We didn’t know martial arts practitioners around the world still had grudge matches, but it seems like five of China’s best Wing Chun practitioners (the type of kung fu used by Bruce Lee’s master, Ip Man, who was recently played by Donnie Yen in a popular if grossly historically inaccurate movie) are battling Thailand’s “Five Tigers,” who do Muay Thai. How delightfully Street Fighter!
In the video, we’re treated to some of the Chinese guys pulling out full real-life Ip Man moves before one Wing Chun master, Shi Feng (who’ll allegedly have a role in Ip Man 2), goes into an explanation of the similarities and differences between Wing Chun and Muay Thai, and what the Chinese team’s strategy will be.
Our martial arts vocabulary in Chinese is admittedly not the greatest, but this is what we got from his lecture:
- Muay Thai fighters like to use elbows and knee-kicks in a straight, directly forward line. They control the distance by keeping you away with kicks and elbow jabs until they get a chance to grab you and slam your midsection into their knees. It’s “simple and sinister.”
- Wing Chun is similar in that they also move mostly in a straight, directly forward line. But instead of long distances, Wing Chun is better fought wish short, small, powerful jabs that use the weight of the opponent against them.
- Our Wing Chun practitioners will most likely use small, short sidesteps to throw the Muay Thai fighters off balance and then hit them from the side.
The reason he needs to discuss strategy: Wing Chun hasn’t had a great record against Muay Thai in the past, apparently. As the video explanation says, Muay Thai is much more brutal and offensive-based, while Wing Chun is more of a defensive, body improving type of martial art. In that sense, it’s like the difference between “police and the military – one is for subduing, the other is for killing.”
According to Youku Buzz, it seems that a good amount of netizens are doubtful that the Wing Chun guys can do more than just talk, with one particularly acerbic person commenting, “Watching this makes me want to puke. I’ll bet you’ll go down after one knee from a Thai boxer. You talk about “retracting?” In actual combat you think you’d be able to react like that? Better leave your “hissing-fu” for the stage.”