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Thread: Wing Chun and the gym.

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Quote Originally Posted by missingfingers View Post
    My master told me that doing weights and building arm muscles will stuff up your Wing Chun techniques but he was a bit vague when I asked him about push ups. Can someone confirm whether push ups will stuff up your Wing Chun technique a lot, just a bit, or not at all. It sucks having no arm muscles .

    If you look at WCK as you would any other physical acitivity/sport, that might help you in deciding whether or not weight and/or strength training would be useful for you.

    My view is that weight/strength training can be problematic for two main reasons. First, pure muscular strength does not play a large role in what we do in the sense we aren't trying to out-muscle our opponent and our power comes from specific motor programs. So the body mechanics, technique, etc. of WCK is not strength-based. From that perspective, developing more "muscle" won't help your body structure, it won't help your technique, it won't help your timing, it won't help your feel for the game, etc. In other words, it won't help you develop those skills that are a part of what we do. Just as strength/weight training won't directly improve your your tennis game or your basketball game or your boxing.

    That said, WCK is an athletic activity, and the vehicle for that activity is your body. A body in poor shape and poor condition is not a body that can perform any intense physical activity well. The develoment of your skill in WCK will depend upon and be limited by the athletic condition of your body. To become good at tennis or basketball or boxing or WCK requires that you be in generally good physical shape and condition; to be really good requires that you be in really good shape. If you're not, and your gym, kwoon, school, whatever doesn't focus on that aspect, you need to do it yourself (and it might help to get a good fitness coach or personal trainer).

    Second, WCK is a very specific sort of athletic activity and puts specific demands on our body. Often people weight/strength training ignore that aspect -- sometimes because they fall in love with that aspect itself and no longer see it as a means to an end, and sometimes because they just don't understand the underlying demand/mechanism -- and train in ways that may interfere with their WCK development. This is why a good coach/personal trainer can be really helpful.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Sydney, Australia
    My instructor, Rick Spain, was Joe's senior in TWC.

    He's been weight training intensively for decades. He also did bodybuilding contests for a time.

    It certainly hasn't had anything but a hugely positive impact on his technique and ability to fight.

    Best thing to do is try it and see whether or not it works for you, rather than to take everything you are told at face value, "master" or no.

    Bear in mind that WC skill is not the most important thing in life ... according to the CDC, you are thousands of times times more likely to die of lifestyle related heart disease than you are as a result of a violent assault. A bit of cardio and resistance training is probably a good idea.
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  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    North East Atlantic
    In my experience strength plays a huge role in martial art training and it is the foundation for many martial skills. Moreover it is very unrealistic to conceive an unconditioned person can survive or compete against someone of better attribute. There is nothing wrong for an athlete to develop his or her physical attributes so he or she can perform better. Strength is alone will not promise victory or martial excellence, but it sure helps in the development of a martial artist.

    As far as strength and conditioning specialists know now, pushups have no adverse effect to technical development. However according to the SAID principle if you want to punch faster or hit harder, then you have to practice your techniques faster or harder. Pushups may help develop endurance, strength, and power so you have the work capacity to practice better. It may even increase muscle mass for deconditioned individuals.

    Many strength and conditioning coaches have used pushups in the anatomical adaptation (general physical preparedness) phase for some of their athletes. I know for fact that Sifu Duncan Leung and Allan Lee have prescribed their own specialized form of pushups for their fighers. So here is my two cents. As long you do not have poor posture or any muscular-joint condition, then I do not think pushups will hinder your techniques. I would also suggest you work to fully recover your joint mobility in your neck, shoulders, spine, and hips. These areas may be weak links for you. You may also want to do (pull ups) to balance your wing chun specific training and pushups. If you have any questions or concern, please feel free to contact me. I do this for a living. Good luck with your training.

    PS: Make sure you have good form in your push ups. This movement may appear simple to do, but there is a right way to do it. Have someone assess your technique to make sure it is right.
    Last edited by FooFighter; 07-02-2007 at 10:26 AM.
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  4. #19
    I don`t know Wing Chun, but I do know that Randy Williams does lots of strength training. I would think it all had to do with how you trained.

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