Training is training – playing is playing – fighting is fighting.

This post is not a sly swipe at a different style than the style I train in.

It is not even about styles, unless we are talking about dancing, and yes I have danced, in fact I have danced this dance, and though it is known by many names, today we will call this dance…

…first in best dressed.

It is usual when dancing to decide beforehand who is ‘Lead” and who is “Follow” this way both dancers come away with their shoes still shiny and all of their toes intact.

I have danced this dance as both ‘Lead” and “Follow”, as first in and as not first in.

In the video the Ponytail Guy does not realise that he is the ‘Follow’ and steps up with his arms open as if he is the ‘Lead’ expecting his partner to smoothly and quietly join him.


Let me make it very clear, this is not a dig at anyone or any other style, this could be any of us.

Mr Ponytail gets clipped hard by the first kick, you can see that it hurts him, and just completely messes him up, his brain says W.T.F.

The kick breaks his thinking up so much that as he is limping away he is looking for the next kick, the nervous system will do that if we are not careful, and he completely misses the slap that is coming in behind it.

Why would any of us do any better?

Mr Ponytail would never have volunteered for this fight unless in his own circles he was considered good at what he does, possibly a senior of his school.

He would not have stepped onto the mat…

…which by the way is a courageous thing to do for anybody…

… unless he thought, no, unless he believed, that he could at least hold his own.

But more than likely he fancied the win.

Just as he should have.

I for one would not put myself up for it unless I thought I could win it.

If we can resist the cheap thrill of criticising Mr Ponytail there is a great deal we can take away from this.

He who dares wins.

He who defends doesn’t.

In the real thing, the BIG EVENT, it is more about attitude than style and ability.

If you watch the video again read the body language of the two dancers.

Mr Ponytail thinks that this may be a bit of fun, more so than Mr No Hair, Mr Ponytails smiles, almost skips until that kick lands.

What was it Iron Mike said…

…’everyone has a plan’.

Mr Ponytails downfall came weeks before he stepped onto the mat.

I had a student that always pestered me to do sparring, but he did not know what sparring was, sparring is a way to work on aspects of a fight that you believe may need to compete with.

Sparring is one guy working on something and his partner agreeing to be hit while he works on it.

There are professional sparring partners that get paid serious money to do perform this function.

Correct, proper sparring is serious training, and not playing at fighting.

Training is training – playing is playing – fighting is fighting.

Students that possess no real experience of violence tend to conflate these very different activities.

Mr Ponytail turned up looking to play at fighting, you can see it in his face, you can see it in his movements.

If we do find ourselves out there in what Geoff Thompson referred to as “The Pavement Arena” more important than anything else is the will or intent to hurt the other guy, without that we are only dancing.

A big problem I see is that not many Wing Chun students hang around long enough to work on Biu Gee, let alone long enough to understand it.

The average Wing Chun player never gets their training wheels off.

Biu Gee is the attacking side of Wing Chun training, it can take many years to get to Biu Gee.

In the Standard Model we first focus on the defensive work, after all our main worry is a surprise attack, a mugging or the like so we do a lot of work on fending of the initial onslaught and then we work on turning the tables, this is essentially Chi Sau and Chum Kiu.

Then we attack, with the sole intention of completely destroying the opponent.

Domination, not dancing.

Biu Gee.

At the end of the day, how we relate to an attacker is a call we make on our own terms, we make a simple choice of who do we wish to be.

Mr No Hair or Mr Ponytail?

And think about this, if we go back again, and just look at the body language, Mr No Hair knew exactly why he was there and what needed to be done, but there was no MALICE, no evil intent.

On the Pavement Arena, there is only EVIL INTENT.

“To be a warrior is to learn to be genuine in every moment of your life.”

Chogyam Trungpa

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