I've started Wing Chun few days before. Everything seems to be nice, but I've seen some videos on internet, they say that Wing Chun can't handle Boxers or Wrestlers.

What are the comparisons between Wing Chun and boxing/wrestling that would lead someone to make this claim? Are there weaknesses that can be exploited?

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    Hi - different arts have different strengths & weaknesses. Would you like to add some of the arguments/ideas from the videos into your question or link the videos so people have more context to work with in answering your question? – Bankuei Jul 16 '17 at 16:42
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    You've probably heard echoes of the story of a chinese MMA fighter in a quest to prove that "traditional Chinese martial arts are a fraud". – Daniel Reis Jul 16 '17 at 19:48
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    I've seen a few different videos doing comparative boxing/wing chun. I'm curious what OP's stance is, bc there's a chance some of what I've seen builds on, or refutes, but without the original context I don't know? – Bankuei Jul 16 '17 at 21:59
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    In its current form, this is a Shark vs Gorilla question. However, I think there is an interesting question buried in there about contrasting Wing Chun and Boxing. This is something Bruce Lee has talked about … – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Jul 17 '17 at 9:00
  • @Sardathrion - I am late to the question, but I've edited it to hopefully make it answerable, and avoid the SvG dilemma. – JohnP Oct 10 '18 at 14:22

As always, you can't compare style A with style B and say either one is better. It's not because you're a boxer, you immediately win agains a wing chun practitioner. It all depends on how good both fighters are, how much experience they got fighting opponents of different styles, the competition's rules (eg. if you pit a judoka vs. a taekwondo, and rules state no throws or groundwork, chances are the taekwondo will win. If the rules state throws and groundwork are allowed, but kicks to the head aren't, the tables will turn), and even as much as how good/bad a day someone's been having and even sheer luck (Remember, one lucky hit can be all it takes)

Of course, each style has its strengths and weaknesses. Once you understand your system well enough (and your own body, for that matter), you can start playing with the strengths and the weaknesses. You can get creative with them. That's an important part of the experience part mentioned above.

But yeah, in short: You can't just compare style A with style B. A kid who did 3 weeks boxing classes won't win against Ip Man. A kid who did Wing Chun for 3 weeks won't win against Mohammed Ali.

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    This is why stack named those questions a shark vs gorilla one. – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Jul 17 '17 at 8:26
  • Didn't know it had an official name. Gonna read up on that article, as I got a bit of spare time today. Thanks! – Raf Jul 17 '17 at 8:34

The great advantage of boxing and wrestling is that boxers and wrestlers practice actual fighting, with all other elements of their training - weights, bag work, jumping rope - in support of improving them as fighters. Even when practicing a constrained format a boxer's conditioning, strength and (most importantly) familiarity with hard contact will invariably see them roll over the top of more esoteric fighting methods. Regardless of the style, the single greatest determinant of effectiveness is hard, realistic sparring. If you want to learn how to fight, practice fighting. It's a no brainer

  • Welcome to the site. The problem with blanket statements, is that they often fail in the face of reality. There are many martial arts practitioners that "practice actual fighting". Your answer shows an implicit bias against anything not boxing/wrestling. – JohnP Oct 10 '18 at 14:20

I don't think that it makes too much sense to compare styles instead of individual athletes, but I will try to answer your question anyway.

There is no one answer to this as it is very hard to say how important the advantages and disadvantages of both styles are. Therefore I will give you some insight to the advantages/disadvantages and you can think about it yourself.

Wing Chun has good punches, which may be the fastest with the least amount of telegraphing, but they have less range and have a less power compared to the punch of a boxer (they are still powerful and hurt).

But the most important thing is the range. Wing Chun and Boxers have different ranges in which they work and feel comfortable. Also because of the range, they have different tactics to be in that range.

A boxer normally stays back, out of range, moving in to strike then moving back again.

A wing chun practioner will be much closer to their opponent and tries to stay close (this is one reason why "sticky hands" are important).

I assume that the fighter who can stay at his preferred range will win the fight. Wing chun focuses on sticking to the opponent, maintaining physical contact in some way. The sense of feeling is 6 times faster than the sense of seeing, which obviously gives a strong advantage to the wing chun fighter in their preferred range.

Some boxing schools start training in the wing chun range. If this is the case, the boxer has an advantage, because all boxers I know train a lot to get into their range.

An additional point I can imagine that a boxer could lose because he underestimates his opponent in general. On the other hand I see a good chance, that the wing chun practitioner gets knocked out by a hook, because I have seen a lot of wing chun people underestimating every round technique.

Wrestling and wing chun are even more difficult to compare, but I think it's about the same as with a boxer versus a wing chun guy.


So there are some fundamental assumptions here that one must look at with "intent or goal".

Goal: To beat your opponent senseless?

  • If this is your goal then you will probably want a style that focuses aggression and subjugation of your opponent over anything else.

Goal: To protect oneself?

  • If this is the goal then any discipline which focuses on body mechanics as well as properly analyzing a situation and working to diffuse it works well.

Goal: To develop oneself through discipline and mastery of ones body?

  • If this is the goal then the ability to "beat someone" isn't really as important as the type of person you become through the exercise and mastery of the art. Boxing, Wrestling, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Karate, etc... all have the ability to develop ones physical and mental techniques while disciplining and harnessing ones own inner self for personal growth.

P.S. Unless you are practicing just for a MMA full contact event, then any style has use, purpose, and value. The only caveat to add is if you are grappling it's hard to hit and if you are at a distance it's hard to grapple, so there is a body mechanics balance needed to be well rounded.

P.P.S. As far as ability to beat another opponent, this is largely circumspect on the individual's abilities and if one is better skilled and physically capable then they will likely win regardless of the style in question.

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