Robbie Lawler’s Ruthless Wing Chun

EliteXC Saturday Night Fights
EliteXC Primetime, headlined by Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano

I’ve always known that, sooner or later, the Chinese art of Wing Chun Kuen would be represented in a professional mixed martial arts bout. I just didn’t expect to see it in MMA’s historic prime-time debut.

Robbie Lawler
Robbie Lawler

On May 31, 2008, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler forever settled any reasonable doubts about Wing Chun’s viability in real combat. And he did it by accident.

Robbie Lawler faced Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith in the inaugural broadcast of CBS’ Saturday Night Fights. During the first two rounds of this title bout, both men fought according to New Jersey’s Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts: no headbutts, biting, groin attacks, or rabbit punches; no hair-pulling or small joint manipulation; no fish-hooking or strikes to the trachea.

For more than ten minutes, Lawler and Smith used their training in boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling and BJJ to soften each other up. Neither fighter held a clear advantage, and so the exchange continued. Then “Ruthless” Lawler stuck his fingers in Smith’s eye.

Referee Dan Miragliotta halted the fight immediately. Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith hoped to continue after a five-minute rest to regain his vision, but the doctor forbid it. The match was called: no contest.

Lawler’s eye poke, unintentional though it was, ended the bout in seconds. There is little doubt in my mind that, if the referee had allowed it, Lawler could have followed up with an uncontested knockout.

Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith
Robbie Lawler fingers Scott Smith in round 3

Ring Fighting vs. Real-World Self-Defense

As a professional fighter, Scott Smith followed the match rules, and he was reasonable to assume that Robbie Lawler would do the same. However, it would also be reasonable to assume that, in a five-round fight with fingerless gloves, a stray finger could land in your eye, and to defend against such an accident.

If only such a thing were possible. The eyes are the most sensitive area on the body, and especially difficult to protect. If the opponent can so much as touch your eyes, they can damage them permanently, so the threat demands a conservative game. (The same principle applies, to a lesser degree, to defending the throat and genitals.)

Effective defense of vital areas cannot be an afterthought; it must be integrated into a fighting strategy from the outset, and supported by coherent tactics. The approach must be conservative, but also vicious, in order to eliminate the threat as rapidly as possible.

Does any of this sound familiar? These are the precepts of Wing Chun Kuen, Bruce Lee’s original martial art. Wing Chun starts where MMA ends; it is brutal and direct. Rules, community standards, and basic human decency prevent it from being fully applied in the competitive arena, but as Robbie Lawler reminded us yesterday, the ruthless hands of Wing Chun should not be discounted.


  1. I need to see this match. Alongside taekwondo I’m taking a chin na class from a kung fu school and now realize I’m hard pressed to say I still know kung fu. Regardless, the finger jab is one of the few techniques that stuck. In fact, I have a piece of wood mounted to my garage wall and still practice the jabs weekly.

  2. I don’t think anyone would doubt the effectiveness of gouging the eyes. The general argument is that, if you train with little to no contact, trying to hit the eye will likely get you killed when you miss. The way I look at it, is if a guy like Robbie Lawler TRIES to hit someone in the eye, he’ll have a lot better chance than someone who rarely or never trains to hit a live, resisting opponent.

    As always, it’s not the technique, it’s how you train. At least, that’s my opinion.

  3. It’s awfully hard to defend against kicks to the knee, which could also handicap a person for life.
    MMA is a game, though a tough one…


  5. DR: I’m not sure I understand. Kicks to the knee are legal in MMA matches, as they are in Muay Thai and many other standard rulesets.

  6. Steve,
    “No-contact Wing Chun” is practically an oxymoron. If anything, I think WC/WT/VT schools are generally too fond of sparring, to the detriment of long-term skill development.

    Dojo Rat,
    Right. This is not an anti-MMA rant; I just found it humorous that a 13-minute Muay Thai exchange was ended with two seconds of Wing Chun. 😉

    Wayne Hansen,
    I invite you to read what I actually wrote, and respond to that instead of making groundless assumptions. Not once have I endorsed breaking, bending or shaving the rules in a competition fight. Since it has already happened here, we may as well try to learn something from it.

