draining.

"I'm willing to bet I could **** up an emu real good, if I got the drop on the bastard."
-- KC Elbows, my new hero.