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I wouldn't want to test that theory.
I've never seen a good fight on youtube. I mostly train Wing Chun and after many hours looking through videos there isn't really anything that does the art justice. It seems to be the same for Bagua and Hsing-I.
The only way to compare them is to study the arts in detail and figure it out yourself. Even through sparring there are too many factors to take into account such as the skill level of the opponent with respect to the learning curve of the art.
And don't forget that sparring is totally different to a real fight. You would never be able to grapple someone in a real fight if they know what they're doing.
As Zen is so found of emphasizing...everything is practice...and in that light both sparring and fighting are practice. As seen in MMA, it is often in practice, and not the fight, where injuries happen, as with George Saint Pierre and Anderson Silva. And in regards to grappling with somebody in a really fight, remember all the original winners of the UFC were grapplers, and not strikers. I am sure a Wing Chun black sash entered one of those early tournaments and lost. Yes, now it does seem as if strikers are able to often defend against grapplers in those professional fights, but they all have a pretty good grasp of grappling with either a collegiate wrestling base or a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Also, take note that there have been several arms broken by grapplers--Rhonda Rousey and Frank MIr are two recent examples--in the real fights of MMA showing that a grappler is still a very dangerous opponent to face.
That's great that you have found a style you like, but remember that sprawling--a wrestling technique--is the safest defense against a grappler shooting in for a double leg takedown (tackle). Of course, there is always the riskier knockout knee or punch that needs perfect timing to be affective. I don't remember seeing the Wing Chun students (who practiced next to the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai students) practicing defense against a double leg tackdown. By the way, much respect to that Burmese boxing; man, that's hardcore with no gloves and headbutts legal.
Just looking back at the fights and enjoying even more the healing that Bruce teaches.
Yeah I don't deny that grappling is important in UFC and stuff like that, but that's because they have rules. Ideally you'd get a kick off before they get close enough to duck into it. There's also the situation where I've seen UFC guys hold off a takedown and wrestle around a bit, but in a real situation you'd hit them in the back of the head and that would be the end of it.
Tasers are also effective.
The concept of multiple opponents and someone stomping on your head if you go to the ground always comes up when more traditional martial artists discuss MMA/UFC style fighting. In that vein, a close friend and training brother has been working the past several years on designing and getting sanctioned 3 man bouts. They've come a long way and recently landed a TV deal.
Here's a knock out highlight from their first major event a few weeks ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnpLU6e2nHw&feature=related
It will be interesting to see if this kind of multiple opponent focused style of competitive fighting catches on. I do think that the holy grail of grappling (while very effective and a necessary skill) has been over hyped due to the surge in popularity of UFC style fights. It would be great to see some capable ba gua and hsing I guys in this kind of arena!
I watched the link, interesting stuff. Besides the individual's fighting ability, I imagine understanding body language and game theory also helping in those situations.
ah, the Big MA question...
my take on it is this;
1. if you really want to learn to fight, you gotta go out and fight people. not folks in your dojo, and not just your training buddies. you go out and work with other people who show you what your not doing well, or what you need to work on. or possibly that what your doing is working. this is 1 part fighting, one part not injuring each other, if you get hurt, you can't train, so there's a balance there...
2. if you want to learn how to defend yourself, that's another thing. good communication skills, being able to stay relaxed in a stressful situation, not going to bad places, learning how and when to distract and run away, knowing when to shift in kick ass mode, figuring out how to stop the guy without using excessive force (to avoid jail time). you also need to work with weapons, learn how to manage your own pain and injury, how to deal with multiple opponents, and so on. in self-defense, it's enough not to lose, winning is not the point.
3. fighting and self-defense are pretty open ended, you need a broad variety of skills. falling, absorbing blows, grappling range, boxing range, long range, weapons, etc.. many arts have good answers to these things, but it's the individual who brings them to fruition. it is rare to find a school that hits all this stuff.
4. getting to the question, hsing-i vs BGZ, I don't see a lot of BGZ schools really doing full range fight training. more of the hsing-I schools orient around kicking ass, so your gonna get more people who can do it. and the hsing-i guys are often eager to mix it up, it's hard to get really good at MA without enjoying punching people and getting punched...
5. bruce has shown very clearly how much BGZ has to offer, and I don't have any doubts as to the benefits of BGZ over Hsing-I. The circularity, the energy and awareness development, the greater flexibility of movement, the internal power, and so on. to my way of seeing it, the BGZ is more sophisticated art, more comprehensive.
both are great arts, and someone thoroughly trained in them are gonna have some mad skills.
but for my time and energy, I emphasize BGZ, in my teaching and my training. it's better life skills, and it works good martially as well (great take down counters, more fluid and adaptable, more options on how to deal with people, has both hard and soft aspects). I will agree that it takes more work to "get it" martially, but once you do, it's exemplary.
id like to hear what Issac or lee burkins have to say about it though.
fun post, enjoying reading what folks have to say
Great thread - long standing related question - My knowledge led me to understand Bagua was mostly Circular, Hsing-I mostly linear and yes both stood as seperate systems from Taiji - were mastered as such but Taiji was the "integration" of circular and linear thus achieving Taiji - Grand Ultimate. The other 2 soft internal being unbalanced by design in ways, Taiji the final stage after hard and soft. Humble opinions from an old horses mouth. Please clarify...
Unbalanced is a relative term I guess.
I was always under the impression that the center of the 8 trigrams in Bagua was the same as the "Grand Ultimate" in Taiji. Not sure about circular and linear in terms of that either. More just finding the place in between yin and yang in Taiji.
I think all internal arts aim to arrive at that "Grand Ultimate" place but just achieve it in different ways.
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