Martial Development

Martial arts for personal development

His Wing Chun Couldn’t Win A Real Fight

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86 Comments

This is a true story. I have changed the participants’ names to protect their privacy.

Brandon had good reason to trust his self-defense abilities; his father had trained him in the no-nonsense Chinese martial art of Wing Chun Kuen. Brandon’s father was an expert in the style, a full-contact champion who studied directly under disciples of the late grandmaster Yip Man.

Last month, Brandon’s Wing Chun was put to the ultimate test. A heated argument with two neighborhood residents escalated into a full-blown fistfight, and Brandon was forced to defend himself from their savage attack.

Brandon beat both men—but the fight was not over.

Hours later, his assailants returned, and shot him three times at point-blank range.

As Real As It Gets

Luckily, Brandon survived the ambush. He is currently recovering from gunshot wounds to his leg, shoulder and head.

Although the striking art of Wing Chun was unable to end this conflict, that should not be taken as proof of an inferior style. Muay Thai boxing or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu moves would surely have fared no better in this situation.

Though the multiplicity of martial arts techniques might suggest otherwise, there is only one way to end a real fight. The method is a simple one, but as it requires great strength, few people can use it consistently and effectively. Do you know what it is? 

Categories: Fighting and Self-Defense · Wing Chun

86 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rick Matz // Nov 6, 2007

    Sue the pants off of everyone in sight?

  • 2 Dean // Nov 6, 2007

    The simplest technique in martial arts is to avoid a fight in the first place. In this case, it would be to do anything to keep the conflict from escalating. If it gets to the point where blows are exchanged, you have already lost. If you fight, not only do you have to deal with the consequences to yourself of having hurt someone, but you have to worry about whether they’re going to sue you or get a weapon and/or friends to escalate the conflict further.

    The Karate Kid comes to mind:
    Miyagi: “So why study Karate?”
    Daniel: “So I don’t have to fight.”
    Miyagi: “Now use head for something other than target!”

    Of course…knowing is one thing, and applying is a different animal.
    (paraphrased from B. Lee: “Knowing is not enough, we must apply; willing is not enough, we must do.”)

  • 3 karrie // Nov 6, 2007

    Walk away if at all possible.

  • 4 Zee // Nov 6, 2007

    Hi! I came over from NaBloPoMo. I’m challenging myself to comment on as many blogs as possible this month as well as post.

    Avoidance. Dean’s right: knowing and applying are two different tasks altogether. One never knows how crazy a person is.

    Happy Posting!

  • 5 Thomas // Nov 7, 2007

    The only way to end a real fight would be to not get in one in the first place, obviously. But what if one is forced into the situation? Sure, we’d all like to act high and mighty and say that we’d diffuse any situation before it escalates to that point, but we’re all only human, and even we make mistakes sometimes. Heck, it may not even be a mistake and we just run into someone who’s determined to take our lives, whether for the color of our skin or for some other reason. What should we do then? Try and kill them all?

    What can we do in this turbulent world of ours but try our best to survive?

  • 6 Chris // Nov 7, 2007

    My question was about ending a fight, not avoiding one. I think this is a critical distinction that some of you missed.

  • 7 taijiquestion // Nov 8, 2007

    Ending a real fight you said. A “real” fight ends when one side or the other is defeated. The “realness” is specifically about this intent, this resolve, to do real harm.

    What constitutes defeat may vary. In “street” situations, the range could be from “got run off, turned tail” to “hurt and bleeding” to “killed him dead”.

    Sometimes in novels we read that the true way to end a bullying/dominance type of fight is to hurt the initiator so bad that not only is that fight ended, but he will not attempt a future rematch.

    But I don’t think I have the answer to your question. Interested in what it is, though.

  • 8 Chris // Nov 8, 2007

    What constitutes defeat may vary. In “street” situations, the range could be from “got run off, turned tail” to “hurt and bleeding” to “killed him dead”.

    I would argue that all of these are deferrals. See Brandon’s case above, where his enemies did turn tail and run–only to return with a force multiplier. When did that fight end? Has it ended at all?

    Sometimes in novels we read that the true way to end a bullying/dominance type of fight is to hurt the initiator so bad that not only is that fight ended, but he will not attempt a future rematch.

    There is a danger that if you strike too hard, your would-be bully will become genuinely afraid for their life, and change tactics accordingly. Then you’ve started the very fight you hoped to prevent!

  • 9 Steve // Nov 9, 2007

    While I can’t imagine wanting or needing to do so, killing one’s opponent is the only way to make sure he doesn’t come back with a gun.

  • 10 Joseph // Nov 9, 2007

    Like some people here have said if you get in a fight you can’t get out of and he might come back and kill you then kill him first.

  • 11 Emlyn // Nov 9, 2007

    To lose with no-one being hurt. Very difficult to do…

  • 12 taijiquestion // Nov 10, 2007

    I just realized that the title of this post is very well-put. “His Wing Chun Couldn’t Win A Real Fight”.

    It seems that a “real fight” is one with no rules. And no cap on the damage.

    There are some fights where if one guy gets knocked down and doesn’t jump right back up, but lies there rubbing his jaw, then the fight is over, more or less. I’ve been that guy, rubbing my jaw, surprised that I went down but vaguely glad that my nose wasn’t broken, or some such.

    If the other man had commenced kicking me in the ribs or stomping my hands, that would have been another story.

    What with all the guns around nowadays, things can get fatal real fast.

    My son is not allowed to have a plastic “picnic” knife in his school lunch, or any other edged implement whatsoever. There is a zero-tolerance policy. A 2-inch pocket knife could conceivably get him expelled.

    Some world we live in.

  • 13 Scott in SF // Nov 13, 2007

    A fight is only over when you both agree it is over. A fight is a contest that only ends when both sides agree it is finished. Or when one voice ceases to exist. A person’s voice can even continue a fight after he/she is dead, it is usually called vengeance, and is generally carried out by an affiliate.
    That is why it is imperative in acts of aggressive domination by an alpha male that the subordinate male says ‘uncle’!

