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Wing chun or Tai Chi?

Discussion in 'football' started by miss giggles, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. miss giggles

    miss giggles an unknown quantity...

    I've decided I would really like to learn a martial art. I've narrowed it down to wing chun and tai chi. Now I know one is a variation of the other, but I don't know which one to start with. Any martial artists out there who could give me any advice? I'm a total novice!
  2. panchax

    panchax Well-Known Member

    I did wing chun for a year or so with a well respected organistation and it was crap. Very stylised and never felt powerful enough to be any help in a punch up, I would reccomend doing something more practical like muay thai or krav maga if you want to be able to defend yourself
  3. the B

    the B Sorry

    Better WT (WC) than Tai Chi for self defense...

    Muay Thai and Krav Maga very handy though :cool:

    Where is Bernie Gunther....
  4. perplexis

    perplexis A change of scene, a change of style....

    Hmm, I do WT (and therefore think it's better than WC), and I reckon it's great. The principles are very very applicable to fighting from the first off, but I may be lucky in that I have great teachers. Could bang on about it at length, I won't but PM me if you want to know more.
  5. Red Faction

    Red Faction Allez Les Rouges

    tai chi isnt really about self defence as such
    its more about feeling the energy than about kicking someones face in
  6. onemonkey

    onemonkey winmonkey

    with t'ai chi it takes about 15 years before you can use it for self-defence.. (at least at the rate i am going)..

    it is very cool though.. if you find the right teacher.. a lot of them don't teach it as martial art at all and treat it in a more hand-waving new age way

    WC will get you fitter in short run but tai chi is for life
  7. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    Jeet kun do and Brazillian Ju-Jitsu seems to be the current trend. Both are practical and can be used on the street.

    Jeet kun do is the best bits of all arts put together as a fighting system.

    Brazillian Ju-Jitsu is excellent for grappling opponents and ground fighting.
  8. mk12

    mk12 Well-Known Member

    Isn't that Bruce Lee's thing?
  9. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    Have you looked at Aikido? There's different forms, so you can chose a lesson that is as physical as you are. E.g. search Zentokan Aikido, Ki Aikido, Meidokan Aikido &c.
    I believe Ki is the most spiritual version.

    Most forms of martial arts are going to be very repititve so it's essential to find a class you really enjoy.

    wrysmile gave up tai chi cause the instructor was asking her to imagine a golden shower and keep a straight face :D
  10. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    sure is. there's an hour long training video on the web
  11. mk12

    mk12 Well-Known Member

    Aikido - Steven Seagal's thing?
  12. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

    Where? Google ain't playing ball.
  13. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    it's a torrent on mininova
  14. Virtual Blue

    Virtual Blue ready

    sure is. there's an hour long training video on the web

    Oh please - it took Brucie 20 years to develop and for beginners, an hour to learn?!

    Jeet kun do is a fighting system and differs from one sifu to the next.

    miss giggles try the link below


    Adrian Chan-Wyles is the real deal for Tai Chi forms.
  15. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

  16. citydreams

    citydreams on the road again

    Some people can learn in an hour what it takes others a lifetime.

    Follow the finger... &c. :p
  17. toggle

    toggle wobbly

    it depends what you are looking for. tai chi is good for many things, but if you need self defence lessons, then it won't be the right option. wing chun is good for learning to deal with close up attacks, suppressing your reaction to flinch if someone gets aggressive or violent right in your face.

    without knowing why you want to study martial arts, i would recommend you take a couple of classes first, then decide what suits you.
  18. angry bob

    angry bob all things are space

    Hmmm ... I'd have to disagree. Did you do traditional or modern?

    I studied trad for quite some time and I felt it to be a fairly vicous course in hurting people really badly! Well ... there was quite a bit of theory and fancy stuff but the main bit was street fighting.

    Can't beat the bil sao for an easily learned, effective counter attack.

