Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Compare And Contrast:

1986 Chengdu Leitai Fights

Typical American Streetfighters

If people will forgive the repost of the second fight (from "Bareknuckle Boxing" see archives), I thought this might be a good comparison.
The 1986 Chengdu Leitai fights were described as the first sanctioned Chinese martial fights since 1949. The fighting style appears to be Hsing-I, and generally sucks pretty bad. This is the kind of scene that really gives a bad image to traditional martial arts and opens the door for criticism by the MMA crowd.
Moreover, The Chinese fighters in this video would be clearly outmatched by either of the undiciplined streetfighters in video #2.
To be fair, there were video's of other fighters at the Chinese tournament, some with better skills, but not by much. Admitedly, the Chinese fight is a regulated tournament fight while the second fight is unregulated, but as far as technique that shouldn't matter.
The general feel I get is that western boxing has got pretty damned good hand techniques. I know that for myself, boxing drills greatly improved my Karate sparring. The only thing I would worry about is injuring a hand, as many boxers do without hand wraps. Generally, one can hit a lot harder than the structure of the hand is designed to take-- which may be a good argument for open hand striking.
And lastly, it is true that most of us practice martial arts for the art, or health and often fighting skills are only one piece of the puzzle, but none-the-less an important one...

1 comment:

Hand2Hand said...

The reason boxers injure themselves when they don't use handwraps is because they've allowed themselves to become dependent on the handwraps for support and alignment.

A fighter should practice punching without the wraps so he develops the musculature to support his wrist and keep it aligned upon impact.

Also, punching without handwraps forces you to be mindful of the skeletal alignment of the hand and wrist while punching. You don't have the same margin for error when you don't wear handwraps, so it forces the student to concentrate on what he's doing in practice.

Wearing bag gloves is a good idea when working the heavy bag since it will prevent (or at least minimize) tearing up the skin on your knuckles. But if you do wear bag gloves, avoid the hand wraps.

The only time you should wear them is in an actual match.