My question may sound stupid and I don’t intend to ignite any argument about which art is better than the other. It merely is for the purpose of being equipped with the best set of skills used for survival.
I’m currently doing Jeet Kune Do and I really enjoy it. I was told Wing Chun takes a substantially long time to master and be effective, therefore I chose JKD over WC.
However, I still want to learn Wing Chun. So my question is, is it easy to switch from JKD to Wing Chun? And it advisable to do so? Or should I just stick to JKD?
Answer: Quite honestly, I’d like to take a few Jeet Kune Do (JKD) classes myself. Wing Chun doesn’t take long to be effective, in my opinion. However, you could say it takes a long time to master just about any skill.
If you really want to break down something simple like the jab, one could say it takes a long time to truly master the intricacies of a simple jab.
Mastery is somewhat subjective, and I suppose, like many things, you can reach a point of diminishing returns if you spend too much time in one area.
I think it would be a very good idea for you to learn Wing Chun. It is the foundation of JKD.
From what I understand, it was the first and only formal martial art Bruce Lee studied; he trained for about four years. Plus, it was the martial art he taught others before he developed JKD.
What’s also interesting, as I understand it, JKD was never meant to be a martial art in the classic sense. I’ve heard him say in old interviews that JKD is a philosophy on fighting… along the lines of form without form, getting rid of dogma, etc. (I could be wrong and misunderstand this point.)
Also, I believe he passed away too soon and probably didn’t have enough time to fully develop JKD to his liking. No doubt, a number of his top students have spent their lives developing it since his passing.
One tip: since you’ve already started training JKD and looking for Wing Chun, I suggest you find a school that has roots through SiGong William Cheung.
This lineage has footwork that is much more similar to Western-style boxing, you might find it more appealing. But, if there isn’t one near you, don’t worry about it. As far as I know, Bruce Lee didn’t train under this lineage, although I imagine he would have liked it very much.
(Note: he and William Chueung are contemporaries, and about the same age. Some say Cheung taught Bruce Lee Wing Chun, but others have said the same thing about other SiGongs. Most reports agree that Ip Man, in his old age at the time, wasn’t directly or consistently teaching most students, especially newbies. Much like what happens today – a lot of schools have senior students do much of the teaching, especially to the newer students)
Go for it! Add in Wing Chun to your martial arts/JKD journey. I think you’ll like it.