Wing Chun thoughts from Sifu James Sinclair
” If we could find out how Wing Chun was 200 years ago,
we would see a pretty undeveloped art,
compared to the progress made from those initial theories.
I understand the security afforded by history and a sense of family
and identity, but why people want to go back in time
and do something that was less refined than that available now
can only be compared to classic car enthusiasts.”
” It is makes no sense to teach hundreds of different techniques
for hundreds of different situations. Instead, you need a few ideas
or simple principles that you can use and adapt rather than
a multitude of techniques. As I said a way of thinking.
You need flexible ideas because principles of technique are far more important
than the strict shape and technique.”
” There’s no doubt that Wing Chun is primarily a hand-orientated style
because when you are close range you’re not really going to lift your legs up
that often. Legs are for standing on, stability, leverage, distance judgement,
speed evasion etc. and that’s what you’re going to use them for.
When close the last thing you really want to do is lift your leg
when someone can pull or push you around so easily.
If in you’re going to lift your leg then you’re going to do it
for a good reason, and if in the event you make a misjudgement
then you have to accept responsibility for your own actions. ”
” Wing Chun follows the human instinct to stand and walk.
Other so called battlefield arts also tend to lack grappling
to the skill level that people demonstrate today
as it is easier for another of your opponents to stab you in the back.
Part of wing chun skill development is to ‘clinch’ with people
at a controlled distance, so you dont get bitten or headbutted
and they don’t tie you up!
The Wing Chun art has the arsenal to deal with grapplers,
but it is the individual who must apply it.
Human instinct is to grab and hold if you lose balance, or are hurt.
Wing Chun has a very clear approach to this scenario
and it is something I have shared with my students for many years.
We simply have a different approach.
In the street, very high level groundwork skills are not so important.
Like all arts, good basics are the key. If we are talking martial art challenges,
or competition, then experience at higher level skills becomes important.
All fighters know how to block a jab, cross or hook.
It is the experience level that the strike is thrown that makes it hard to stop;
otherwise boxers would never hit each other! ”
” Generally, kicking in Wing Chun is aimed towards the knees.
If you were trying to kick low when too close you would get jammed
and pressed by even the slightest forward momentum
of an opponent or for that matter be out of range by the slightest movement away.
People forget that a low kick loses reach because it’s further from your hip.
Your longest range kicks are at hip height and we have a number of kicks
at this level. Your opponent’s waist, relatively speaking,
is not moving very much but the legs may move very rapidly.
The Wing Chun low kicks are a lot more difficult to apply
than most people think, mainly because you have a small,
rounded and moving target. Thai boxers and most martial arts
have the low round kick to get good contact,
but ‘traditional’ Wing Chun lacks that one very effective tool. ”
” Wing Chun can be far too clever at times, and this intellectualisation
takes the art far beyond what is necessary for self-defence,
but makes the journey all the more interesting.
However, this combined with an instructor who will not be questioned
and focuses on clever skills too early rather than solid basics,
could be a recipe for disaster. ”
” In MMA competitions you have to ‘finish the opponent’
following him down, repeatedly hitting until the referee stops the fight.
However, in a street fight every punch you took after he was downed
is a longer stetch in jail for you! Reasonable force…
All the streetfights I have experienced are with idiots.
They took a punch or two and I walked away.
They did not search me out for the rest of their life desiring a rematch!
They lost and moved on. One punch too many
and their desire for revenge will eat them up,
and they will just as happily hit you with a bat from behind
as you beat them face to face. Sun Tzu said
‘give your opponent and honourable retreat’.
That makes it hard, it makes the journey much more difficult
because you’re striving to be a better person.
To take on that journey can be a very difficult proposition,
it takes a certain amount of core values
and an experienced teacher to impart that knowledge to you. ”