The two best things that ever happened to martial art are 1> Bruce Lee leaving Hong Kong, and 2> Bruce Lee’s infamous fight with Wong Jack Man. Bruce Lee is the most significant and influential personality in the world of Martial Arts. And he changed the way people approach at the art of fighting. In a way, he’s the father of mixed martial arts (MMA). Even I follow his principle, “Using no way as a way and having no limitation as the limitation.” But what if he had never left Hong Kong? Well, then he could have never met American martial artist Ed Parker, Judo practitioner Jesse Glover and Taekwondo master Jhoon Goo Rhee. If he hadn’t left Hong Kong, maybe he would have spent his whole life learning Wing Chun under Yip Man. He later realised after his fight with Wong Jack Man that Wing Chun was not a very practical martial art and was inefficient in real life scenarios. If he hadn’t left Hong Kong, he would have never got a chance to explore other martial arts and learn western boxing, taekwondo kicks and grappling, and if he had never fought Wong Jack Man, he would have never felt the need to create a new fighting system, Jeet Kune Do (JKD). He was way ahead of his time. The martial artists of this generation are so evolved because Bruce Lee realised something back then what other martial artists of his time could not. Today we know exactly what to learn to become a complete fighter. All thanks to him. I’m a big Bruce Lee fan but I’m not a fan of his first martial art teacher Yip Man or the first martial art he learned ‘Wing Chun’. People often compare the punches of Boxing and Wing Chun. I think there is nothing to compare there. Boxing beats Wing Chun hands down. But so that regular people could understand the difference between the style of punching in these two disciplines, let me draw a comparison between the two strictly from a biomechanical point of view and why Wing Chun is not used in MMA (UFC).
- Force : Force equals mass times acceleration. Wing Chun practitioners, unlike boxers, don’t use the mass of their bodies. They don’t pivot, so they don’t use their legs while punching. That’s where the power comes from when you put your hips and shoulders into the punch.
- Reach : Wing Chun practitioners seem fast but are they? Let’s talk about the chain punches of Wing Chun. They seem fast because they travel a very short distance. Because they travel a short distance, they don’t get enough time to gain the acceleration. And I told you force equals mass times acceleration. No mass plus no acceleration equals a weak punch. Since they don’t have a good reach, the punches are ineffective. Against a trained MMA fighter, it’s never gonna work as Wing Chun fighters prefer fighting at extremely close range, and MMA fighters excel at picking up, slamming hard, taking down and ending the fight with ground and pound or grappling, or in stand-up fighting, they can easily finish the fight with a powerful hook or an uppercut.
- Footwork : Wing Chun practitioners lack agility. Their footwork sucks. Their footwork is slow because they move with the heels. They are never on their toes.
- Stance : Wing Chun practitioners’ shoulders are too square and too exposed while fighting. This makes them an easy target. They say centreline punch is the defining technique of Wing Chun. But it’s not gonna work against a trained MMA fighter because their fighting stances are different from Wing Chun practitioners. Their shoulders are not too square or exposed.
- Body Movement : Since their footwork is not agile, it’s not a surprise that there is no upper body movement, too. Have you seen Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson or Anderson Silva fighting? That’s what I’m talking about. There is no bobbing and weaving in Wing Chun.