The State of Comtech Red Boat Wing Chun in 2022 & 2023
Today we are faced with such an overburden of bullshit on all fronts it is difficult to figure out who is who or what is what.The martial arts world has always been like this. But now thanks to social media and other factors in our current world the martial art circles are wilder and more unbelievable than ever. On the flip side of this I see the skills of the once elite fighters are now the skills of the masses. A BIG turnaround. We have evolved into a martial arts saturated society. This makes for an interesting blend of truths, lies, misunderstandings and often a liberal sprinkling of anger tossed in. It is that element which never fails to amaze me.
In the early 1990's I did an article on Red Boat Wing Chun in the now defunct "Full Contact" magazine. Before that there was little or no mention of Red Boat WC. Indeed most martial arts people were not aware that it even existed. Some experts thought that I had made it all up. It was a new thing, hence viewed with suspicion. In more recent times Red Boat WC has become much visible. Information on this style of kung fu is plentiful. Or at least so it seems.
In the last few years many revelations about RBWC have came into our collective consciousness. And like so many arts, masters and legacies there is a growing controversy over the facts of the matter. Questions have arose, people constantly asking me about RBWC and about those who taught me this material. It wasn't just me. Not even. There were others who trained in RBWC before me and there are those who trained after I did. It seems the stories vary in several significant areas. Look, I was there, as a part of that school for a long time. And honestly I could not tell you who is "right" nor who is "wrong". Each student took away something different. There was no set agenda at that school.
You were taught as they were inclined to teach you. IE: You were given training as to what was deemed you needed. The THEY being David Harris, Sid Woodcock, Fook Yeung. In my case this was particularly so. I was given Red Boat because they figured that my karate background would jibe easier with RBWC than anything else. I was a "karate knucklehead' I guess. Then after a while Sensei Harris discovered that I knew Tai Chi Chuan. He said"why didn't you say something"? I was like HUH? And then my path took on a far more sophisticated energy.Leading us to: "Red Boat Wing Chun #2" This weeks podcast.