CAN WE DO THAT IN WING CHUN?
I held a Workshop / Masterclass on Multiple Attackers the other day, when I hold Masterclasses the Focus is on being able to use our Wing Chun to solve the immediate problem of the subject matter and not so much a lesson on “Upgraded” or “Advanced” Technique, in fact we tend to use the most accessible aspects of out training so that it works for the majority of those present and not just the more senior or adept.
One of our newer students was surprised by the fact that I kept advising NOT to engage the Bad Guys unless there was absolutely no other choice, he has just come from a Karate School where they taught all kinds of techniques for developing how to fight “Multiple Opponents” based on gaining a stronger position, keeping them in line, prevent them flanking you all the usual stuff.
This kind of setting only happens in a Classroom, not out on the Street, and it usually assumes that you have seen it coming, stayed calm and performed flawlessly, again all Classroom Artefacts. The Solutions offered are usually adaptations of how we deal with the Basic Bad Guy, the usual “One on One” Street Incident but something I know all too well is that in reality dealing with Multiple Attackers is nothing like a “One on One” Street Incident, it will either be a SET UP or a SURPRISE and getting the position correct is not where your Head needs to be, Engaging People is not where your Head needs to be.
Escape is where your Head needs to be.
As Mr Miyagi famously put it…”Best defence, don’t be there”.
I will not go into the Work plan we used but it mostly revolved around “Shock and Awe and out the door”.
At the end of the evening we round out with a Q & A session, one of the Students asked in regards to one of the solutions “Can we do that in Wing Chun”?
In one form or another I have been asked this so often about my methods, as any reader of this Blog will know by now I teach Wing Chun as a Martial Art, not as a Cultural Experience, I teach my Students how to stay safe and get out of dangerous situations, I teach first and fore most that it is important to realise that Wing Chun is what we train, not what we do.
What we do is get out of trouble, what we use to do this is our Wing Chun training, if you do not understand the implication of this difference then when you go to your Wing Chun School you are involved in a Cultural Experience and not Martial Arts Training.
If you are in trouble the only thought should be to get out of trouble.
Against Multiple Attackers that means breaking free and running away.
If this does not make immediate sense then you may need to change what you think a Street Situation will be all about, it may shake your conviction for a while but once the dust settles and you accept that this was the way it always was anyway you will be training for something a lot more likely to happen.
Street Situations are very quick and very brutal, no one is practising, especially the Bad Guy, the whole thing is going to be over in well under 10 seconds so you need to be the one finishing it in 9 seconds, do you train to get out of trouble to put people away, or are you training Chi Sau and the Siu Nim Tao Form, in your training scenarios do you incorporate putting your attacker down and pissing off, or do you stand around and wait for the applause?
The Nike defence has saved many lives, do you add it to your own training, do you actively have an exit strategy to use after you have dropped your best moves on a Bad Guy?
Another thing that always become apparent at the Q & A after a Masterclass is the Students usually do not think beyond the technique. They do not engage with the “Bigger Picture” of what will be going on if they are called upon to use their training.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE WON?
So here we are it has all kicked off and you are deep in the middle of the one thing you never wanted to be in the middle of, being in the middle is easy, the Bad Guy decided that, but how do you end it?
What is a Win?
Does pushing him on his Ass and running away count as a win?
If it doesn’t will you allow yourself to take this option? “CAN WE DO THAT IN WING CHUN”?
There is plenty of advice handed out by Instructors about the importance of “Fighting to the Goal” but how do you know what the Goal is when you are in the middle of somebody else’s Sh*t Storm?
If in your own training the usual procedure is for you to do your stuff and then stop and let your Partner have his turn then guess what, that is the Goal of that training exercise, that is the Goal you are fighting to here and now, the Goal was to finish your attack and allow the other Guy to have a go.
In training if you do something wrong, use an improper Strike for the Combo or use it in a different sequence what do you do, do you carry on regardless to the Goal or do you stop and replay it. If you stop and replay then the Goal is perfection and not punishment.
Can a Strike really be delivered from too close, too far or be wrong in any way if it connects with the Target in such a way that it compromises the Targets defence and allows you to follow up with more Strikes?