  7. Touche, Chris. I guess I don’t think that chi sao equates to sparring, but I’ll take your word for it. 😀

    On another note, Chris, is the eye gouge unique to Wing Chun? I’m interested because I’ve heard in a similar vein guys in my own style of Martial Arts take credit for techniques that are somewhat universal. Worst thing I can imagine is being forced to endure a conversation between modern catch wrestling, BJJ and Sambo about who did what first and why.

  8. Steve, I do not equate chi sao to sparring. The Wing Chun curriculum I am familiar with contains both, distinctly, and more in between.

    The eye poke was not invented or patented by Wing Chun, but I know of no other system in which it plays such a central role. (I am talking about systems with decades or centuries of history here, not Billy Bob’s Modern Backyard Self-Defense.)

    Eyes, throat and genitals are all on the centerline, and everybody would agree that Wing Chun is centerline obsessed!

  9. I guess I should have been more clear about knee kicks. Most of the Thai and MMA kicks to the knees are long arcing round kicks that pound the side of the knee or thigh. It seems that numbing the muscle through repeated kicks to the same area, making the leg useless is what I see in these sports.
    Kicking the knee against the joint, like with a wing-chun style toes-out stomp to the knee would, in my opinion cause serious damage that I have not seen occur in MMA or Thai boxing.
    Agree? disagree?

  10. If you are somehow validating wing chun’s efficacy by this fact, you are quite possibly delusional. And I don’t really see what other point you are making…
    You see, if Robbie Lawler had of been using wing chun as it is found all over the world, he would have been knocked out in one of the first exchanges.
    Yes, getting poked in the eye finishes fights.
    No it is not as simple as unfurling your arm and pointing at someone’s eyeball.

  11. I don’t validate martial arts by watching television shows.

    It’s been months since you last came around here, calling people stupid and delusional; have you been feeling well? 😕

  12. “On May 31, 2008, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler forever settled any reasonable doubts about Wing Chun’s viability in real combat. ”

    That sounds pretty much like a validation of wing chun’s viability in real combat.

    By the way I’d like to notify all wing chungers that you owe it to Western boxing every time your fist connects with someone’s face.

  13. “Validation” has a specific technical meaning in software industry, which is more rigorous that settling reasonable doubts. I can understand how my use of the term would confuse you.

    And yes, I’ve heard rumors that the Chinese could invent the compass, gunpowder and paper, but somehow couldn’t figure out the “straight punch” without European assistance. These theories are self-serving, unfounded, and, delusional! Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma is the core of Wing Chun, and it has no Western counterpart.

  14. Silam Silat, Muay Boran, Escrima, almost every style of kung fu known to man, karate; they are all schools with long histories that involve eye-gouging. Even without a school of martial arts, it is fairly intuitive (through our own experiences) to know that getting hit in the eye will end a fight (if the fighter is in the proper mindset to end the fight). This is not specific to Wing Chun, and while Wing Chun is certainly centerline-obsessed, to say that it was ended by two seconds of Wing Chun.

    If given the benefit of fighting without rules, any “fighting system” worth its weight in belts would eventually consolidate into striking sensitive areas (eyes, throat, groin) before your opponent can do the same to you. Whether this consolidation would be the same as Wing Chun is arguable, I imagine it would look about as similar to Wing Chun as amateur wrestling is to the WWE.

  15. “Isn’t Wing Chun the art that Carl Douglas was really singing about?” I don’t hear anyone validating MMA with funky music.


    “There can be only one… and that one is Wing Chun”

  16. If he had been a WC student he is unlikely to have lasted long enough to have employed a bui jee. Opponent would have dropped him with a takedown and pounded him out, choked him or broken his arm. His boxing, grappling, and muay thai techniques, and his results-oriented training rather than tradition-based training, allowed him to stay in the ring long enough to accidently paw his eye. When will WC prove it’s worth in fights rather than these weird theories to prove itself?

  17. Wong Kiew Kit says:

    …Sifu Chow Kok Chee was a terrific fighter in his young days, at a time when the fist more than law ruled society. He told me he fought more than 200 street fights, many of them were ambushes where he was attacked by multiple assailants with weapons like choppers, spikes, acid and powdered glass!

    Such fights were barbaric and we are glad we no longer live in such an era and in such a lawless society. But it shows how naïve some modern softies are when they ask whether kungfu could be used for fighting! [continued here]

    …Like most people today, including most Chinese in modern China, you have not been exposed to genuine traditional kungfu, and therefore have no idea how powerful genuine traditional kungfu is.