  • 14 Drew // Dec 22, 2007

    The title of this is :
    “His Wing Chun Couldn’t Win A Real Fight”

    Yet in the article you said that “Brandon beat both men”….Tell me what style could stop a bullet…..Not only did he beat one guy he beat two and that was all because he took Wing Chun. ….The title of your story is just SAD.

  • 15 Chris // Dec 22, 2007

    Yes, it is sad when people invest so much effort in the study of martial art, and discover too late that their preferred techniques cannot end a real fight.

    Wing Chun can stop a bullet, as can most martial arts when applied skillfully.

  • 16 Kyle // Feb 18, 2008

    by no means is this statement all inclusive, but i have heard it said by wing chun practitioners that to end a fight you have three options; take their breath, take their consciousness, or take their life. We must be willing to accept these terms when we engage in a fight. It is up to the artist to assess the situation as it enfolds to decide which of three must be done, in terms of one is a little more permanent than the other two. Any thoughts?

  • 17 Chris // Feb 20, 2008

    I agree with that statement in the tactical sense. The story above highlights its strategic shortcomings.

  • 18 Kungfuguy // Mar 16, 2008

    Well he ended the battle but the war was’nt over. When it is situation like this always remeber it is never over you could beat the crap out of someone think it is over and leave then when your asleep a week later he breaks in your house and kills you inyour sleep. Martial arts was’nt invented for the purpose of fighting people made it to protect themselves and over the years it has become more developed. It has evolved to face newer threats it’s time martial arts teaches how to really end a war not just one battle.

  • 19 Kungfuguy // Mar 16, 2008

    Damm key board i meant it was invented for fighting martial arts does mean arts of war after all.

  • 20 Dexter // May 26, 2008

    That’s right, Scott!
    A fight is only over when each and every side agrees it is over.
    Period.

  • 21 Rob // Aug 8, 2008

    “One does not have to win, rather not have to lose”
    Therefore if Bradon had left the scene of the fight after he had beat both the neighbours, then he would not have won the fight but neither would he have lost. By walking away, you can end the fight, not by winning, but by not losing. :)

  • 22 Karate_and_Taiji_student // Aug 8, 2008

    Funny, I just wrote something similar in response to another post … Deja vu.

    >Brandon was forced to defend himself from their savage attack.

    The article does not describe what lead to that situation in the first place. I don’t think there is much to be learned from this situation other than martial art skills being useless in self-defense situations.

    The solution would have been to properly deescalate the argument before a fight broke out. I do neither claim this is easy to do nor that it is easy to learn properly.

    But I do claim that it won’t take years to learn like Wing Chun (maybe about a year with regular training) and that it will be much, much, much more useful in life.

  • 23 Shifu // Aug 13, 2008

    Not knowing all of the details, but using the scenario described, it appears that the “fight” started with the “argument.” It could have been “ended” with the “argument” (it takes 2 to tango)! Simply, walk away (most difficult thing to do). Any martial art (including Wing Chun) has a spiritual discipline. Martial arts is a state of spirituality first, mentality second, and physiology last! Had it not escalated, it would have never been a fistfight ending in bloodshed (this is the lowest level).

  • 24 Miguelblaze23 // Aug 19, 2008

    I agree with Scott, both sides must acquiesce, or decide that the fight is finished, and having said that, i am of the belief that while we are all fallible, a person trained to the degree that they can effectively defend themselves against two attackers simultaneously, is likely to have the disciple and good sense to not provoke said attackers in an escalating situation. The sad fact is that sometimes a person is chosen as a target, and no amount of discussion, reasoning, or even submission will prevent an attack, attackers such as that put no stock in honor or fairness, nor are they likely to learn their “lesson”. and we come back to the issue, always, that martial arts training, no matter the degree, does not make you invincible, yes, bullets will go through us as easily as the next person, but i think it is ignorant to imply that; if martial arts training doesnt make you invulnerable to damage, its a waste of time. I cant begin to tell you how martial arts has enriched my life, i can defend myself and others in hand to hand situations if necessary, exuding that security and confidence renders me all but invisible to predators who look for easy prey, the martial virtue alone that the student develops is priceless. Maybe there were things ‘Brandon’ could have done to avoid physical confrontation, but none of us here know this person, with the exception possibly of the blog writer. As the events are written, assuming they are accurate, “Brandon was forced to defend himself”, so again the assumption is he had no other recourse, it did not say brandon was forced to run, or to talk calmly, but specifically to fight, which any accomplished student knows is an absolute last resort, in which case you are fighting for your very life or the life of another who cannot defend him or herself. So all that to say two things really,

    1. Neutralize the threat (letting defeated attackers free does not constitute neutralizing anything)
    2. Notify authorities and paramedics immediately

    *it may not always seem so, but self defense is still legal (for the time being), even by martial arts students, so long as you use “situationally appropriate force”

    **as joked on as it may be, after notifying authorities, one citizen may detain another citizen until the police or appropriate agency arrives,

    these two things are within our rights as american citizens, but it is also a sad reality that sometimes violence (i.e. shootings, stabbings, etc..) is completely random and unprovoked, in my opinion, we arent guaranteed anything in this world, and every minute alive is precious. i think you should love your family and friends, pursue your dreams, and thank whomever you fancy for the time you have to do so.

    -sorry if i went off on a tangent, but this is just a collection of my thoughts on the subject,

    -Miguel

  • 25 yip man junior // Oct 1, 2008

    His wing chun was not real, if it was he would of dodged the bullets

  • 26 Matthew (in Toronto) // Dec 4, 2008

    Chris, this is a great case study for Wing Chun, and other martial arts students. It would be helpful to know the details leading up to and just before the physical confrontation with the neighbors. This might illuminate what the victim (even a Wing Chun person can be one) might have said or done differently in hindsight to have lessened the likelihood of the hand-combat attack, which led to the neighbors ‘losing face’ when they were defeated, which led to the gun re-attack.

  • 27 Chris // Dec 4, 2008

    Matthew, I agree that the full story would be instructive. However, I don’t have many details beyond what I have written, and I also want to respect the privacy of those involved.

