Another Element of Combat

In Traditional Chinese Martial Arts, there are five elements: 

1) Earth
2) Fire
3) Water
4) Wood
5) Metal

From a combat perspective, Metal represents Shuai jiao, or throws. This art is not typically associated or taught in most Wing Chun curriculums; however, it does not mean that Wing Chun practitioners cannot throw or train with Jujutsu, Judo, or Aikido practitioners. Accepting this part of Wing Chun's history opens tremendous growth opportunity for combat, but also to build relationships with martial artists of different styles. 

As a founding board member of the Institute of Traditional Martial Arts (ITMA) at the University of New Mexico (UNM), I have collaborated with other teachers to integrate martial arts into the college curriculum. This role has also allowed me to build great relationships with many practitioners of Jujutsu, Judo, and Aikido over the last several decades.

The video below shows a demonstration I performed at UNM. It is important to note several things:
1) This was not rehearsed, and was completely "off the cuff"
2) The throws are executed to take away break falls (safely for demonstration purposes)
3) The throws stay within the context of classical Wing Chun material

Using Wing Chun to throw is very contrarian, but highly practical for combat. In older times, Shuai Jiao was absolutely critical on the battlefield. Battle armor rendered punching and kicking ineffective, but the weight and restricted mobility made Shuai Jiao a more practical tactic to subdue an opponent. 

Thank you to Sensei Andrew Yiannakis for inviting me to attend this closing ceremony and congratulations to the students at The University of New Mexico - UNM and Wa Shin Ryu Jujutsu - Official New Mexico Chapter.

Demonstrated by: Sifu Phillip Romero, Sensei Robert Malakhov

Video Credit: Esther Ryu

Bennett Lee