That Conversation.


Styles do not win fights…..   Men do!


I recently posted a Joe Rogan video on the club’s FaceBook page where he claimed that Wing Chun was ineffective and a waste of time, that had the effect of raising a tsunami of indignation, old training acquaintances that have not spoken to me in years suddenly filled my personal messages and inbox about the content of that video.

Joe Rogan is a skilled and experienced fighter, to say that he is wrong, that he does not know what he is talking about is tantamount to saying that we believe we can beat him in a fight, is this really what everyone thinks?

If we cannot beat him how can we put our hands up and say that he is wrong?

One friend asked “My question back to you Derek is do you think Wing Chun works? I doubt you would still be doing Wing Chun if you didn’t believe it was effective”?

Hmmmmm… does Wing Chun work?

That Conversation.

This is not the simple question it sounds like it is.

This is little like asking “does water boil”?

Water does boil if you understand what needs to be done to it to make it boil, without that knowledge and the correct application of that knowledge it may not even get hot.



I have trained in the Martial Arts for nearly 60 years, only the past 27 of those years in Wing Chun, I am a Martial Artist first and a Wing Chun player second.

As a teacher, I teach people how to fight and the vehicle I choose to illustrate how to do this is Wing Chun, an effective vehicle for this job, in my opinion.

Because I am a Martial Artists that approaches Wing Chun as a vehicle to fight with I have a different relationship to the style than many other people, I see nothing romantic in what we do.

There is a fair amount of stuff in Wing Chun that sounds good but on closer inspection is found to be questionable.

There is also a total lack of workable strategy, something more important than ability in close contests.

I must admit that I am more than a little confused as to why people get so animated when someone like Joe Rogan says Wing Chun does not work, and even more confused as to why I am questioned for airing his opinion.

My opinion, on some levels similar to Joe’s, is derived from experience and not just imagination, hope or personal bias.

There have unfortunately been a number of occasions over the years that I have taken a beating, a hammering to be honest, does this mean that Boxing does not work, or that Judo does not work, or that Military C.Q.C. do not work, or whatever style I was training in at the time did not work.

Of course not, all it means is that on that day against that man I was not good enough.

In a similar vein, there have been fights I won that I should never have walked away from, does that mean that the style I used on that occasion was the best in the world?

Styles do not win fights.

Men do!

But styles can lose fights, especially if someone tries to make them work the way they do in training.

Wing Chun is a style, a tool that we can use to help us fight, it is not a way to fight in and of itself.

That is why it has the potential to fail against people with genuine fighting skills and creative imagination.

One day what we do will be enough the next day it may not, this is just the way it goes, get over it.

There are better questions we can ask than “does Wing Chun work”? Questions that once answered can help forge direction such as “what is the ultimate take away from Wing Chun”?

All training is task-specific, “what task does Wing Chun perform”?

If Wing Chun was a stick, “where is the pointy end”?

Because these are the aspects that we are banking on making the difference between being beaten down or walking away.

The deeper our understanding of both Wing Chun and how we think we may use it, the shorter this answer becomes.

This post is getting lengthy so I will leave it here, for now.

A final question I would like everyone to address is “what is your go-to finishing move”?

I will expand on this later, this is the conversation we should be having.

As always, train your weakness, work to your strength.



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