    I’ll just say that anyone who wants more information on this event, can ask on the WCCG mailing list.

  • 28 Tanois // Dec 27, 2008

    I think he should lose the fight. Sometimes in order to win you must lose.

    A lot of times conflict is about emotions and pride. Most guys are merely content to just hit you a couple times to show that they are a big man. The most dangerous thing to hurt in any man is his pride.

    Maybe Brandon should have only used Wing Chun to minimize the damage instead of inflicting it.

  • 29 No-Mind // Dec 27, 2008

    Chris,

    How exactly can any martial art STOP a bullet? You have made a very ignorant and deadly statement. No martial art can STOP a bullet.

    It sounds like he did END the fight because he whooped both those guys. You cant expect to kill both of the assailants if they gave up or ran off. He shouldve called the police after the fight and probably shouldve left to cool off somewhere.

    So, Mr Chris…how exactly do you plan to STOP a bullet that is being shot at you? If you meant that any martial art can disarm an attacker or something similar then maybe that’s more feasible if the practitioner knows how and has practiced enough. How you put that though isnt the same. NO MARTIAL ART CAN PHYSICALLY STOP A BULLET FROM PENETRATING YOUR SKIN. MARTIAL ARTS ALONE ARE NOT ENOUGH. THERE IS NO SUCH MARTIAL ART AS BULLETPROOF-FU.

  • 30 Miguel // Dec 27, 2008

    Chris,
    perhaps you truly intended to provoke thought, but this discussion has spiraled sharply downward into a waste of time. Any answer to any question can be challenged by a “what if”. my years in the military provided me with a quote that embodies this way of thinking: “what if frogs had machine guns? then snakes wouldnt mess with them”, meaning this has become ridiculous and asinine. all this business of stopping bullets is just as meaningless. and to the person who suggested you just take the beating because they might not seriously hurt you, would you suggest that to your children? especially given that many such attacks are sexual in nature. also, i am aware of no techniques within wing chun that will minimize personal injury without inflicting some measure upon the attacker, would you really trust the good nature of a person who is violently attacking you? again, we are assuming there was no choice but to fight….or to just take it (i guess), and hope “it” isnt too terrible. see, this is an argument with no end, i see (on a martial arts forum) “forced to defend himself” and to me it clearly means NO OTHER HONORABLE OPTION, however im sure this is going to be what-if’d into a whole other topic, and i do feel that honor is worth dying for, so please do not ask that question.

  • 31 Cobra-Kai // Dec 28, 2008

    you should sleep with a bullet proof vest

  • 32 Chris // Dec 28, 2008

    No-Mind,
    A good martial art stops the bullet before it has been fired. This is a closed-door system, and emotionally imbalanced people are not invited to learn it.

    Miguel,
    Tanois may not be familiar with Wing Chun. The worst thing anyone can do in these situations is to hit, and hit softly. On the other hand, we are never *literally* forced to defend ourselves, and it is hard to know whether Brandon made the right decision with this escalation.

    Cobra-Kai,
    A vest doesn’t cover one’s head.

  • 33 No-Mind // Dec 28, 2008

    Chris,

    Who said anything about being unbalanced?

    If you and I were in the country, far out where not a single person resided, I would test your “closed door” bulletproof-fu” but only in a non letal area of your body.

    Wing Chun by itself cannot and will not produce any type of bulletproofage. We can talk about qigong and neigong all you like but even then, to be able to stop a bullet isnt something that anyone can actually hope to develop.

  • 34 No-Mind // Dec 28, 2008

    I’m not saying that being bulletproof or stoping a bullet is impossible, I’m saying that it takes too much determination for your average Joe..or Chris

  • 35 Tanois // Dec 28, 2008

    Well you guys are right. I am not familiar with Wing Chun fighting but I’ve been in and witnessed quite a few streetfights. There are very few fights where you lack the option to just run or drive away.

    Well I’m just suggesting to lose the fight (assuming one cannot run away) because the details provided seemed to suggest violence motivated by a simple kind of anger over a dispute.

    In the details provided it didn’t seem like it would be a situation where it was a murderous kind of anger. The anger only turned murderous once Brandon beat up both of his attackers.

    The situation didn’t seem to be sexually motivated at all.

    All reactions need to be based upon the circumstances. I don’t believe that in every situation (when someone attacks you with violence) automatically justifies beating someone up based on some blanket assumption that the opponent is going to go all the way with it.

    What if your girlfriend starts throwing things at you or hitting you in the heat of an argument? What if a guy at a club comes swinging at you because he thinks you’re making passes at his girlfriend? What if your neighbor rushes you and starts pummeling at you over a dispute over your fruit trees dropping fruits on his property?

    Off course you are going to act at one’s own discretion under these various circumstances.

    Off course in imminent danger or sexual abuse you should first run and then as a last resort fight to end the situation permanently. There isn’t a one size fit all solution but as an interested outsider to the discussion these are just my opinions.

  • 36 Cobra-Kai // Dec 28, 2008

    then put a helmet on and a bullet proof vest and bullet proof pants problem solved :)

  • 37 Miguel // Dec 29, 2008

    Tanois,
    a flurry of what if’s, how surprising. no, the situation provided did not seem sexual in nature at all, but you made a very generalized statement about an entire gender, thats what i was responding to. I am not saying you should twist everyone in half that looks at you sideways, obviously your individual gauge of personal danger is a factor. please do not misunderstand, i have only my opinion, i dont pretend to know everything, i am completely fallible. I think we are arguing apples and oranges though, or we are possibly saying the same thing in different ways; i do not condone violence, i have not taught one student that i thought had bad intentions. i believe that at the very root of martial arts, there is an art form, which must have martial applications; i believe that if you lean too far one way or the other problems arise. i have re-read our posts and i notice a commonality, last resort, no other choice, we are in agreement, we are just saying it different ways. but the piece of yours about most guys just wanting to hit you a few times and feel like big men, that feels to me like a dangerous train of thought. i cannot agree with that, certainly avoid fighting if possible, if they are not willing to let you escape however, i could not in good conscience advise someone to not defend themselves.

