The transcript below is from the video “When WingChun Isn’t Enough, He uses His MMA Instead” by MindSmash.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

This was a clip that garnered millions of views for a few reasons with the main one being that a traditional style thought to be more on the ornamental side actually beat Muay Thai… Is this true? How Could Muay Thai as a style lose to Wing Chun? Even Bruce Lee felt Wing Chun was incomplete; yet here, the Wing Chun fighter had his hand raised at the end of it… How could this happen? Is this the rise of a form of Kung Fu in MMA or is there more than meets the eye? Thank you for joining me on this breakdown as we take a closer glance.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

Yello! Here we have a shorter, stockier fighter, Li Zihao, who says he’s representing wing chun versus a taller, lankier fighter, Liu Wei, who says he’s representing muay thai. But through the course of this fight, we find something intriguing happening. Notice how Li Zihao has his hands. This is the wing chun stance, I believe. Katsunori Kikuno was actually doing pretty well with a similar hand position versus Tony Ferguson there. He was actually landing some bombs but Tony Ferguson, weathering that power, he started to get a feel for Kikuno’s weird style, timing it. It appears that Katsunori Kokuno does not respond to concussion the same way Tony Ferguson does. His chin was something else, man. But that said, the hand position here looks quite similar, although Kikuno did implement a lot more head movement here. The style of striking overall was very different. I would have to say that as a striker, Kikuno is much more wholesome, much more powerful. Just watch this here. Li Zihao just tried doing the bicycle punch thing.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

Now, if you were to visualize this, imagine touching with a hammer very quickly against a concrete slab. What would deal more damage, touching many times very quickly or properly leveraging more commitment into a single strike. The answer is pretty intuitive and as a result, real time in the arena. You see just that – walking forward with a chain of punches, little engagement from the hips. He isn’t throwing a football; he isn’t whipping his shot from his hips. Instead, he’s delivering a flurry of arm punches. Even Li Zihao’s response was almost a surprise to himself as to how ineffective it was. It wasn’t even timed as a counter very well. He caught his opponent reaching on his punch, entering perfectly on the retraction, yet it has little to no effect. Imagine throwing one powerful shot down this Center at that exact same timing. It would have been a very different outcome. But as a result, it has become very difficult for the Wing Chun fighter to find his window as Liu Wei has become wise to Li Zihao’s ability to counter.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

Throughout the course of this fight as well, note how Li Zihao does not cut his opponent off. He’s not controlling him. There’s no real ring generalship. Instead, he’s just following his opponent in a straight line. As a result, he’s finding it very difficult to land his hand on Liu Wei. Backing up and circling, he’ll end up chasing him all day, trying to find a successful punch. One thing we must note, though, Li Zihao does a powerful, beautiful kick. Why is this? Li Zihao is actually a sander fighter who has trained Wing Chun as well. He appears to be closing the gaps in his understanding with a very effective form of kung fu, sander. Here was definitely not a punch from Wing Chun. That’s a hay maker. And as the fight progresses, you can note his hand position changed. He’s getting more and more into the moment to the fight. It’s a very natural progression. If you keep holding your hands up, you will realize that they just started to get tired. Of course, many of us have had our hands up and still get tired from holding him up in a textbook form. But the further you hold your hands out of your body center mass, the heavier arms will become. The field is more deliberately, just hold a dumbbell away from your body versus in.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

It isn’t as notable with just your arm but throughout the course of a fight, you will eventually sort of feel as taxed. Also, just the threat of these kicks Liu Wei’s throwing, Li Zihao appears to have not drilled the full work or ring generalship for this particular stance; thus, controlling his opponent or moving in a space effectively doesn’t appear to be part of the fight philosophy. Again, he’s just following his opponent which is letting Liu Wei leave the space until he strikes at a range pretty comfortably. You can even find Liu Wei comfortable dropping his hands as he’s making his forward easier.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

He straight up doesn’t respect Li Zihao’s hands at all because he had this simple, unpredictable way to deal with anything that comes at him – just back up and circle. The bicycle punch doesn’t have the range of a boxing punch with you rotating your torso into the blow the same way. He doesn’t have the speed as you are harnessing your hips into a kinetic chain to accelerate the blow and he can’t line them up with a punch because he isn’t taking advantage of how the Muay Thai fighter is backing up and circling.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

If the Wing Chun fighter could line up Liu Wei for dropping his hands and circling the way he does, so, like Cosmo Alexander versus Sage Northcut. Feint and control limit his opponent’s options, thus, walking into the direction of the blow. This could be a very different fight, but the style of striking does not seem to possess that. He’s just chasing his opponent. It seems that landing with something wilder when Liu Wei over extends is a more successful option. But even then, chasing Liu Wei in a straight line almost looks like a game of cat-and-mouse. At this point, Li Zihao’s style is completely changed and you’re starting to see him control his opponent much better. With it, he’s landing more solid; he isn’t whisking air; or just merely tapping it in effect the same way. Lead hook into low kick. Textbook. He’s starting to look like a kickboxer. It’s as if he’s being forced to level up the longer the fight progresses, fainting the hands into a chum knee to the body. He’s reading the fight. He’s adjusting to his opponent with a completely different style at this point. The man does have talent. I have to give him that. Catching the kick, the trip was perfect.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

This guy is a mixed martial artist fighter to the core. Instantly, see his opponent on the canvas, he dashes for side control and secures a pin from there, wrestling. And watch, he easily establishes his full mount. Clearly, Li Zihao is trained in wrestling, peppering from full mount, he easily takes the back. He wanted this. And look, this type of choke isn’t taught as much anymore as it’s really easy to fight. But Liu Wei, he doesn’t know how to peel the hand, let alone cut down his chin. Liu Wei has no idea what he was doing versus Li Zihao. It’s easy to say that he should have not agreed to a mixed martial arts fight versus a mixed martial arts fighter. Maybe he was deceived, saying that he was fighting just a wing chun guy. But as you can see, a basic combination of wrestling and jiu jitsu easily handed Li Zihao the win. And watch, even if you look at Li Zihao crossing his ankles, he’s not above the legs as he’s prone to an ankle lock. This is one thing you’re taught as a beginner to never cross your ankles.

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

But if you do, make sure your ankles are above your legs so you aren’t susceptible to the lock. It didn’t matter though. This was a striker who never learned how to deal with grappling. Li Zihao could have done this in the first round if he wanted to. He didn’t have to get tired. He didn’t have to work very hard a tall if he did not want to. He’s not a wing chun fighter; he’s a mixed martial artist. That said, this was not a fair fight considering the knowledge advantage Li Zihao had tucked away. This was a mixed martial arts fighter winning a mixed martial arts fight versus a non-mixed martial arts fighter. And the portion of Wing Chun he did represent was very difficult to implement effectively as you could see. That said, you may see fighters currently dominating with striking on the highest levels of mixed martial arts but all of them had to have a solid foundation built in grappling in order for that striking to work.

Shawn O’Malley:

“I do more jiu jitsu, more grappling, than I do anything.”

MindSmash (Martial Arts Are A Microcosm Of The World):

Otherwise, this here is what happens. Basic and even older methodology is simply put more than enough to pretty much instantly win the fight. This was a mixed martial arts fighter, taking on a striker. Did you believe, wing chun won? Love to hear answers in the comments below. If you like more from me, please subscribe into the notifications. Thank you for your tick. It truly does mean a lot to me. Thank you. Smash like button if you enjoy. It’s good karma and until next time. Peace!




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