Sunday, February 27, 2011

Learn Wing Chun Kung Fu with Eric Dubay

Have you ever heard of Wing Chun Kung Fu?

Have you ever seen the Ip Man movies?

Wing Chun was the martial art originally studied and highly praised by Bruce Lee.

It is logical and technical yet simple and effective. It is a no-holds barred close combat style designed to overcome your opponent using physics, not biology.

If you get in a fight with someone who is smaller, weaker, and slower than you, then your natural advantages will almost always defeat such an opponent without any training necessary. Therefore, if you are going to learn a self-defense style, shouldn't it specifically train you to defeat opponent(s) who are bigger, stronger, and faster than you? Wing Chun is the only martial arts system known to be invented by a woman (the "weaker" gender), and was specifically designed to defeat bigger, stronger, faster, and multiple opponents with or without weapons simultaneously.

The current trend of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), "street fighting" and grappling styles like Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and Wrestling, has many people convinced that the pinnacle of effective self-defense is one or a combination of these hard-form, one-on-one fighting styles. These styles are indeed formidable and have proven themselves in the ring, but consider, in real-life when faced with the necessity to fight:

1) You often must defeat multiple attackers simultaneously

In UFC, MMA, and cage fights as well as traditional martial art tournaments, the fighting itself, and thus the bulk of your training, is geared towards one-on-one confrontations of 2 or 3 minute rounds. In real-life however, the average fight lasts a mere 9 seconds, and often includes multiple attackers. Thus the dominance and perceived effectiveness of hard-form/grappling/UFC/MMA/"street fighting" etc. is only valid in one-on-one fights when you can afford to spend minutes rolling around on the ground with your opponent trying to get a limb-lock or strangle-hold. In a real fight with multiple attackers, while you're busy rolling around wrestling one guy on the ground, his buddies are all standing straight kicking the snot out of you.

2) Those attackers are often bigger, stronger, and faster than you

These competition fights are always pre-arranged so to only match two fighters with comparable skills and attributes. This means that these fighters are always training to defeat their mirror-image. In real-life scenarios, however, your opponent(s) will often be bigger, stronger, and faster than you, and only the soft-form martial arts are specifically designed to combat this. Wing Chun is a combination hard/soft style which employs simultaneous attack and defense, yields to all incoming pressure, and diverts it away from your center-line while simultaneously attacking the opponent's center-line. This advantage allows even novice Wing Chun practitioners to defeat opponents twice their size, strength, and speed.

3) Those attackers often have weapons

Another issue that every martial artist must consider is self-defense against weapons. In tournament fighting styles, the bulk of your training is devoted to one-on-one, empty-hand combat. If any self-defense against weapons is taught, it is usually minimal, difficult to develop, and quite ineffective in real-life. Wing Chun's movements and concepts, however, are so universally applicable to any fight situation, that empty-hand practice, weapons practice, and empty vs. weapons practice all utilize exactly the same training techniques. This means regardless of the fight situation, you are poised and prepared with muscle-memory to react more effectively to any empty-hand or weapon attack, because all of your training is universally applicable regardless of how many attackers, how strong they are, or which weapons they have.

4) There are no rules, referees, or tap-outs

In all tournament fights there are regulations, referees, points, tap-out or knock-down rules, but in real-life fighting there is no such thing. This means if your martial art caters to tournament fighting, as most do, then your training is not comprehensive, not utilizing every weapon available to you. For example, Taekwondo has no punches to the head or in-fighting techniques. Judo, Aikido, and Wrestling have almost no striking whatsoever. Even UFC and most MMA fighters train with rules in mind like no groin strikes, no eye gauges, no knee stomp-kicks, etc. This may seem insignificant, but consider that the two most vulnerable spots on the human body are the eyes and groin. This means that most tournament fighters are merely training for unrealistic sparring situations in which they cannot even attack their opponent's two most vulnerable targets! Wing Chun on the other hand is not a tournament style, and practitioners always train to attack their opponent's most vulnerable targets like eyes, groin, throat, elbow and knee joints.

Most fighting styles (such as Boxing, Kick-boxing, Wrestling, Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Capoeira, etc.) rely on speed, strength, and vigor to overcome an opponent, so unfortunately as you grow older, your effectiveness in using the fighting system diminishes. Wing Chun, however, relies more on philosophy, sensitivity, intuition, and other internal factors which you will continue to improve upon your entire life. Wing Chun is scientific, logical, and concept-based so both your understanding and ability will only increase with age. This is why 80+ year-old Grandmasters like Ip Chun, Jim Fung, and others can still defeat all their students and generate incredible internal energy.

My journey into the world of martial arts began, like many Westerners, as a teenage obsession with Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. At the age of 15 I started taking Taekwondo lessons under the excellent tutelage of 5th Dan Master Jeff Weagley of Freeport TKD. I thoroughly enjoyed it, took to it naturally, and quickly progressed through both belt-ranking and IPPONE tournament-ranking, receiving my black belt in under 2 years, and filling my room with scores of sparring trophies, medals, and plaques. By age 18 I'd received my 2nd degree black belt and began instructing at Freeport TKD to adults and children of all abilities for the next couple years.

While in college I met an eccentric Wing Chun Kung-Fu sifu and discovered how utterly useless my TKD sparring skills were in real fight situations. Spinning roundhouse and butterfly kicks to the head looked great and worked in tournament sparring, but when it comes to actual no-holds-barred combat, logical and simple street fighting styles like Wing Chun are the true science of self-defense. I've now been practicing Wing Chun for 8 years and have recently begun taking on a few private students here in Bangkok. If you're interested in learning this simple, fun, and highly effective form of self-defense, please check out my website Bangkok Wing Chun and contact me at: Peace


Anonymous said...

Never underestimate an old Chinese man, cause he'll kick your ass!