I think the simple answer is yes.  Traditional training, if it also involves conditioning, can be a great start toward training for ring fights and cross training in other arts if your goal is the octagon type of fights we see today. Traditional martial arts offer basic principals of the individual style that could be overlooked in a mixed martial arts setting in the interest of “getting through it” so you can move on to another martial art.

At first, you, as the beginning student cannot usually understand why these basic movements are so important unless you have had good grounding in another traditional martial art. The truth is, the basics also train the smaller muscle groups that, again, are overlooked in faster training methods. They can strengthen and condition joints that work to prevent injury and increase efficiency.

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Our classes address a surprise attack if you are grabbed by somebody attempting to put you into a headlock.  Of course there is a whole series of ideas against grabs that can be addressed.  Many martial art styles have pre-arranged scenarios for a whole variety of attacks.  Unfortunately none of those scenarios is going to be what happens to you in an attack.  It is impossible to know this ahead of time!  That is why we have to know and practice ‘principals’ that can be applied at will in any situation.

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I might go out on a limb and say that most people who want to get into a program involving fitness training, be it martial arts, personal trainer, 24-hour gyms, and anything else, do not know where to start and how to keep going. The tendency I see is that many people have been sedentary for so long, they do not know how far out of shape they are. When they start out, they are thrown for a loop. Their whole body is sore, perhaps for a week.

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The manual for training for full-contact fights with Wing Tsun has been available for over 30 years. It is called Dynamic Wing Tsun Kung Fu by Grandmaster Leung Ting.  The book is, in part, a basic book for those interested in fighting applications and part training manual for winning a full contact ring fight. The book includes photos and short descriptions of 12 different fighters that won their fights in such countries as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Denmark and Yugoslavia in the early years of Grandmaster Leung Tings’s teaching career.

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Our Wing Tsun training is truly one of the traditional, non-traditional martial arts. Inside Wing Tsun’s traditional training, lies the applications for common attacks. Most martial arts are learned by training with other students in the same martial art. However Wing Tsun instructors long ago realized that Wing Tsun, were it to be applied for real, would be applied against non-Wing Tsun attackers of every shape, size and stripe.

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Training the arms in WingTsun is not the same as weight training. We will explain the training methods in a minute but first, some explanations:

The ultimate purpose of arm training in WingTsun is to deliver a serious and disabling strike to a vital area of a serious attacker as a self-defense method. To do this, the aim is to develop flexibility, reactivity, control, explosive power and sticky energy. The benefits are fast hand speed, ability to intercept oncoming attacks to the face or body, develop spacial relationships, precision hand movements, reaction time increased behind the wheel of a car, catch falling objects out of the air, react quickly to all manner of unpredictable emergencies, hands stay flexible into old age as long as the practice continues.

The training methods are:

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Once a layperson who has an interest in martial arts also becomes acquainted with Wing Tsun (or wing chun) techniques, the fascination often begins. Due partly to online videos, tons of chatter, posts, blogs, and YouTube stars, many “wing chun fans” become obsessed. All the internet surfer wants to do is be like the guy in the videos or the star of the movie about Yip Man. It is a shame that the obsession doesn’t include an obsession with the ‘secret’ of Wing Tsun.

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The Siu Nim Tau is the first set of movements of Wing Tsun kungfu. The literal translation is the “Little Idea Form.” The first section of the form is done slowly. We are told by our instructors that doing it daily is important and the slower the better. The form has multiple benefits including a deep breathing subset which has a de-stressing benefit.

After you perform the Siu Nim Tau, is that the end of it? Are there not lessons we can gain from this form, this practice?

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Have you ever dropped something and failed to catch it? Probably everybody has at one time or another. However, if you are a student of Wing Tsun for long enough, you might notice yourself catching those fallen items a bit more often.

The primary training that increases your reaction time is sticky hands, known in Wing Tsun circles as “chi sau.” Chi sau is pretty much confined to the art founded by Yim Wing Tsun. However, we do not know if sticky hands were a part of her repertoire. There are other Chinese martial arts that have similar drills, but it is most highly developed in the later years of the art.

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Wing Tsun is completely different in its approach to getting power. For those immersed in another discipline, this statement is met with a lot of skepticism. It just seems easier to develop power using a person’s native power to hit or kick. Internal power has a mysterious ring to it.

To clarify the reason for Wing Tsun’s internal power, we must explain why this approach is the one we take in Wing Tsun. Often, power, when in actual use in self-defense, is a relative term.

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