    I have often mentioned that genuine traditional kungfu is rare today, but because their concept of genuine traditional kungfu is totally different from mine, some people are offended and accuse me of speaking condescendingly on other people’s kungfu or chi kung. I can understand their feelings, and would not want to argue with them.

    Some people would ask, “Why don’t kungfu masters enter wrestling matches and win prizes?” Wrestling matches use wrestling rules which are unfavorable to kungfu masters. In principle it is like asking a footballer why he does not enter a hockey match. [continued here]

  18. Does traditional kung fu even exist anymore? Did it ever? This Confucian idea of “old beats new” seems very narrow-minded to me.

    Let’s take the extreme example. If we had a time-machine and brought a caveman from prehistoric times to fight a “real” kung fu master, how does the outcome affect the status of their fighting styles? If the caveman wins, does this mean that kung fu is no good for fighting? Or just that it’s not good enough to beat a caveman? Or does it simply mean that the kung fu fighter simply wasn’t a real master?

    A less extreme example: the early UFC fights were completely without rules, with gouging, groin striking, and other tactics being completely fine. Jason DeLucia, a kung fu fighter, was defeated by Royce Gracie; does this mean that kung fu doesn’t work? Or that Jason wasn’t a good enough representative? Back when Thailand was first opening up to globalization, there were many fights staged between Muay Thai boxers and fighters from China, Japan, and other countries. The Thai boxers consistently beat them all. What does this mean for kung fu?

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s easy to make a claim that “ancient kung fu” or “traditional fighting” will always win, if it every stepped into a fight, but there’s no way to prove it. If ever a kung fu fighter (or any other person claiming to represent a style) fights and loses, there is the fall back of saying that simply weren’t a real master, despite the fighter’s, their school’s, or other people’s claims.

  19. I do not claim that “ancient fighting” will always win. However, I know for a fact that most of the people criticizing Wing Chun are ignorant of it. Thus far, I’ve been told that Wing Chun training has “little to no contact”, that it doesn’t distinguish between chi sao and sparring, that it was created as a fusion of Chinese boxing and Western principles, and that it uses “tradition-based training”. WTF?

    This thread started, as most do, with a limited premise: eye pokes really work, they are hard to defend against, and Wing Chun specializes in them. That is all. I have no intention of hereby proving Wing Chun at large “really works”, for any definition of the term.

    Wong Kiew Kit points out that most people in civil society are completely disconnected from the realities of violence. Therefore, they draw naive conclusions from whatever they see on television. I quote him because I agree, and offer this very page as proof.

  20. This was your original thesis:
    “On May 31, 2008, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler forever settled any reasonable doubts about Wing Chun’s viability in real combat.”
    Then you claimed you never mean that.
    “I have no intention of hereby proving Wing Chun at large “really works”, for any definition of the term.”
    So you abandon your original point and switch tack to a defensible position while claiming nothing changed.
    Huh. If you had just said, “Eye pokes work” I think everyone would have said, “Yeah, sometimes.”
    They are obviously a workable self-defense move. (If trained properly. I’ve always trained them against a moving opponent wearing industrial eye protection, although I have primarily seen WC and silat schools drilling them with passive drills and pulled movements (great for drilling pulling your bill jee into your memory).
    It was the weird attempt to prove WC can work through a non-wc fighter staying in the ring-using non-wc techniques and non-wc training, who accidently pokes his opponent using a illegal technique. It was that illogical premise that bugged people. And unfortunately, it is precisely because people have WC experience that people brought up the lack of contact and realistic sparring, the overemphasis of chi sao etc. I have a lot of respect for some WC, but everything we described I have seen at multiple WC schools, from multiple lineages, in multiple states. Love the techniques, hate the training and pedagogical method involved. I stick to non-traditional WC. Again, yes- a poke in the eye will do the trick, sometimes. But your attempt at proving it was an indefensible position. It wasn’t so much an anti-Wing Chun response you got, as a pro-logic one.

  21. Wong Shun Leung said, anything a Wing Chun man does is Wing Chun. You are free to disagree, or consider the implications otherwise.

