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Is Wing Chun the Answer For You? 
by Michel Boulet

Nowadays, people, specially the young ones are expressing lots of critics toward Wing Chun. Forms  and Chi Sau witch represent the “traditional” training of Wing Chun are considered as futile exercises, good only for the  “theorists” and the  sarcastically called “non fighters”. 

The mixed martial arts competitions are pointed as the sole denominator in “real” fighting and the absence of Wing Chun competitors as proof of it’s deficiencies for the realities of fighting. Some people are adapting moves from boxing or kickboxing and grappling into their Wing Chun, looking for  ways to fill perceived gaps in the Wing Chun system. The discussions are going strong on various internet forums and it often degenerate into futile mouth boxing. 

Two camps are facing each others on this scene. The “fighters” and the so called “theorists”. Sparring is the principal discord subject as the “fighters” say that fighting is learned by fighting and the theorists believe that the practicing and following of Wing Chun’s traditional principles will prepare a practitioner for a possible situation. 

Where does the truth lies?…I think the real question should be :”What are you looking for in Wing Chun?”…Are you looking for fighting in competitions?….If yes, the answer is clear: Train long and hard like any professional fighter. Forget about the system’s subtleties and spar hard with good fighters of the field, using the most simples moves. Using students as punching bags is only good to impress internet forum’s onlookers on video clips. Practice chasing chickens if needed!… 

If you are simply looking for a sensible self-defense art, Wing Chun and it’s normal training regimen should suffice (depending on your Sifu’s  teaching skills). Sincere practitioners will always discover new things and angles in the forms and will find ways to express them in Chi Sau. But be aware that Wing Chun doesn’t show it’s force to the eyes. One of the usual complaints is that it doesn’t look intense or “badass” enough. Even worse, it usually looks to easy to be true!… Foshan we have a problem!…;-) 

The reality is that 99% of Wing Chun’s practitioners have no interest in competition. (AS 99% of any other martial arts practitioners!) Is it a false debate fed by a few interested people?…The future will tell assuredly. 

Michel Boulet 

Yip Man -> Ho Kam Ming -> Augustine Fong -> Patrick Gordon -> Michael Boulet
About the Author:   Michel Boulet believes that the real mastery of Wing Chun is a life long endeavor, he maintains a humble and open attitude toward his art and does his best in giving his students as much personal attentions as possible, keeping nothing for himself.

Copyright (c) 2006 the Wing Chun Archive and Michel Boulet 2/3/06 

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