    Chris,
    i would agree that no one is forced to defend themselves, a person always has options however unwise they may be. The daily news is full of stories about people exercising foolish alternatives. “the right thing” is a difficult beast to track, expert in camouflage, and at times seems impossible to locate. But, if we remain vigilant and pursue it tirelessly, we can usually avoid “the wrong thing”.

  • 38 Tanois // Dec 29, 2008

    Thanks for the replies Miguel and Chris. Even though I am more or less an outsider, the original post has really put my mind to thinking about the concepts and theories of conflict management and escalation. I apologize for generalizing and most definitely the degree of reaction would be completely dependent upon the judgment of the practitioner to discern the level of danger and conflict.

    Even though a lot of it came down to “what if” I think the “what if”s are very good points when it comes down to actual fighting under real world situations. From the original post it would seem like Wing Chun like many martial arts is akin to a tool or weapon. Knowing when, where, and how to use it is as important as knowing under what situations justifies the use and discharge of a firearm. The hypotheticals and the theory behind the reaction towards each of them actually intrigues me and has provoked much thought in me for the last few days.

    “Though the multiplicity of martial arts techniques might suggest otherwise, there is only one way to end a real fight. The method is a simple one, but as it requires great strength, few people can use it consistently and effectively. Do you know what it is? ”

    With such a provocative statement I now must be forced to ask: So what is the “only one way to end a real fight”?

    So if physically beating his opponents only escalated the situation, and running away was not an option, and killing his opponents was not an option, and submission to their beating was not an option then what would be the only true way to end a real fight?

  • 39 Chris // Dec 30, 2008

    Tanois,
    Much of “traditional martial arts” training makes a distinction between offensive and defensive techniques. Wing Chun is somewhat unique, in that it rejects pure defense in principle, from the outset. The only Wing Chun defense is an overwhelming offense.

    My thoughts on ending fights are continued here.

  • 40 Kenji // Feb 17, 2009

    Ever heard of Bullet Proof Monk? We should all go and watch the movie together.

  • 41 Gintas // Apr 2, 2009

    I’m practising wing tsun.So is one thing,whyle oponent is on the ground,you fastest as you can kick,punch him,whyle he cannot stand up.It is selfdefence in the fight,so you must survive at all cost,whith no rules,and you can do anithing (just not killing) to fin

  • 42 JFM // May 2, 2009

    The time to use lethal techniques is when one is attacked e.g robbery,asaault etc….There is a difference between a punch to the throat and a dislocated shoulder….one equates to possible death and the other to a medical situation. Being trained in xingyiquan I can attest to the fact that different
    situations call for different measures….the amount of force used must be equal to the threat of the situation. Do not fight if at all avoidable,,,do not let yourself be hurt if it is unavoidable.

  • 43 Matthew // Jun 8, 2009

    I’ve been following this thread since December. Its a tease subject because we don’t know the circumstances of the neighbors, and details the incident.
    Since the neighbours used deadly force, our main seems to have miscalculated the effect of their loss of face in losing the hand-t0-hand combat, i.e.
    1. Was the dispute about their ability to enjoy their property, or the safety of their family, or ability to continue their (criminal) livelihood?
    2. Were the bad guys career criminals who could not afford to lose face in the eyes of the neighborhood criminals?
    3. Were the bad guys simply extremely unbalanced, i.e. psychotic?
    To knowingly risk jail time, they would need reasons for this very violent and risky behaviour, and so I posit 3 above.
    ALTERNATIVES:
    1. Assuming our good fellow knew of their criminal nature (to pull a gun if losing face in hand-to-hand combat), then he may have:
    a) immediately retreat to his property. Slowly back away from them while maintaining disagreement to their argument, but refusing to continue the discussion and agreeing to disagree.
    b) if they persisted shouting insults, threats, ripping up his mail, or threatening his family, or damaging his property, he could give one verbal warning, and then escalate to phoning the cops.
    Again, this is based on knowing how dangerous the bad guys were which very well may not have been possible. Our guy perhaps should have assumed the worst because they knew where he lived so he couldn’t afford to miscalculate.
    This is a very good thought experiment. It suits my interests because only nine months into WC training, I’m starting to realize I’m not prepared for how to use it.
    I wish to understand the severity of each move, so I can avoid maiming (or killing) someone when all I need to do is incapacitate them without serious injury, i.e. knockout, break some toes, sprain a wrist, crack a rib, or whatever.

  • 44 Nigel // Jul 21, 2009

    In my most humble opinion, there is always a ways to stop a fight without hurting each other. Getting into a fight over a flared argument is different then a fight where the person really wants to take your life.

    Most martial arts nowdays in my opinion deals mainly with the ‘take your life’ part where danger is real.. either do or die kinda situation.

    My main point is that in fights started by argument or such, can be stopped once its started by giving the guy no reason to continue. Be calm, reasonable, flexible and most importantly sweep away your ego. Just like wing chun, one does not block a powerful direct attack but redirect it, be flexible and calm.

    If he starts to attack push him aside, if he comes again repeat. Keep pushing him away until he gets tired and with no energy left, he will not fight. Since he is not hurt, maybe only his pride, he might not be out again on a vengeance. Breaking his arm or etc will only make things worst. He might call his gang, get a gun, harm your family and etc.

    Quoted from Aikido’s history, the founder, a great swordsman, refused a fight from a challenger and when the challenger attacks, he slowly drain the challenger’s will or spirit to fight by avoiding, dodging and etc without injuring him. Thats the main principle of aikido. If i am mistaken feel free to correct me, m not gud wit words. xD

    Removing the opponent’s will to fight without injuring him would be my solid answer. No will = no mood to fight.