    I have no qualms about asserting that Robbie Lawler used some accidental Wing Chun here, even if other methods also train the eye poke. Observing that fact is not the same as calling it proof that Wing Chun works at large, which we both know is impossible outside of context. Which in turn is different than “viability”, if you care to split hairs, and I see that you do…

    Lousy WC/WT/VT? I have seen plenty. I have also seen better. If mediocrity itself is a tradition, as you assert, then it is one shared by nearly every group I’ve ever known (including “non-traditional” and syncretic ones). Some folks rise above it, most do not. That much should go without saying.

  22. P.S. Don’t miss Lawler vs. Smith II, on Saturday July 26. Maybe he will throw in some Bajiquan this time? 😀

  23. If he pulls a single-leg take-down he proves drunken-monkey kung fu works.

  24. Nice article.
    Great points.
    In present time, it is rare that you come upon a fight without weapons outside a ring or octagon.
    An eye gouge is a very effective technique, but like anything else, pointless when used out of context.

  25. Let me explain my last statement.
    In the example provided, the eye gouge had practical effects, but it would not be wise when the dude who is mad about you hitting on his girlfriend is swinging a chair at you.

  26. Saying that Wing Chun’s “viability in a fight has been proven beyond doubt” because a technique upon which it focuses worked once in the ring is like saying the ancient and time-tested martial art of schoolyard tomfoolery has been proven to be viable beyond reasonable doubt in combat because Genki Sudo employed the Whizzy against craig oxley after breaking his guard, and submitted him.

    It’s like saying the knockouts which have occured in MMA by upkicking from the open guard has forever proven beyond reasonable doubt the effectiveness of falling to your back and up-kicking your foolish would-be mugger into submission.

    In my experience, that would be a safer option than trying to apply the principles of ?ing ?un in an actual combat situation.

  27. “Wong Kiew Kit points out that most people in civil society are completely disconnected from the realities of violence. Therefore, they draw naive conclusions from whatever they see on television.”

    I totally agree. That’s why the Kung Fu / Bruce Lee craze of the 70’s led to Wing Chun’s and many other traditional arts’ current popularity. People saw it on TV, thought “Wow! That’s so flashy, it can’t not work!”

    Then they spent years training against passive opponents in compliant drills until they got their black belt / sash / sifu / grandmaster / assistant manager qualifications. In that whole time, few fought full contact, let alone on the street.

  28. Oh, and it’s also these same practitioners who use arguments like “MMA is inferior because it is a sport,” “Our martial way is too d34dly 4 sparring / the ring” and my personal favourite when all other options are expended, “That’s not teh r34l KUNG-FU”

  29. Unless it was a lie, Bruce Lee actually was in quite a few street fights before he came to the usa.
    And he said in several of his interviews that what he did in movies was not how he would fight in a street fight.
    And yes, in a ‘mcdojo’ one fights against passive opponents, but some traditional martial arts do participate in full contact sparring and fighting.
    Depends on the teachers and students.
    I would not call MMA inferior, nor disrespect the superb athletes who fight in it.
    I’d prefer to participate in non paid streetfight than for paying spectators.
    But thats just me.

  30. I’m aware that some traditional martial arts participate in full-contact; I recently attended a San Shou event in Adelaide where several guys from the International Wing Chun Academy fought. They did fine, one of their guys even won his fight; but it should be noted that not a single chain punch occurred the entire fight. However, he did have fantastic double-leg takedowns, as demonstrated by the fact that he landed the guy on his posterior at least a dozen times.

    However, it seemed a bit misleading to advertise him as a Wing Chun fighter when his style was identical to mainstream kickboxing…but that’s just my view.

    As for the non-paid streetfight comment, are you kidding me? There’s no way I’d prefer to fight on concrete in the street with no doctors / refs to protect my butt if the fight goes dirty. Not that I wouldn’t, but being a notorious MMA coward I need a referee to pander to me and a doctor to spoon-feed me and change my nappies between rounds 😉

    For the record, I wasn’t bagging Bruce Lee either. I have no doubt that if he was still alive he would’ve competed at least once in the octagon / ring / cage. After all, the concept of Mixed Martial Arts started with him IMO.

  31. His style was identical to mainstream kickboxing because he had to train for MMA. Which kinda has its own ‘style’ so to speak.
    But having a background in Wing Chun as your main training still makes him a Wing Chun guy. But labels are pointless anyway.

    Pffft… refs and docs are for chumps.
    Lolz. Only reason I did not try out for MMA is because of the refs and rules.
    Then the weight class thing.
    I enjoyed in the street seeing a considerably smaller guy take down a larger guy.
    Because like the ninja, we like to fight dirty.

