Can you believe that subject line?
Coming from ME???
Well, it is true. It is my opinion that the reason you will never see a true representative of wing chun in the ring is simply this: we don’t train the same way as a person who wants to be a cage fighter.
Let me put it this way. Here are the rules of the UFC, directly from their site. And if you don’t believe what I have copied and pasted, then click on this link:
I have taken out the rules that weren’t pertinent to my argument:
i.Butting with the head
ii.Eye gouging of any kind
vii.Groin attacks of any kind
viii.Putting a finger into any orifice or any cut or laceration of an opponent
ix.Small joint manipulation
x.Striking downward using the point of the elbow
xi.Striking to the spine or the back of the head
xii.Kicking to the kidney with a heel
xiii.Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea
xiv.Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh
xv.Grabbing the clavicle
While these aren’t exactly the kind of attacks we train in wing chun, many of them are in the SPIRIT of it. Wing chun is meant to be brutal so that a smaller opponent can incapacitate a larger opponent quickly.
So this is what happens: you train your reflexes so that, in certain situations, your natural inclination is to do an elbow strike. Take away my ability to deliver an elbow by saying it breaks a “rule,” and what happens is I start a dialogue in my mind: “Oh wait, I can’t do this attack.” In other words, I have become self-conscious.
And what happens when a fighter becomes self-conscious?
In plain English, you get fucked up.
A fighter trains to do things automatically from muscle memory. Force him to stop, and it spells disaster. It reminds me of an old Chinese story I heard where a butterfly sees a centipede walking along. He asks the centipede, “How can you walk with so many feet?”
And when the centipede starts to think about it, he trips.
Some people might argue, “Well, so what if you train that way? That’s a copout! If you are in a ring and know there are rules, then just don’t break the rules!” However, it isn’t that simple. What you do in class is what you will do in a fight.
For example, let’s say in class you are always punching to the left or right of your classmate’s head during a drill because you are concerned about accidentally hitting them in the face. Well, that is nice of you to care for your classmates…but that will translate to how you punch on the streets. In other words, you can’t tell a wing chun practitioner to simply forget their elbows, eye gouges and throat strikes.
I guess you COULD take someone who has an interest in wing chun and train them without those techniques from the start. Then again, since those are part of the system’s arsenal, you wouldn’t really be teaching them wing chun.