  • 45 Peter // Jul 22, 2009

    Hi, I am studying Wing Chun for more than 13years. Dont be afraid, I am not going to start a thread about how WCH is the best art etc. I think most of the MA have the same roots. What I wanted to say is that people forget to adapt to the enviroment in which they live. If we all woul behave like many MA instructors, we will be still climbing on the trees and eating raw meat. Pistols, rifles, knifes, sticks and improvised weapons should be integral part of any MA. Instead of that some instructors seem to be left in the past. They are wearing pyjamas and are fighting with katanas etc. That is nice and I like it if you want to keep on the traditions, but you should be wise enough to know, that it wont defend you in a real world. BTW. I am carrying Glock 17…

  • 46 Matthew // Jul 31, 2009

    Peter,
    1) The last time someone told me the firearms they owned, it was in a meeting with a former president of a company I worked for. They were threatening my life. So forgive me (and others) not welcome your sharing of your Glock 17.
    2) I don’t agree that is honourable to say “If we all would behave like many MA instructors, we will be still climbing on the trees and eating raw meat.” This is a personal attack, which is offensive, whether you are a raw-eat eater (as many First Nations in the Arctic are), or non-raw-meat eater who will be disgusted. I think you have lots left to learn if you can write such harsh words about MA instructors.
    3) “Pistols, rifles, knifes, sticks and improvised weapons should be integral part of any MA” — that’s what Special Forces training is for. They learn hand-to-hand combat, and weapons. I disagree that WC should be teaching further weapons. A pair of butterfly swords in your trunk should handle all but a gun. However, if you really are worried about facing a gun, move to Canada, or buy yourself a bulletproof vest. I and many others are quite happy with Wing Chun exactly as it is.
    4) “but you should be wise enough to know, that it wont defend you in a real world” Again I disagree. If you’re going to live in a dangerous place where people carry concealed weapons and shoot each other over parking spots, then I think you might want to consider moving.
    5) If you have a habit of pissing people off so they want to kill you, then that Glock in your pants will be little use. Someone who wants you dead will knock you off from behind you, to your rear diagonal sides, rooftops, places you’re not watching.
    6) At a certain point the aquisition of tools of war like guns can make you more paranoid. I recommend less weapons in your life (certainly less public posting of them) and a lot more love, and study of Buddhist philosophy which the monks who developed Wing Chun were devout believers in.

  • 47 Peter // Aug 1, 2009

    Matthew,

    thank you for your answer. You helped me a lot with it. I started to write an answer for you and I did write 2 sites of A4. I will use it in an article on my website. To make long story short: I think you are great example of how todays MA practicioners do not understand MA. I will just ask you one question. Do you think that if all the great masters would live in a world where people are carrying guns and knives, they will develop techniques with butterfly swords and dragon poles? Don’t argue with me, just think about it for yourself.

    Peter

  • 48 Chris // Aug 1, 2009

    Peter, interesting point. In fact, all the great masters alive today DO live in a world where people carry guns and knives.

  • 49 Josh Young // Aug 1, 2009

    Comparisons are interesting aren’t they.

    Today, despite the advance in weapons, things are much safer than they were in rural lawless areas where angry mobs and bands of murdering thieves made their own rules.

    I agree a gun can help prepare for specific threats, but I note that people tend to die from heart disease and car accidents, not shootouts.

    So instead of working with guns and knives masters should wield bran Muffins and battle unsafe driving, if they are going to be practical.

    I say let them wear pajamas and play with floppy swords.
    Carrying guns is for killers, not masters.

  • 50 Matthew // Aug 1, 2009

    Peter,
    The art of fencing continues on as a tradition and an Olympic sport, despite being invented long before guns.
    Defense from knife attacks is part of advanced Wing Chun training.
    I understand the best defense from an attack, even a weapon attack, is psychological by using words and body language to defuse the conflict.
    However, if someone is really motivated to kill me, then even if I carried a concealed firearm, I could still be murdered in a sneak attack. We are all vulnerable, and no martial art can guarantee our total defense in all circumstances.
    The most dangerous thing I do is drive on North America’s busiest highway several times a week, so I can attend training with a senior WC master, and I love it.
    Everyone is an individual and has their own opinions and wishes. I respect yours.
    I continue to disagree only with the negative and inaccurate claims about WC, which is an art I feel privileged to learn.
    Peace,
    Matthew

  • 51 Peter // Aug 1, 2009

    Matthew,

    I never said anything unrespectfull about Wing Chun. I find quite unrespectfull using WC, WT etc. instead of full name of the art. About the pyjamas – I pointed this just because it shows how people don’t understand MA. The old masters were wearing this because it was common clothing those days. And they trained in the clothes they were wearing. And they trained with weapons which have been used. But your statements show your ignorance and total missunderstandigs of current fights/combats. Fights where you either kill or get killed. Not sports like fencing. There is a huge difference between UFC, MMA, kick-box and other martial sports and martial arts. And if u gave me example of olympic discipline as martial art, you probably do not understand that. I would call you Matthew a combat theoretic. You probably never encounter in a real fight. And that is the biggest problem of MA in general. Most today’s MA instructors never encounter in real fight, they have been never stabbed. They don’t know how does it feel to be stabbed with a broken bottle (I have this experience and let me tell you that it is not fun at all). And those combat theoretics are teaching people to survive. Do you understand what I mean?

    Still there are some very good instructors and I am very happy that I met some of them.

    I wish you Matthew and all the other guys as well that you never had to defend your family or loved ones agains real attack on the street!

    And I have to add one thing: I never understood the ignorance of some people. I have trained for a long time, both gunfighting and MA. And for me I never took it as 2 different things. But I heard very often from gun crowd something like: “I don’t need to learn how to fight because I am carrying my glock with me all the time.” And than on the other hand I hear statements like yours all the time long: “Only killers are carrying guns etc.” Do you know how stupid does this sound? All the police dpts are full of killers if this statement is true.

    Peter

  • 52 Tenchu // Aug 24, 2009

    There’s no sensible answer to how to deal with that situation.

    Forgivness means poor character when you’ve nothing to say sorry for.

    Killing them cannot gaurentee the actions of their vengeful loved ones.

    Avoiding the fight altogether is just plain unrealistic.

    In the end, you’ll either fight or you won’t fight. Those who do ought to study the Way of the Warrior hard. What you’ll learn is the true Way is entangled in a spiral of death; you may sometimes die. Get over it. The Way of the Warrior is resolute acceptence of death.

    From the Hagakure:

    “Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat; he plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.”