    I guess if Bruce were alive today, he’d be in an MMA training camp if thats where he had to fight. Because it would make him more proficient.
    He’d probably dominate the light weight class.

  32. Exactly what rules do you have a problem with? Or is it just that you enjoy being seriously and permanently injured every time you competed.

    Also, the refs and docs comment was designed to be ironic 😛

  33. I do not like any rules at all.
    Have enough of rules and regulations in everday life.
    No holds barred or nothing at all.

  34. You didn’t really answer my question there, chum. Which of the Unified Mixed Martial Arts rules restricts you so much that you think it would disadvantage you?

    Surely your fighting style isn’t based only around strikes to the back of the head 😛

    Out of interest, what is your fighting style?

    and also out of interest, how many no-holds-barred fights have you fought and under what conditions?

  35. I answered it. No need to go intomore detail detail.
    My fighting style is ‘anything that works’.
    I am an eternal student.

    As for fights and conditions.

    30 fights. 19 wins and 11 losses.
    And our fights are usually held in a wooded area. with trees and uneven land mostly at night.

  36. “Wong Kiew Kit points out that most people in civil society are completely disconnected from the realities of violence. Therefore, they draw naive conclusions from whatever they see on television.”

    I totally agree. That’s why the Kung Fu / Bruce Lee craze of the 70’s led to Wing Chun’s and many other traditional arts’ current popularity. People saw it on TV, thought “Wow! That’s so flashy, it can’t not work!”

    Nobody with knowledge of Wing Chun would confuse it with Bruce Lee’s movie fight scenes. You really think it is “flashy”? “Workmanlike” would be more apt IMO, which is why it rarely appears on the silver screen. IIRC, the first Hong Kong movie with anything resembling Wing Chun was not released until 1978–five years after Bruce Lee died. And I’m guessing you haven’t seen it.

  37. Has anyone ran this up as an accident? You know since kicking to the balls happens from time to time and it’s an accident maybe this guy accidentally fingerpoked him? Not that his Wing Chun training kicked in but it was an accident, not closing his fist right? Just a thought. TMA are only effective in rare cases. Wing Chun sucks as a martial art just like all Shotokan Karate, etc, unless the practitioner takes it serious and trains athletically aswell.

  38. “I answered it. No need to go intomore detail detail”

    No. You didn’t answer it. Stop trying to cop out. Which rule restricts you to the degree where you believe yourself to be ineffective in the ring.

    Both your answers so far have been attempts to dodge the question:

    “I do not like any rules at all”

    “I answered it. No need to go intomore detail”

    Please answer the question. Which rule in particular do you have a problem with.

    As to your claim of 30 no-holds-barred fights, did you get knocked out every loss? Because without a tapping or surrender rule, I’m guessing your limbs have been broken, you’ve been choked unconscious to the point of brain damage, etc.

    Or with truly no rules, why are you still alive? The concept that a fight ends with a knockout is a rule in itself. A truly no-holds-barred, no rules fight would be to the death.

    Also, the fact that you engage in unarmed combat, one on one, is a ruleset. For your safety. And yet, you claim to hate rules of any kind. By your own argument, you could take a gun to one of your fights and kill your opponent, and classify that as a win.

    If you have basic rules, why not slightly more extensive rules which protect your life and livelihood.

    Also, can you prove this record? Otherwise I could as accurately claim that I have 178 fights to the death under my belt, all wins, held on a plank of wood covered in broken glass and suspended above a lava pit.

    “Nobody with knowledge of Wing Chun would confuse it with Bruce Lee’s movie fight scenes. You really think it is “flashy”? “Workmanlike” would be more apt IMO”

    I’ve attended a number of classes / seminars at several places, including the International Wing Chun Academy in Adelaide. A close friend of mine has been practising the art for many years, and I’ve sparred with him extensively. And yes, much of it is flashy and impractical. Some of the drills used bring about very bad habits. Even the iconic WC stance teaches bad habits. The concept of always attacking the centreline is convoluted and pointless.

    And no, I haven’t seen the movie you referenced, probably due to the fact that I don’t judge martial arts by movies, and definitely don’t use them as evidence in a debate about it.

