What does Wing Chun lookalike?…….. Good question?……….. What should Wing Chun look like is maybe a better question… or is it?
If you are 2 metres tall should your Wing Chun look exactly the same as someone 1.5 metres tall? If you weigh the same as a small car do you still need the same amount of power punching practice as someone half your weight?
There is always a lot of talk about what wing chun looks like and statements like ” I see no wing chun here” are banded around by many (usually people with very little experience) If the biggest arguments and squabbles in Wing Chun are lineage related a close second must be how things look.
To people with a practicle mind its never really an issue as they feel if something is working under pressure then the aesthetics of the appearance are of little concern, but to others it must look a certain way and anything out side of their own field of vision is dismissed as “not wing chun”. This attitude is ok if your training for the fun of it and it makes you feel “kung fu” to be making all the right shapes and painstakingly performing your forms to a standard whereby appearance has taken over practicality has taken priority.
I’ve been lucky to train with many lineages over the years and have met many good Wing Chun guys along the way but a lot of those people did the forms, chi sao and sparred very very differently. Am I to assume then that some were in fact “doing” Wing Chun whilst others simply were not? Sifu Gary Lam and Master Shawn Rawcliffe for instance react very differently when given that same problems in light chi sao practice and they looked very different too. Both are also very different from my teachers chi sao so who if anyone is “doing” Wing Chun, Master Samuel Kwok does things differently hell even Ip Mans own sons do things differently! A lot of Ip Man’s senior guys have fallen out and a few claim to be “the one” but no one really knows. Endless arguments rage online but to what end, whats the point, who benefits from squabbling. We should be celebrating similarities not causing divisions by pointless squabbling.
My Wing Chun is in every part of my training wether i want it to be or not. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing Boxing gloves or if I’m grappling the moves positions and mindset are always a constant and always a Wing Chun perspective, Ive been lucky to have trained with a lot of top people in various martial arts and have always seen the similarities in things as a way to speed up learning as if you can make something new seem similar to something you already do its much less daunting and much easier to pick up. Martial arts groups are a funny bunch and many want to believe that what they do is the best possible way, a Karate guy will think Karate is everything a Judo guy will think Judo and………. but what if there are many ways.