    Just fight the damn fight. Going up against guns or not; if you’re so scared of death, I’d challenge you understood a breath of true life to begin with.

  • 53 Chris // Aug 24, 2009

    “I am sorry…” does not mean “I was wrong.”

  • 54 Kaur // Oct 15, 2009

    Dude your a complete moron, obviously the guy who was trained in wing chun didnt do enough damage to take down the two guys, if youd just watch a few videos of wing chun strikes. If youd read a little about wing chun then youd know that if you strike in the right place you can kill a person with just one hit. No shit that he couldnt defend him self against bullets, no fighting style in the world teaches you dodging bullet you moron. Think youve been watching too much Matrix -.-

  • 55 Saharus // Jan 22, 2010

    Kaur,
    I must totally disagree with you. In streetfight you must be sure to defend adequately – you may kill if they are armed – knifes or guns / similiar things – not in a different case, otherwise you could end up in jail.

    My idea:
    I will say how would I behave – not what’s the best.

    I have studied WCH for one year – although I’m quite a quick learner so it could be someone else’s two or three years.

    I also am a person that is known to be quite, able to end an argument with a few words – so that would be my way – persuasion.
    If it would fail and I would be forced to fight I would not run – I am a man of honour. If they would be armed I would withdraw and there would be two possibilities – guns – I would run away, no chance of a fair fight. Knives etc. – if it would be possible I would find myself something to defend myself with. That would be the first encounter.

    The second encounter is more or less about the philosophy of the target (ie. the person that is going to be shot). I, for example, am quite alert all the time – something like half of a paranoia (I know how vulnerable a human is and so I want to be at least ready to defend myself), against guns well,
    first step would be WCH rotations (dodges, evasions or how is it named in English ^^ ) – that would buy a little time (perhaps a second, maybe less maybe more – dependant on the assailants – then optionaly there would be the HEADs DOWN rule (simply dropping to the ground )….. under the condition that we are outdoors…… followed by a few rolls (not straight away from attackers – it would be easy to aim with any firearm) and run.

    Other possibility can be thrown weapons (throwing knives, shurikens, darts etc.) – but they are concidered to be aggressive weapons.

    So in points:
    - be always alert,
    - have some (at least improvised) weapon with you – can be a keyring on a twine ( many people underestimate it but it’s a marvelous weapon) or anything else (telescopic baton also suits quite well)
    - and if you can avoid the fight, avoid it. – it can always end up in a bad way, there’s luck factor and even a master may lose to a beginner.

    —– REMEMBER, MARTIAL ARTS WERE CREATED TO PRESERVE AND DEVELOP BODY, NOT FOR FIGHTING. (that is what Peter should read)

    - running is one point, but it would encourage the aggressor – he would think a lot of himself and perhaps start terrorizing surroundings. – there are many aggressive egoists today, that’s the problem – to be solved, not omitted.

    but I am now speaking more of speech than of deeds. I do not think that I am good enough to accomplish all the things listed, though I would try to do so in many cased if I were in the situation.

  • 56 Heath // Feb 5, 2010

    I recently got into a fight with a guy who was threatening his wife. There were also kids involved I told him that if he hit her I would step in and he went ape shit on me and threw me through a door. I got up and as he came at me I kicked him and we exchanged a few punches. I have studied Wing Chun for 9 years and had not ever used it until now. The next day I was informed I broke a few of his ribs. A martial artists must know when to fight and when not to and try hard to avoid it I made a bad call and should have just called the cops but I didn’t.

  • 57 Saharus // Feb 5, 2010

    Very well Heath, but would calling cops solve anything (and have you solved anything? – perhaps yes, perhaps no), the question is how would the wife behave – if she would deny everything in fear then cops would be quite helpless. And you would be perhaps the only one able to help. If the wife would tell them what he was doing then he would probably have some problems – but that wouldn’t make him unable to assault his wife in some back alley for vengeance. Some deeds are good for changing some people and some are a method of convincing others. Think about it, you may have done the right thing at the place.

  • 58 Chris // Feb 5, 2010

    It would be absurd for a martial artist to proclaim that “nobody should ever fight”!

    Sometimes I wonder if the people who insist on personally breaking them up, really just want a piece of the action.

  • 59 rob // Mar 6, 2010

    fighting should be avoided if possible,
    but to engage in battle without the intent to crush
    your enemy and leave him unable to ever make war
    again is suicide!

  • 60 drearystate // Mar 7, 2010

    i really doubt that aside from your internet and your games that you studied wing chun, and if you did you probably wouldnt post that crap here, if a martial artist made a mistake like you did it was probably because he didnt know what he was doing, the 1st thing you learn is to control the fight not accidentally hurt someone beyond what you were trying to do, 9 years…..yeah sure buddy

  • 61 no one in particular // Mar 7, 2010

    The answer can be found by looking at how wars between nations are ended.

    The victor befriends the defeated.

    Brandon could only have ended the fight by forcing the enemies to be his friends. This can be done through force followed with compassion.

    Killing the enemies would have been a form of escalation.

    The fight will continue until someone ends it with compassion, or until too much blood is lost.

  • 62 Saharus // Mar 7, 2010

    Ok Mr. Incognito (or No one in particular) has the point :)
    Great answer, though it is not always possible to persuade people. But I wholeheartedly agree.

  • 63 rob // Mar 11, 2010

    being a wc student doesnt make you a saint,
    how do we know that brandon didnt start this mess in the first place?

  • 64 Saharus // Mar 11, 2010

    You’ve got a point as well… in these times there are many masters that teach Wing Chun (and any other kung fu style) in aggressive way – which is not correct. Fight should be the last option – with run (but if you are a bad runner or you are cornered then you must fight). And there are many egoists that are learning kung fu only to break someone else’s bones ( those students usually stop learning kung fu quite soon after they start)

  • 65 Malcolm Pauly // Mar 12, 2010

    Consider the origin of Wing Chun. Buddhist monks developed Shaolin style only to have spies teach it to the army. Wing Chun was developed by monks to a) beat the old-style, b) have a martial art that was master-able in three years instead of ten.