    My comment referred to the fact that many Wing Chun schools used Bruce Lee’s experience as a shameless plug for their art. Almost to the degree that JKD schools do today.

  39. Oh, and your “anything that works” fighting style has me a little confused; in what fighting systems have you trained, and for how long?

  40. dirty fighters always win when u fight without any rules or limits in your mind your oppenent does’nt know whats going to happen biting eye gouging groin kicks hair pulling scratching any can happen

  41. That’s why the Kung Fu / Bruce Lee craze of the 70’s led to Wing Chun’s and many other traditional arts’ current popularity. People saw it on TV, thought “Wow! That’s so flashy, it can’t not work!”

    I haven’t seen the movie you referenced, probably due to the fact that I don’t judge martial arts by movies, and definitely don’t use them as evidence in a debate about it.

    This is a discussion, not a debate. I do not supply evidence, but I do sometimes observe inconsistency and poor logic.

    Some people benefit from stance training. Unless you have deep experience with it yourself, you can only imagine its significance–maybe with the help of those who claim to have such experience. Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, isn’t it?

    IME, many who criticize stance training are incapable of distinguishing between training and application…at least when other people’s training is concerned. Kung Fu is not technique; it supports technique.

    As for the centerline, I’ve lost count of all the different arts that refer to it implicitly or explicitly. Wing Chun does not “always” attack the centerline, and this is made clear by the Biu Jee and Mook Yan Jong forms.

  42. It’s funny that people are still posting on this thread, as the author long ago abandoned his thesis and contradicted the statements in his original post.

    But lack of logic and clear thinking has followed his example, and the thread has continued, with more people taking up his mantle as the fighters of the “Arts to deadly to actually fight anybody”.
    We live in a great time for martial artists, as there are almost unlimited opportunities to test ourselves in varying degrees of all-out combat. You can go limited contact, no grappling, timed rounds or no, leg kicks or no, strikes and kicks to the face or no, locks or no. Sport competition now offers so many opportunities that the idea that there is simply no avenue for deadly Wing Chun to actually fight is laughable, and it makes WC look bad that people continue to say it. With the rise of MMA gyms, it has become common to once again have open sparring sessions. Walk down to the local boxing gym, and ask to dummy a fighter for a few rounds. They’ll love it, trust me. But the WC guys won’t. It’s simply easier to claim they are too deadly, the art to dangerous to actually employ.
    Imagine an interview with a sprinter claiming to be preparing for the Olympics, but who declared that his running style was so fast, he couldn’t actually race anyone, and his training, when observed, appeared to pretending to race against an imaginary foe. People would laugh at him. Only in TMA do we still have people making these absurd statements about training.
    Sadly, someone who sucked up their ego and actually fought consistently against Non-TMA fighters (boxers, grapplers) would probably learn more about applying WC (if they kept any of it) than the “Master” of chi sao who refuses to test himself against anyone but his students in compliant games.
    As for the stance issue. Again, how many modern sport arts train this way? If you came to me to learn to swim, and I told you to stand in an uncomfortable, knee ligament destroying position for long periods of time, and then claimed later that I was teaching you an “attribute”, not an actual technique, you should be pissed. Want to build leg strength? Get a book on plyometrics, and hit the squat rack.
    There is so much amazing sports research on modern training methods out there right now. Look forward with reason and research, not backwards on faith.
    And test yourself, not with videos, but with tough logic and practical experience .

  43. Jon, thank you for reminding me once again, how lucky I am. Before commenting on Wing Chun and plyometrics, it is probably best to study the meaning of yu ma hup yut, ging lik fut duk.

  44. Hey Cobra-Kai,

    You are wrong. It’s not always that way. Matter of fact anytime you put a dirty fighting street punk up against any sessoned boxer or kickboxer the punk is going to taste his own teeth and blood.

  45. [quote]I do not supply evidence,[/quote]

    No offence, but I have noticed that.

    [quote]I do sometimes observe inconsistency and poor logic.[/quote]

    This point is nothing but inflammatory without examples and an explanation.

    [quote] Some people benefit from stance training. Unless you have deep experience with it yourself, you can only imagine its significance–maybe with the help of those who claim to have such experience. [quote]

    For the first half of that:

    [quote] You cannot imagine the power of the Dark Side of the Force. [/quote]

    I’m sure some people benefit from eating icecream. That doesn’t make it an effective training technique.

