Chapter 20

23 Oct

Self Taught Part One: Wing chun

After having ruined my ankle for a few months, I had plenty of time on my hands. I was undecided on what I wanted to pursue; I didn’t want to waste my time learning something that didn’t work.

I asked around, and a friend of my dad’s piped up. I feel it is neccesary at this point to reveal the fact that my dad trained Muay Thai with Sol Solis for about two years; he loved Muay Thai, and I would often use him as a sparring partner for my Kung Fu/Wushu/Kuk Sool Won/ Whatever.

As I was saying, a friend of my dad’s suggested Wing Chun. Not only that, but he said that he personally believed it was better than Muay Thai.

Better than Muay Thai? Do tell good sir, do tell.

He asked me what was the fastest way to get between two points. A straight line, obviously. This was pretty basic stuff.

He went on to say that the same principle applies in fighting. The fastest way to punch a person is through a straight line; Wing Chun operates on this theory, with it’s punches going straight down the centerline.

Furthermore, their guard is on the centerline. Since it “jams” that centerline for the opponent, they HAVE to go around it. This leads to slower punches, and the effective wing chun blocking system meant that you essentially had a perfect defense.

My dad laughed, but it could’ve been because he was a Muay Thai nutrider. How did he know it didn’t work? I decided yes, I would try Wing chun. I would learn it and defeat my father to prove that it worked. The ultimate test: Wing Chun vs. Muay Thai.

But where the hell does my training begin? I googled around, and saw that there were quite a few books on the art. I purchased two; Wing Chun Kung Fu, written by J. Yimm Lee, and get this, Technical Editor BRUCE FUCKING LEE. You can’t get better than that. The second book was Advanced Wing Chun by William Cheung. I bought it because I knew, with my diligent studying, I wouldn’t remain a beginner for long.

I cracked open Wing Chun Kung Fu, and began memorizing the forms and techniques. It was perfect; their first form didn’t require any leg movements, which meant I could do it with my messed up ankle. I learned all the basic blocks; pak sao, tan sao, bong sao, and fuk sao. With these four, and the centerline covered, I was undefeatable.

I recruited my little brother to practice Chi Sau with. I didn’t want my father learning my secrets. He may have laughed then, but he wouldn’t be laughing for long. Chi sau was the art of feeling an opponent’s movements, trapping, and molesting. I quickly learned how to DESTROY my little brother, and felt fairly proficient.

I moved on to Advanced wing chun two weeks after starting Wing chun kung fu, and started the second form. It was long, and hard. I didn’t know if I could take it all, but I tried.

I learned even more Chi Sau techniques, this time from different starting positions, or even with just one hand. To supplement my book training, I also surfed youtube for Wing Chun videos. I found Emin Boztepe, who was a bad mofo. He went around wrecking people’s shit, just for fun. I was surprised by the fact he hadn’t entered the acclaimed UFC, but I realized not everyone wants to do that sort of thing. To each their own.

Then I hit a brick wall. There was one final form, but I didn’t have any books on it. Not only that, it was the deadliest form. It involved stabbing peoples eyes; I decided not to pursue it, since I didn’t want to hurt my old man. After all, he was the bread winner. Defeating him would be enough; no need to blind him.

The first book suggested a punching method of rapid fire; chain punching. I practiced it, as the book suggested, on a piece of paper tied to the ceiling by a string. I had that paper dancing. This was going to be easy.

After my ankle has sufficiently healed to the point where I could walk around on it, I challenged him. We put on fencing helmets and he put on boxing gloves; I had on MMA style gloves. The joke was on him; with these MMA gloves I could utilize Fuk Sao to the fullest extent, AND Chi Sau. If he had any brains about him, he would’ve given me the boxing gloves.

We start, and he begins to jab. I pak sao with my front hand; no biggie. I can tell he isn’t going full blast; I’m only 16 or so, so I can understand. But I have no plans on holding back.

I begin a furious set of chain punches. A few hit, but he doesn’t even move. He throws a hook, and I tan sau. Then I go to-


The hook connects with my fencing helmet and knocks me off balance.

“Oh my god, are you okay?”

“Yea, I’m fine. I had it blocked.”

In reality it kind of jarred me, but I wasn’t going down without a fight.

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yea, lets keep going.”

He throws a soft leg kick. I use the wing chun leg blocking method and kick his shin with the instep of my foot. He laughs a little.


“Nothing. I just wouldn’t try that for real.”

“What? Go ahead, kick hard.”

He says okay, and winds up another. What a foolish fool.

I unload a furious chainpunching on him, and he has to set his leg back down. He sidesteps, but I follow. He sidesteps, roundhouse. I pause my chainpunching to kick his kick, but the force of his kick is much greater than mine, and it shoots me off balance. I fall on the grass.

He is cracking up at this point, as is my little brother who just started watching. Bastards.

It is time for my last hurrah. It’s all or nothing. If I can’t beat him in this last few minute set, then Wing Chun is too inferior to stand up against Muay Thai, and it just sucks.

I decide to be patient, and counter punch. He throws a jab, and I try to pak sao + punch with the other hand. His jabbing hand slaps my punch away and he jabs again, and hits the mask.

He throws another jab, and I try to bong sao it, but it’s already gone. I guess I’ll just have to wait for a cross.

He throws a jab, pak sao, and I wait. I see the cross coming.

I bong sao it, and get ready to unload.

Then he gets me with another hook, except this time he has more control over the power, and it taps me.

Wing Chun is stupid.

Bull crap! If punches that aren’t on the centerline are so easy to block, why do I get raped by hooks? I set the wing chun books on my shelf, never to be read again. Nuts to that. I need something else.

Then I watch Jet Li’s, “The One”, and my questions are answered.


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