We hear this all the time -- now. I remember when only a few people, like Steve Golden, were offering this sound piece of advice. As I said, we hear it all of the time. So, why do so few of us follow this sagely advice? Because it takes work -- you have to practice defeating other styles, while avoiding their pet techniques. This isn't as hard as it sounds, especially when you go against someone who is bound to his or her system -- more on this in a minute.
So, here are a couple of tips for taking on a wing chun artist:
1) Inside-Outside Hands Many of the novice to intermediate 'wing chunners' don't like being on the inside with their hands. And even some of the more advanced artists work their hands to an outside position automatically. Once they make contact with you, don't be surprised if they use the other hand as a check with the first hand gets a 'better' (in their opinion) position. This a great opportunity for you to surprise them. Catch the wing shun artist as he or she makes a change. especially if the practitioner breaks contact and leaves an opening to the body.
2) Beat On the Hands and Arms Long ago, before Dan Inosanto disassociated himself from his fellow Bruce Lee students, he used to come to Eugene to give seminars. At his first seminar, he told me/us "you wouldn't be afraid to fight Mohammed Ali, if he didn't have any hands, feet, arms, or legs, right?" His tactic was to beat on anything that invaded his personal body bubble. If a punch came in, he'd beat the punch with a solid phoenix eye (knuckle strike). A side kick racing at him was the perfect excuse to take out his opponent's shin shin. Use this against a 'wing chunner.' A wing chun artist loves contact -- his or her wrists touching yours. Why don't you make your opponent 'gun shy,' so to speak. Start pounding on hands, forearms, and wrists. Make them afraid to reach in for contact.
3) And speaking of Wrists ... On more than one occasion, I have heard wing chun practitioners say, "we don't do wrist locks in our system." Perfect !!! Remember, at the beginning of the article, I talked about folks being "bound to their system?" Well, here you go. Just because they don't practice wrist and joint locks, doesn't mean we can't 'practice some of our locks on them." [Smile] Which locks work best? Glad you asked. If you ever find yourself rolling with a wing chun artist in chi sao (sticky hands), don't play the wing chunner's game. On the hand that is rotating, try either the Basic Lock when you see the hand open up (tan sao), or try a Double Ninety (see Wrist Locks), if you see the rotating hand go into a bent-arm position (bong sao). If you are new to chi sao, my advice would be to avoid locking the fook sao hand. Your opponent's wrist rests on top of yours. This hand just tracks. As a beginner, you probably won't be able to effect a lock on that tracking hand, before the hand finds an opening to your body. Stick with the rotating hand. You'll have more success. And remember, don't play the other guy's game.