    As for the second; Bas Rutten (5th Degree blackbelt in Kyokushin Karate and 3rd Degree in TKD) and Serkan Yilmaz, a TKD blackbelt who fights under K-1 rules are just two of many ex-TMA fighters who have abandoned rigid stance and kata training for more modern techniques. Are you saying that they’re just claiming to have such experience?

    Next, the article you sent me, like so many other similar articles, rapidly blurs the factual into the spiritual / unproven realm:

    [quote]Unconscious Competence
    Entering the state of mushin, the seasoned martial artist can automatically respond to random and unpredictable attacks. Formal technique is forgotten, yet manifests itself effectively and without thought.[/quote]

    If this is the case then this should translate directly into full-contact sparring. If it doesn’t, then it’s useless. If you then say it’s not meant to translate, the martial art is useless. If you say “Oh, that person obviously hadn’t been doing it for long enough / didn’t have a ‘deep’ enough understanding of their stances” then you have moved beyond the point of justification into blind faith in your martial art.

    The comment that you should practise techniques against a number of common techniques is foolish. It leads to a form of “scenario training,” where you are trained for certain attacks, etc, but are not prepared for a change in that scenario.

    It is more important instead to develop solid basics and delivery systems than to drill a technique for every common attack.

    It all comes down to this.

    “Test your fighting system on a constant basis against a range of different opponents. There is no such thing as too deadly for sparring. Pressure test everything you learn. Otherwise you have no way at all of knowing if it will work when you need it.”

  46. to Ed Mutatedbutter

    yes but what if the dirty fighter does some form of martial art or boxing then thats the perfect combo u can’t argue with that

  47. Cobra Kai,

    If a dirty fighter knows boxing or something effective then it comes down to skill level. A dirty amature boxer will still have his hands full fighting let’s say Mike Tyson in his prime. Or a dirty mma guy fighting a hard hitter like Chuck Liddell or Rampage Jackson.

  48. Ed
    yes skill is the most important part of fighting but u can’t disagree with the simple fact that dirty fighters will always have an advantage over common street punks who use haymakers but i believe that most martial artists and fighters often use dirty fighting tatics in street fights such as groin and eye strikes as u can c in this article dirty fighting can be most effective but i do not disagree with what u said that skill does matter but martial arts + dirty fighting = a very good fighter like i said before u can’t argue with that

  49. [quote]I do not supply evidence,[/quote]
    No offence, but I have noticed that.

    In fact, I have never expected to find or deliver martial arts evidence via the Internet. Ideas to follow up on, yes. Perhaps we differ in this respect–no offense.

    [quote]I do sometimes observe inconsistency and poor logic.[/quote]

    This point is nothing but inflammatory without examples and an explanation.

    I thought it was clear enough, but here is the explanation. You postulate that Kung Fu became popular because it was shown on TV…then claim that you yourself do not judge martial arts by watching movies…then cite Bas Rutten and Serkan Yilmaz (two men you must have watched on TV) as evidence of…what? Rhetorical question, no need to answer.

    Chinese (WC et al), Japanese (Kyokushin) and Korean (TKD) perspectives on stance training differ. Individual perceptions and achievements also differ. That I have been given access to better YGKYM information than Bas Rutten and yourself, is 100% certain.

    If you are qualified to discuss technical details–instead of repeating these shopworn talking points from Usenet circa 1997–then please do so. Otherwise, best of luck to him and to you, RLS (if that is your real name).

  50. He didnt poke him in the eye on purpose. He had a poorly formed punch. It was an accident.

  51. to num num
    yes it was an accident but if it was on purpose on the street and he dug his finger right into the eye and scratched it the fight would be over very quickly as ur oppenent holds his bleeding eye looking for a hospital ruthless and dangerous i know but what if ur life is in danger beats carrying around a knife in ur pocket and the cops catching u but i’m glad u agree with my statment 🙂

  52. I’d rather shoot somebody or cut there tendons or muscles. I carry a razor sharp benchmade and a .45. I’m not worried about kicking one mans ass but kicking his and his buddies ass. On the street it doesnt matter how ruthless and dangerous you are because your assailant isnt usually alone.

  53. num num i like the way u think there is always another guy around the corner waiting for his chance

  54. I practice wing chun and lawler’s eye gouge does not seem to be an intended strike but a desperation move. His fingers would be even with his hand and he would have more of a attacking posture. he didn’t seem too confident.

