I recently uploaded a video titled, “Is Master Wong Fake”, and title sparked a lot of controversies.
Genuinely, I was just trying to express my opinion and keyboard warriors bombarded me with comments as if I had committed some crime.
I’ve reiterated my respect for Master Wong in that video more than once and also didn’t speak ill of him. The only thing I wanted to address in that video was Master Wong’s origins – which remains dicey.
A lot of people pose this question not just on the internet but in-person as well.
They ask me if this ‘crazy character’ in which such massive following is real or an impostor? But after doing all my research and trying my best to find something concrete, I’m disappointed to share my findings with you.
Lineage DOES MATTER IN WING CHUN
Lastly, I’d just like to say that many of you might feel that lineage isn’t a critical factor when determining the legitimacy of a master.
But for traditional martial arts, lineage is the single most important element that separates the wannabes from the real masters.
With that said, I also clarified that traditional martial arts do require lineage and the only reason why a master wouldn’t share it might be because they aren’t given permission to do so.
If that’s the case with Master Wong, then I’m wrong and I’m happy to admit it.
I’d just like to share my personal experience after watching his videos.
Though I respect him and his initiative, I do doubt his legitimacy. Why? Here’s Why.
Overconfidence and overly animated personality
While many people find Master Wong to be outright annoying, I still think he makes great videos.
I watch most of his videos and many times, I see him making unusual claims (which we’ll discuss later) that make me question his legitimacy.
Sure, martial arts practitioners ooze confidence but at the same time, they are humble, confident and never boast.
Especially with traditional martial arts, I’ve hardly met any practitioner, who’s trying to market his brand presenting themselves as a world-beater. Isn’t the very foundation of martial arts based on stabilizing your mind, body and soul?
Though Master Wong is hilarious and his way of teaching does have a contemporary feel.
However, he often claims that his Wing Chun skills are good enough to defeat MMA fighters, boxers, people armed with weapons and many others.
First, this point just outlines what I said above and personally I haven’t seen any true traditional martial arts practitioner make such Ludacris claims.
Clickbait videos with fancy martial arts content
If you watched Firas Zahabi’s recent episode on JRE Podcast, you’ll see how he expresses his opinion on McDojo – Commercialization of BJJ.
Herein, for a certain amount of money, your progress is fast-tracked and you’re able to get a belt i.e. recognition within a short period of time.
Thus, martial art is now seen as a business venture and belts are merely perceived as a certification of validation instead of a sign of self-development and improvement.
The reason why I shared Zahabi’s example is because I believe that what he mentioned applies to all forms of martial arts in today’s time.
Be it Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Jeet Kune Do or even Wing Chun. Things like these are happening and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Result? Poor fighting skills and paper warriors stepping out of these fancy gyms.
Master Wong’s YouTube channel is basically the digital form of content distribution, but it’s essentially doing the same thing.
Filling the viewers with false hope. You might argue that he’s doing such good for the entire community, but think about it, is he really doing it for education and can his techniques actually apply in real life? Have you applied his techniques ever and witnessed them work for you? I don’t think so.
By and large, these videos, give you a mental boost and make you feel better.
But can they help you in a scenario where you’re surrounded by actual thugs who don’t care about your life? Can it really help you in a street fight as a weapon for self-defense?
Wing Chun is outdated
Ever heard that news interview was Joe Rogan slays the boxing promoter suggesting that UFC is going to eat boxing in years to come?
Well, it was a hard pill to swallow for the boxing community because they knew that MMA is a non-nonsense anything goes contest back then.
I’d like to shed a similar light on Wing Chun. Though the martial art is at the center of many jokes in the MMA community, people who don’t hold it to any level are equally crazy.
At the same time, people who claim that a Wing Chun master can mop the floor with mixed martial artist is equally erroneous.
Read this beautiful piece on Fightland.Vice to increase your knowledge about the application of Wing Chun in modern-day martial arts.
This point yet again brings me back to my original argument.
While Wing Chun training practices are outdated, how come Master Wong believes that he can overcome any form of martial arts? So, while he himself doesn’t know what works and doesn’t work, how can he share helpful tips with his viewers?
There’s no real demonstration or sparring
Saw tons of Anatomy of a fighter material? Ever saw Will cover a full sparring session? No. Why? Because that’s the bread and butter of these fighters.
But at the same time, you’d find tons of actual fights where the upcoming martial arts practitioners have destroyed each other.
These clips are a sign of them growing up and becoming the best in their respective martial arts. You can see Conor’s rise, Khabib’s rise, Liddell’s rise, Masvidal’s street fighting cred. But the same cannot be said about Master Wong.
There’s no single footage or evidence which proves that he participated in a tournament or a real competition against a skilled opponent.
Thus, when someone doesn’t have the evidence to back it up, you standing up for the person claiming that he/she is legit, makes you look equally stupid.
Weak Demonstration against opponents with poor skills
I know many of you would now argue that Master Wong does go up and against real fighters and slays them. Well no. What he shoots for the video is in no way an actual fight. And the people in his videos have poor skills.
Don’t trust me? Go look at any of his videos. He is always facing someone who over-commits, throws a weak punch, gets taken down. These are just a few of the things that I noticed.
As a kickboxer and a martial arts practitioner, one thing I know for sure is that every technique that you apply will have a different effect on your opponent based upon how they choose to deal with it.
If you’ve ever been in a sparring session or in any form of competition, you’d feel the real adrenaline of what it takes to overcome the challenges.
And these are not some telegraphed and choreographed moves but rather how good are you at defeating your opponent by applying timing, speed, skill, strength and luck.
Personally, I see Wong’s claim as disrespectful to people who have had to faced heavy hitters from the streets. Because his drills certainly won’t help you hang in there for long.
I’ve literally gone on a rant but I don’t have anything personal against Master Wong.
Note that I didn’t stress too much on lineage as a point. That’s because I don’t believe that lineage in this day and age should be the decisive part to judge if you’re a good fighter or not. But at the same time, instead of feeling hurt, I’d urge you to put your skills to test.
Train, Spar and apply your skills against a real partner. See how you react and how they overcome the challenges you pose.
Every martial art carries the same philosophy. It’s the martial arts practitioners that make the difference by applying the right skills at the time when it’s required.
I don’t intend to hurt the sentiments of people who follow Master Wong. At least he is not spreading negativity.
But all I can say is that if you really want to feel inspired and turn your life around, stop binge-watching on DVDs and YouTube and hit the gym. Peace Out.