    Aikido or JuJitsu are the most effective in a ring ... but it's no good rolling all over the floor on the street with broken glass and your attackers mates sticking the boot in.
  19. DexterTCN

    DexterTCN Well-Known Member

    Miss Giggles, I would start with one or 2 classes a week, go to each club in the same week too if you want.

    It's not a lifetime decision, you can change your mind as many times as you want, as long as you enjoy yourself, meet cool people and get fit(ter).

    I checked your profile...30 year old woman. I would start with something light like tai-chi or aikido, neither of which will make you look buff (muscly) after a long period.

    Martial Arts are just like any other hobby, but remember that a lot of clubs out there may not be to your taste, but many, many will be.

    Enjoy your travels. :)

    (20+ years judo, 7th year aikido)
  20. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Also I think quality of instruction can be more important than style in some ways, especially if you don't live someplace with a lot of choices. In London you can pretty much count on being able to find someone who'll teach even the most obscure arts, and very often world class practicioners of the more popular ones. If you're elsewhere though, there may only be a couple of arts that have top quality teachers in your area.
  21. Louloubelle

    Louloubelle Well-Known Member

    I'd love to learn a martial art properly but injured myself by partially dislocating my shoulder doing kickboxing a few years back

    I've tried WC karate and Tai chi, only a few classes of each and didn't enjoy the karate.

    I didn't know at the time but I had hypermobility syndrome, which explains why I was very good at yoga and also why I dislocated my shoulder

    I'm feeling out of shape at the moment but want to get back in form.

    It's the hypermobility syndrome that's the tricky thing, on the one hand I'm extremely flexible, on the other I can dislocate my joints easily (sometimes not remotely painful as in don't even notice, sometimes agony).

    Should I just give up onteh idea of martial arts or would it be a good idea? I'm in NW London and I think there's a decent WC school in green lanes IMMC

    any advice welcome
  22. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Did a quick google and found this might be worth an e-mail asking advice?
  23. gawkrodger

    gawkrodger Well-Known Member

    i always recommend kickboxing/muay thai in response to these kind of questions, but i'm biased here!

    BJJ is also a very good recommendation and from my limited experience of it is very fun.

    If you're based in london, KO gym is good for muay thai, there's a gracie barra in london which will be excellent for BJJ and there are a couple of MMA clubs as well.
  24. miss giggles

    miss giggles an unknown quantity...

    Wicked replies everyone :) But to be honest, I'm still a bit confused. In response to toggles' question, I recently stopped a gang of teenage boys in the middle of a street robbery. I was outraged, and waded in without thinking. Luckily my mouth must of convinced them I was a lot tougher than I really am, but afterwards I felt a bit shaken up. I realised I didn't really have anything apart from a lot of front, and I was lucky not to get hurt. I suppose I want an effective form of self defence. I heard that win chung was good for women, as it's close up and economical with movements. Muay tai looks amazing but scares the crap out of me. I did some tai chi years ago and loved it, but I don't know if I've got the patience tbh. I would like to take one style and really study it. I've been really inspired by Chris Crudelli on BBC 3s "mind body and kick ass moves" :eek: Has anyone been watching that? What a geezer! :D
  25. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    If you're looking for hardcore self-defence Wing Chun, taught by someone who knows what they're doing is pretty good.

    At some point though, it's useful to practice "scary" stuff. Otherwise what can happen is you get in a scary situation or get hit and forget what to do. I agree Muay Thai (and some WC for that matter) classes can be a bit brutal but to some extent, getting used to getting whacked hard and carrying on is quite important. So my personal feeling is that if one is seeking strong self-defence, it's well worth doing at least a year or so of something that scares you absolutely shitless at some point once you're ready for it, in order to get used to handling the fear and hard knocks and being able fight on regardless.

    Also, you might later want to consider doing some traditional (ie not primarily about sport) Judo, or Ju-Jitsu to round out your throwing and grappling skills.

    The main point though, is to develop good defensive awareness and avoid situations before they start. Actually fighting is always tremendously unpleasant for everybody involved in my experience, and should be avoided.