  55. It would seam obvious that the eye poke against someone who assumes it won’t happen would be a fight ender. As far as support of style, some styles teach the eye poke and some don’t. Looking at the picture, It seams like a hot mess and one guy wasn’t paying attention and paid for it with his eye. It does not validate wing chun, or any variant, in the same manner that people with no stance falling over does not validate jiujitsue, MMA, or drunken monkey. The point is valid that defense against these things has to be trained and cannot be picked up on the fly. The eye poke does in fact invalidate MMA and any martial sport. The point of martial arts is to learn what to expect on the battle field and train to respond correctly. To ignore training which allows you to lose because of an accident does invalidate the core premis of your training. You would need to seriously rethink your aproach to training.

    If you wish to validate any art from the octogon or in any ring then you would also have to validate all similar arts. So a single leg take down would validate drunken, monkey, drunken monkey, judo jiu jitsue, and any art which has any movement which might hook a leg at any range including MMA and Wing Chun.

    All that can be really validated are the training programs and whether they solve a problem. If you train to punch then you have to train to punch heavy things. You need healthy training to keep your hand from breaking while it strengthens to punch ever heavier things. The same with kicks and ground work. However, like science, one mistake requires an evaluation of underlying principles.

    Do you grapple but fall on your knee, elbow, or head during at any time in your training. On the ground that would be broken and your training is invalid.

    Do you strike but break or strain your body weapon. Do you not hit actual targets? Your training is invalid.

    Can you suffer a fight ending injury “by accident”? your training is invalid.

    Do you fight in a specific way and are easily defeated when someone fights differently? Your training is simply incomplete.

    Do you talk about all ranges and pretend you are the only person learning how to fight in an art which teaches all ranges? You are ignorant for using your personal stereotype to judge a persons skill based upon a small text.

    The only test of the fist is the fist.

    I actually went to a UFC match many years ago when there were no rules. The fights always used to end with a two hour stalemate until the tired guy got jointlocked. Shamrock won through the use of one tactic. Hit and run away. However low your opinion of MMA is, mine is lower.

  56. I studied and received the first belt in Karate, TKD, and Wu Su. Finally I did some research and found Wing Chun.

    RLS said it is “convoluted and pointless to always attack the centerline”. Not so: a) one’s hits have maximum force absorption by opponent b) while attacking centerline all opponents attacks off centerline are nullified c) more vital organs on centerline.

    The reason it can never be a sport as it sports can’t involve doing serious injury and death to one another. WC uses the longest attack to the most vital target. So in a fight a knee cap might get destroyed, or the groin, or the eyes, or the throat.

    These monks were harbouring ‘rebels’ and they both needed this art to protect their lives. The Chinese army would kill them in hand-to-hand combat, so Wing Chun has a lot of moves that are simply unusable in a sport. Take out those moves, and its no longer Wing Chun.

    Perhaps Wing Chun needs to be complimented by other martial arts so that in the unfortunate need to use it on the street, other options are available than the many ‘finish’ methods of Wing Chun.

    Perhaps when I’ve learned more (I’m only 9 months into it) I’ll discover that there are lots of WC attacks that are not so damaging.

  57. Wing Chun has its share of “harmless” balance control techniques, but they are more difficult to use than the simple straight punch.

  58. It is perhaps less important that Robbie Lawler poked Scott Smith in the eye and more telling that Smith let Lawler do that to him.

    Of course, this is not saying that a Wing Chun guy would’ve deflected that eye poke for sure, but they actually train to do that, thereby increasing their chances at a successful defence.

    Also, this doesn’t mean MMA sucks. It’s just that people training primarily for the ring – whether they be MMA or Wing Chun fighters – will have huge gaps in their practice because of the rules they work within. A well trained sport fighter will still most probably whoop ass in a real fight – unless their opponents play dirty. And we all know brawlers, muggers, and murderers are the most honourable and upstanding of citizens.

  59. This is certainly the most epic use of affirming the consequent I’ve ever seen in an argument regarding martial arts. Congratulations you goon.

  60. I personally think mma fighters train to much in just a few reas and never think adding a few tricks from other styles.

    as far as the finger poke goes, if he got hit by it the his over defense needed work. After avoiding an eye poke isn’t much different from avoiding a jab. Keep your head moving and use your hands to block.

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