Realistic Application of Force

There is a reason that large and strong persons are successful in judo, jiu jitsu, and wrestling. Size, weight and strength are big factors in winning. In martial sports, a level playing field is important for the sport. Spectators and players alike want it to be difficult. What would be interesting or fun about matching a 275 pound, six foot – six inch tall competitor against a five foot- five inch 120 pound competitor when all training and rules are the same for both competitors? It would be a wipe out in a few minutes at best and the outcome is predictable. Therefore sporting event organizers generally do not set up this kind of event. Rules, weight, size and other factors are all matched as evenly as possible.

In a crime-against-a-victim situation where a criminal attacks a victim, the criminal often has a size and weight advantage or a weapon. There is nothing fair about that. However even small persons have it set in their mind that even though they are weak, they ‘must fight against’ the attacker. The mindset of clashing with an opposing force is deep. It takes focused training on the part of student and teacher to get rid of this idea and learn how to use an attacker’s force and not ‘fight against’ that force. It is an even more difficult task if the class is all about grappling. The tendency for stronger players is to use strength – always. It is easy. It is too easy. To ‘give up the force’ is difficult if you have it. The only way a stronger player is going to ‘give up the force’ in order to learn to borrow the force is to get some humility. One might imagine the difficulty for a smaller, weaker person to learn this in a grappling class. A student’s sole way to learn self-defense is to figure out how to ‘win’ against consistently stronger students who flock to these classes [because they can win all the time by using their strength]. Congratulations are in order to martial arts instructors who regularly attract weaker students to these classes.

WingTsun™ kung fu has an alternative. WingTsun students do not have the problem of trying to learn how to circumvent superior size and strength of fellow students by grappling throughout class periods – forever. WingTsun uses hitting and striking as a self-defense method, not grappling. However we do practice ANTI-grappling. In a self-defense situation, a weaker student will have to deal with stronger forces and therefore WingTsun classes teaches how to ‘give up the force’ in order to ‘borrow the force’ of an attacker. The learning difficulty is far less than in a grappling course and the success of learning it is higher. A student does not have to ‘bulk up’ in order to manage in the classes.

WingTsun students learn many alternatives to clashing with greater forces and grappling with a stronger individual in a real encounter. In many circumstances, great skill at borrowing force is not particularly required if you are also learning the ‘dexterous’ footwork of the Leung Ting WingTsun® system!

In a real self-defense encounter, it is no doubt foolish to meet the attacker on his own terms and ‘fight his fight’ by dealing with his strength directly or dealing with his weapon directly! It would be more realistic to ‘fight your fight.’

In conclusion, WingTsun kung fu offers a realistic learning alternative and a realistic way of dealing with a physical attack.

– Sifu Keith Sonnenberg