I remember that when William Cheung made his claims about TWC at least he had his materials out there so that readers can make an informed decision. And of course controversy sells though name calling reflects back unfavorably on the person doing so resulting in bad karma. Despite the Germany incident I don’t think anyone can deny that William Cheung had skills.
In the case of AWC it would be nice if they can have better material out there. What they are showing now is jaw dropping for the wrong reasons. Quite a few, no, many of their videos when I clicked on it I got a message that says its private. So if they don’t want to be a laughing stock they should step up.
There is something not quite right with their claims of being right. They keep referring to lab tests, researchers and medical doctors. Here’s a thought – what makes these people qualified to pass judgement on what is or is not Wing Chun. Based on what test criteria? Who decides how to interpret the results? Any footage of AWC practitioners in a real fight to support their claims?
At least if you ask me why I say that the stuff they have put up so far is kindergarten level Wing Chun, if not bad Wing Chun, I can easily justify why I said so by making reference to the boxing maxims that Leung Jan passed down. As a secondary reference I could also used the information that I obtained from this lineage of Ip Man that I used as the basis for the information in The Ip Man Questions and use it to compare results. If that is still not enough I have a lot of references and we can always go talk to an independent researcher / professor of biomechanics in a reputable university.
They also keep referring to natural expression. I wonder what they mean by that. Natural expression as in untrained expression or the state of natural expression that internal arts refer to a pre-heaven. Which is which? Again their explanation seems to beat about the bush, throwing up a lot of good stuff or so it seems but more like the banging of an empty drum. They cherry pick examples from the internet to point out what is bad Wing Chun but to me their example seems to be as bad if not worse than that which they point out is supposed to be incorrect Wing Chun.
Someone in the FB group brought up the matter of research sample. Its a good point. What was the sample size? How do we know if the samples are representative or plain biased? How was sampling carried out? How was the control group set up? What was the mastery level of the people tested? Who verified and confirmed their mastery? So it seems to be that amidst all these claims of being scientific there is actually a lot of unscientific practice going on.
The point that really got me LOL is the one that this person brought up about AWC claiming that even Ip Man was wrong about Wing Chun. Again, my question would be wrong about Wing Chun in what sense? I can mention one here – there is a VCD out there that shows a group of people visiting the Chan Wah Shun Wing Chun school where they were told that Ip Man only learned their external wooden dummy. The inference here is of course Ip Man’s learning was incomplete. If you look at the Chan family’s version of Siu Nim Tao you would note that its in some ways like Ip Man’s SNT + additional section that has body turning and stepping. Based on this a person can say that the present version of Ip Man’s WC is incomplete or is it?
What we will never know is whether Ip Man had learned this long version SNT and simplified it later. Or perhaps he never did but does that mean he did not understand its essence? Or another question – does Ip Man necessarily have to master SNT within the school or outside? Who else did Ip Man learn from? What was the road that led him to mastery? On what basis did he create the version of Wing Chun that he eventually taught to the public in Hong Kong?
There are so many things about Ip Man that we do not know about so how could these folks from AWC claim that Ip Man was wrong unless they have actually talked to Ip Man and personally tested his skills. Without this all they are doing is making a lot of unsubstantiated, bombastic claims.
As a comparison, I have put forward some claims about the method of Wing Chun that Ip Man actually practiced and used in The Ip Man Questions. In my case what I claim can be easily justified by the following :-
a) The Leung Jan boxing maxims as the de facto standard
b) The photos, videos and stories of Ip Man out there
c) Information from the lineage itself backed by hours of video explanation
d) A model that can be easily compared and verified by other teachers of the same lineage
e) Best of all, the master of the lineage who learned from Ip Man is still around so facts can be checked with him
f) Part of the shared history of Ip Man Wing Chun included the loss to Muay Thai fighters by students in other Ip Man lineage which resulted in the inter-school competition as mandated by Tang Sang so as not to cause Wing Chun to lose face further; this lineage won the inter-school match. Later its student won the fight against a Muay Thai fighter and Ip Man WC’s honor was restored. In a recent competition in southern China the European students from the lineage won a few medals for sparring competition and brought honor to the lineage – footage is on the internet so its not something made up. Did I mention that when CLF challenged Ip Man he said that he would accept provided kicks could be used and Ip Man picked this lineage to represent him for this challenge match except it didn’t happen. Go figure…….
In conclusion, its easy to make claims but not so easy to make claims that have basis and can be verified. Moral here – the Wing Chun wars are over. Don’t cause another one for money reasons cause that’s plain avaricious behaviour. Sometimes such things can be like that one match that sets off a bush fire that burns for days and consumes many, including those who started it. If what AWC claims is true why not extend a hand of friendship and organize a seminar cum Q&A so that skeptics can find out for themselves what it is really about instead of hiding behind US$1000 charges?