    In the spirit of those monks, I see Wing Chun as a way to defend oneself, and those weaker, from oppressive, political and violent threat.

    Had I started training in Wing Chun years before I did, I would have avoided being victim of a terrible crime by a state, against its own citizen.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know if the Joint Task Force (American), or Joint Task Force Two (Canadian) train in Wing Chun? How about CIA, or CSIS?

    ::bow:: to those many Wing Chun students with more knowledge and training than I.

    Malcolm (in Toronto)

  • 66 rob // Mar 26, 2010

    why is it when some people study martial arts
    they suddenly become chinese?
    you have been waching ‘kung fu’ to long man,
    save us the history lesson and drop the wise old
    yoda act, this cat got himself killed by making a bad
    situatuon worse! it stands to reason , if he wasnt there,
    hed still be here!

  • 67 Malcolm // Mar 26, 2010

    Who died?
    Who would have survived if they weren’t there?
    Perhaps you might read the thread first.
    So do you have any knowledge of N.A. special forces training in WC?

  • 68 Changshageorge // Mar 27, 2010

    It’s unfortunate, that arguments escalate into fights out of pure ignorance …ego is such a devil…consider, the philosophical notion of self-defense…that really there is no self to defend…perhaps, from that prespective, you’ll be less likely to get into disagreements about matters that mean little in substance and aren’t worth injuring someone physically or you getting injured or kill as a result. Ironically, in a fight your fighting yourself! Here the illusion is complete, there is no honor, or victory achieved just karmic debt and retribution that leads to further ignorance… the consequences are always negative.
    If you must defend your physical self ; there are circumstances where its unavoidable…then do so! There is no reason for not defending yourself against someone who is either foolish or crazy. But the best self-defense system is not Wing Chun, or Karate…but, “Run-Fu.” It’s the best and most effective way in not anyone getting hurt, killed or being placed in a situation of having to terminate something on the spot! So again, are the issues you’re arguing about worth it?

  • 69 Malcolm Pauly // Mar 27, 2010

    The Peruvian villagers in Toronto last week did stand up to a band of thugs, hired from a Canadian mining company to intimidate the locals from defending their land.
    Old people, women and children of the community of 350 were pepper-sprayed and shot by mining company thugs to scare them away from protecting their land.
    A delegation from this community has visited Toronto, and is suing the mining company that hired the thugs, and the Toronto stock exchange.
    In standing up against armed thugs, these unarmed, small women and children and men did the right thing. The company backed down, and the Peruvian gov’t took back their leases.
    Someday the citizens of China will stand up to the corrupt state apparatus, and succeed. They are already resisting. Running away is not always the correct act.
    Running away is an option from random attacks by disordered individuals, but not the correct course of action in the face of organized oppression. The Shaolin temple, and the Wu-Dan temple would have crumbled long ago if that were the case.
    Peace,
    Malcolm

  • 70 Saharus // Mar 27, 2010

    Running is one solution, but it is not always possible to run – sometimes you are in a situation when want to protect someone from harm so you need to cover his / her run – you may divide but if assailants are multiple it may not pay off.
    Other option of fight is persuasion – before fight ” fighting isn’t necessary” and after fight ” to ensure peace “.
    Last option is killing the assailants – but also one must think about this one alot – if they have guns or knives, it is the right choice, if not it may still result in a line of vendettas that no one wants.

    So, one must act based on the situation, his skills and his oponents.

  • 71 Heath // May 1, 2010

    drearystate

    Im not making things up and haven’t had to fight for a long time. I was asked by my girlfriend to go with her to this friends home and pick her up because her and the husband were arguing. When we got there they were in the living room arguing and she was holding the youngest child. My girlfriend grabbed the oldest and took her out to my car. While I was in the house he backed her into another room and she had no way out. After threatening to hit her several times I decided we needed to leave. I made a call and it ended badly. After we got everyone to my girlfriends place I went to the police station. She was not happy with that and went back to him the next day the cops took photos of my scrapes and didn’t care at all they knew who he was. I made a bad call I should have just called the damn cops to deal with his ass.

    Anyway I didn’t mean to but I broke a rib or cracked them im not really sure. The fight lasted a few minutes and we left. I have trained off and on for around 9 or 10 years. I started training under Master Jerry Bolding when I was in high school some time around 2004 I think it was I left for tech school. I trained on my own for awhile I had just completed Biu Jee before I left and most of the dummy. I have trained a few times with GM Cheung here im hoping to grade under him latter.

  • 72 Heath // May 1, 2010

    I have found that running doesn’t do much good depending on the case. If you have problems with someone you know your going to have to deal with it. In my experience most of the guys I have come up against just tried to get me to throw the first punch. I didn’t feel they were worth my time I really didn’t feel threatened. There isn’t much you can do about these situations except try to be prepared for whatever happens. I don’t know what happened to this guy or who these people were. You got to be careful I work in shitty areas of town early on Saturday mornings and due to the robberies we have had I carry my 9mm. I got my CCW almost a year ago. Just in the past few months I had a group of kids trying to start shit while I was minding my own business working in their neighborhood. Before a block from there another group was in the middle of the street one holding up a broken chair and 2 others with kitchen knives facing down some guy. Before I could get my phone the police were already coming down the street.

  • 73 Saharus // May 1, 2010

    Agreed Heath, running does not solve anything – except for the next time you may be better prepared and/ or be able to convince them :)
    but if you are spending your time in such areas I would advise a .40 S&W pistol, since you can be sure that every hit counts.
    or you can carry a sword with you :) or both :D
    sword is more psychological – it looks dangerous. (so you are less likely to be chosen for a target) :)

  • 74 bodybuddha // May 26, 2010

    if you want to end a fight, if you want to win when backed into a corner, if you need to push your body to its limits to make sure you can win….. JUST GO SUPER SAYAN!