    If you can't avoid, then something like WC is pretty good, because it gives you plenty of rattlesnake-fast, vicious counterattacks, that can really work very well on someone who thought they were dealing with a helpless victim and can enable you to run like buggery while they're still whimpering about the pain in their eyeball.

    edited to add: just checked and I see that you're in south London. You might want to go have a look at this place - http://www.itk.freeuk.com/ see also http://www.otgka.co.uk/ for further information. It's karate, but it's the real stuff taught by one of the top guys in the UK.

    When the link works, which isn't always, you can access multimedia on the various traditional okinawan styles (ie not japanese or sport type karate)

  26. miss giggles

    miss giggles an unknown quantity...

    Oh Bernie, thankyou very much! :) That was wicked advice. My mind is made up, WC it is then. I've found a couple of places near me that sound quite good including one taught by a woman, definately gonna give it a go! :D
  27. toggle

    toggle wobbly

    definately. YOu have to find a good instructor though. i've heard of some right wankers out there teaching wing chun.

    The rest of bernie's post would pretty much cover most else of what i would say. Judo is great because it will help remove the avoidance of a physical grappling situation that seems drummed into girls by our upbringing. And doing some of the scary in your face stuff, which, imo, after you've had some experience of learning, will be a lot less scary.

    tai chi isn't the place to start for learning self defence. i'ts where the good people go to learn to get better where fighting is concerned. it can help with other things, relaxation, fitness, mild depression etc, but it is not going to teach you effective skills. You would be very hard pressed to find an instructor that would teach you the martial aspects as a beginning student.

    i had to quote this just to make it clear that this is very important. The skills you learn will hopefully give you the confidence to go ahead and talk yourself out of a situation again. actually having to fight is something that even some of the best will avoid because of the unpredictable nature of a fight. one of the signs of a good instructor is they will emphasise this.
  28. scott_forester

    scott_forester probably talking shite

    http://www.wanghaijun.com/ simply stunning, Wing Chun is cool as well I use to train with a guy called Paul Elson who was a damn scary fella. Although I think any system you choose, if it is for self defence needs some degree of contact, you can do anything in a hall if you mate lets you.

    I'd personally look into the armed systems, like Eskrima - they cover 90% of the bases.
  29. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Yep. Sometimes, particularly for a beginner, there is something to be said for a martial art with a headquarters in Tokyo or Naha city which operates a consistent syllabus and whose gradings are widely respected. That's the reason I linked on the previous page to George Andrews' outfit in Elephant and Castle. The teaching is first rate and eminently practical for real world self defence, the head instructor was graded 7th dan by Higaonna, one of the top Goju guys in the world, and he has two outstanding female instructors.

    I only did Wing Chun for a few months, in a class of trainee muggers run by a bouncer with no particular lineage that he saw fit to mention. My impression though is that there is a lot of confusion, not untypically with Chinese martial arts, about who is the head of which lineage and who taught who what. I know there are several WC guys on here though, and I'm sure they know who the good instructors are.

    You may also enjoy this footage of some senior citizens who (in the cases of those actually still breathing) are probably quite safe from muggers, despite their advanced age. From the same site, Seiko Toyama doing Sanseiryu and the Intangible Cultural Assets of Okinawa.
  30. toggle

    toggle wobbly

    George Andrews is a name known to my partner, sounds like a good place to start. as would any instructor affiliated to Simon Lau or Michael Wong.

    but, however good he is, an instructor's style of teaching and personality needs to match to what a student wants. an instructor has to give you confidence in your ability without making you over confident. they also have to be someone you trust in regular close physical contact and that they have complete control over the class to ensure the safety of all the students.

    edited to add, avoid the sofos schools/fat shan academy at all costs.

    if you do look at jujitsu, check out anyone affiliated to kevin williams. In Karate, look out for the Kilburn Karate club/coleman Garrahy.

    Good teachers/schools tend to advertise their affiliations.

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