    OVER 9000!!!! OMGGGGG

  • 75 'man'imal // Sep 9, 2010

    I read the whole thread… many thoughts, many opinions.
    <>
    When the hammer hits the anvil you either run or fight. It is in our programming (survival) how we behave at the time of crisis. However no response is truly final.
    If you run the confrontation may or may not occur at a later time. If you fight another (escalated) confrontation may or may not occur at a later time.
    We ‘must’ assume any attacker is motivated by ‘bad’ intent and will attempt to cause most amount of damage.
    “We” must also act in a manner that is deemed socially acceptable but still protect ourselves in a manner appropriately responsive to the ‘current’ situation.

    With regard to the initail story..
    Subsequent to Brandon’s choosing to fight/ defend; Brandon should have understood that the fight had only just begun and defensive tacticts would become necessary from that moment on (forever). (You never know when/ where you’ll cross paths again and you must assume further aggression for reasons of safety). Note that one should not initiate confrontation but upon the occurence of any new confrontation (from a known attacker) Brandon would have to choose once again between run or fight and if fight is selected he would need to escalate as appropriate to ensure survival.

  • 76 Just here and there // Oct 22, 2010

    The best thing to do in a situation like this of Brandon’s is (im basing my opinion on WHAT IS IN THE THREAD) fight the two guys, get them under control like what he initially did. Then call the cops and inform them of what just happened. This ain’t a movie where after you knock somebody out he’s gone from your life forever, never to be seen or heard from again. This is real life, plus they are his neighbors so chances of them meeting again is close to a hundred percent.
    If you do get in a fight like this one, call the cops immediately, inform them what happened and tell them you feel threatened and that they might retaliate later. This could and should prevent the escalation of your fight.
    Just call the cops man, and save your life.
    Peace

  • 77 Malcolm // Oct 22, 2010

    Just here and there:
    That is eminently wise advice. That is exactly the right thing to do. When the ‘bad guys’ get a lecture by the cops that they will be charged with assault if they touch the attacked guy, they will very probably stop trying to beat him up.

  • 78 chris // Oct 22, 2010

    Have you ever personally called the cops to intervene in a dispute like this? If not, then you might want to compare your theories with the experience of someone who did.

  • 79 Just here and there // Oct 22, 2010

    Well my master did. He was up against a military dude.
    He (my master) got a fight with the dude and beat him. The dude then rode his motorcycle, stopped some distance from my master’s house then threatened to kill him and his family bla bla. What my master did after was went to the authorities informed them of what happened and they took care of the dude. And there you go, everyone’s safe, obviously. My mater wouldn’t be here if that didn’t work and he was killed, right?

    I know there are existing problems with the police force and they MIGHT end up not helping you at all. But you gotta try man, that’s much better than just beating a guy up then going back inside your house and getting shot. There’s someone in the police force that’s bound to help you at some point. Not everyone in this world is bad, cut the police some slack.

  • 80 Lucius // Oct 30, 2010

    @Chris
    “Yes, it is sad when people invest so much effort in the study of martial art, and discover too late that their preferred techniques cannot end a real fight.”

    I would just like to state, as someone who trains wing chun, that the main meaning in the title of, Wing Chun Self Defense, is the self defense. i believe that the way “brandon” could have stopped is to just ignore the situation. but saying not learing anything can still win a fight is half true. but somewhat incorrect. im not too sure what you define a fight to be? weather its a argument or physical dispute, but say for example if you walk down the street(which has happened to myself) and you are attacked by 3 people unable to escape, the only thing you can do, which humans do naturally, is to stand and defend yourself.

    My Sifu does not encourage fighting at all, he states that if the time calls to defend yourself then you must. and after the fight you do not stick around, you run off. it seems very cowardly at first? but you just got attacked by 3 people… thats as low as it gets. now as someone who has been in this situation from “australian torris islanders” wing chun basically saved me for being brutally beaten and virtually dieing.

    Wing Chun does not exactly teach people how to handle arguments, this is a basic knowledge everyone “should” have. dont be aggressive during the argument? reduces the chance that a physical fight breaks out…
    dont bait them with words to make them angry? keeps the other person less aggressive
    if the dispute is pointless just ignore the situation and walk away
    if they attack you, you tell them you dont want to fight and try to run away. if the attacking continues you defend yourself. pretty simple? easier said than done though. but preventing situations is more art of negotiating though general knowledge and being mentally strong, wing chun protects you when you need it.

  • 81 dc // Jan 20, 2011

    Wing Chun (or any martial arts for that matter) does not gaurantee that you will win (or survive). Studying Martial Arts will give you a fighting chance and that is it. If you get killed in the process of defending yourself, it does not necessarily mean that by being better would have prevented death. Everyone has to make choices when confronted. It could be a good choice or bad choice depending on the outcome but whatever the choice, accept the potential consequences.

  • 82 Ediaan // Sep 21, 2012

    Maybe he beat them at first, but seeing as it’s his neighbors, he shouldn’t have fought them initially. If he had no choice, I agree that he should have phoned the cops an laid assault charges. In Wing Chun / Wing Tsun, we aim to render continuous attack until our opponent is incapacitated or unconscious. It is not a sport, it is to be used to protect yourself. He should’ve run into the house, locked the door and phoned the cops. PS I disagree with the author completely – YOU DO NOT NEED STRENGTH TO BEAT YOUR OPPONENT. My sifu is 5″2 and I have seen him beat guys much bigger than bouncers through sheer TECHNIQUE.

  • 83 Dario // Oct 4, 2014

    “Wing Chun is a non-sense martial art”. That’s one of the most stupid/funny statements I’ve ever read. Only a stupid may think strength is the only way to beat your opponent…
    After All, a lot of people thinks to be a martial artist, but he’s not more than a mediocre karate (or any other martial art) practitioner…
    If the starring of the tale has been capable to beat both his aggressors, I think his Wing Chun was real effective. I’m sure the writer (who thinks to be a GM), would have not had the same ability.
    Then, I would ask to the “GM” that has written the article, what should have done Brandon to prevent to be shot? Would have killed or permanently injured his aggressors? What a stupid conclusions we argue from this article…
    BJJ or any other martial art would have done the same than Wing Chun.
    Stop to be so stupid.
    Otherwise, give me the name of a martial art capable to stop bullets.

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