Open Hand Sparring: Bagua vs Wing Chun vs MMA

Open Hand Sparring: Bagua vs Wing Chun vs MMA

okay so we did sparring with open hand strikes no kicks no elbow is the only strike was the open hand otherwise you know we could grapple takedowns jujitsu wrestling whatever Nils like right afterward you you had some strong feelings about a strike with open hands huh how'd that feel for you yeah I thought it was basically the same we do with the gloves but yeah so it was more like gently stepping you yeah and apart from that I you didn't even feel so much of a difference I mean I didn't feel more flexible because like with the omegle awesome awesome I also came to pretty much the same but I just can have loved my impact in my striking man definitely definitely if you watch street fights try to find a single example of a street fight that was ended or finished with an open hand strike I'm not saying it can't happen or it has never happened but compare that to the number of street fights that you can find finished with a closed hand strike and the difference is staggering we're talking about hundreds compared to like none so I know we were going light contact and all and you know at the end where it got in the mouth there were a couple of times I felt like okay I could probably tee off and do some real damage here but especially in that situation I needed to have some I need to have some impact yeah in my striking and I felt like I just yeah gently selection at the same time the main reason people advocate open hand and striking for self-defense in particular is for the safety of your hands because they'll say you know you might get the boxer's fracture and I break your metacarpals I break your fingers but I gotta say the thing I was most worried about doing that sparring session well two things one accidental eye pokes with the fingers out and two accidentally breaking my fingers are snagging the fingers because when two people are striking even light and the arms are you know just rapidly shifting bone against bone those fingers can get jammed and caught pretty easily so I'm happy to say that didn't happen to either of us at least not to me you okay knows so no no injuries injuries there another thing I noticed was that um Lin Jie who's holding the camera was a jean practitioner showed me a couple of movements about tracking the hand getting out to the side and I I tried to use a couple of those and I managed to you know got a few body shots in or whatever I'm sure Lindsay would be better at doing that open-handed but at the same time I started thinking this kinda feels like a wing chun drill with a lot more footwork going on now knows you you practiced wing chun so that being said by tao how much do you feel that an open hand striking session like that might come into play with wing chun technique because we have the open hands dad so basically the same just just wimpier just wing it yeah so what do you think about the self-defense instructors who keep telling everybody especially women that they should strike with open hands instead of closed fists what do you think about that advice and I'm not asking that with an agenda behind it at all you know I I'm not saying one way is right one ways wrong it's just uh I think sometimes it can make sense but to say that cases like I do martial arts for such a long time I'm not feeling like it gives me any advantage just to say okay we only open thank you so open eyes yeah yeah well Lindsey you want to give it a try yeah are you some of your what about John technique okay okay so Lindy and I just did some some open hand this moring and he was he was light but he was a lot more aggressive than the Nils and I were being and so you know I got a cut a few marks on the face and and again that's one of the things one of the things I worry about a little more with open hand striking as you know fingers and scratches and I pokes and things like that you know he did all right but yeah one thing one thing that surprised me was when he was just coming out super aggressive even though it wasn't really hard but super aggressive had got me to cover up which plays really well into Lindsey strategy of controlling not the wrists a lower down on the forearm which looks kind of like a Wimpy wrist grab it here Lindsey can you demonstrate that yes so it's like a push yeah he's framing right here it feels like I'm blocking he throws some strikes here right and then I put my hands up to block he makes this frame and I think okay I'll make an opening the slap alright I think that happened like five or six times at the beginning so yeah Lindsey how do you feel about the sparring I think compared to when we sport with the gloves especially boxing gloves that felt a lot different coming from you like I could really see the bagua Zhang form come out a lot more you know the trapping and the pushing fifties of power yeah Pam is the controller you try to control your opponent hand so many guys from here one attack is a head directly over body very dedicated there at first we got across maybe right guys fencing or Japanese kendo I really I really power cross to make sure this position didn't go to attack yeah if we've got to get his face territory yeah that is very different and but if contour are fast like this like this just touch don't push if you push keep this hand is going to touch a little bit maybe here 100 gram he'll be here you'll get a very different reaction and you'll be able to fall over here oh then from here need pets rather than touch bingo attack yeah so it's a simple frame it's like a non-threatening frame again if I'm pushing Lyndsey try to arm-wrestle and the reaction is yeah he pushes back but again it's like this frame it doesn't feel like anything doesn't feel like anything then BOOM just make sure your position this is a common technique maybe from actually facing the same things touch think goat attack yeah so personally I've sparred with Lindsay a lot with gloves on and this is the first time we've done empty-handed open-handed striking and that felt like a hundred percent different to me like he just felt a lot faster a lot aggressive and a lot more effective with the movements that usually uses nose you watch this wait grab that camera get your reaction as an outside observer what did what did you think of that no phone of interesting because he's already just got different a different way of moving in a different way of fighting so why are you were just talking I felt like sometimes if we try it of course we do that from our perspective like the way that we fight and now we just put the gloves away but basically our way of fighting still stays pretty much the same so I think like people would like different with a different history a different background if you bring them to one specific task like today without Glaus you will also have very different results that's what I just found interesting I just compared myself a vision I thought like whether he's a promise it's very different than mine so there's not one answer maybe to this question but maybe there's like different answers when when I start with one gns work with Nils I approached both sparring sessions from like a boxing kickboxing type of approach you know like block cover up as if you know heavy handed punches are coming at you and they weren't heavy handed punching it was it was like trapping and and framing and so essentially doing this is playing right into Lin G's ba gua strategy frame frame frame frame and then ba get here when when you feel like you're you're safe so when in the second half of the round after I shot for that that lousy lousy takedown attempt I brought my hands down much the same way that the like the old eighteenth-century bearer handed boxers I'm not going to say bare-knuckle because they they don't wear anything on their hands how they fought they had their hands lower and out in front of them and I found all that trapping and stuff was easier to control over here as opposed to right here is this played right into his game whereas this allowed me to more intelligently defend myself so I think that to me helps to explain a lot of what happens in many traditional martial arts that you don't see when we put the gloves on and tape up the hands final thoughts linji anything else you wanna add yeah if you use a pump you have to think how to use audio we don't attack your opponent directory this is names in director that you try to do that okay this is boxing skill this is boxing speech and what is 30 speed this is taijutsu Maura this is boxing speed what is Packer speed may be required very small baseball catch bone technique very speedy final thoughts Mills yeah I think I've gotta ask Lindsey to explain me a little bit more I think it's really different ways to approach this you guys want to do one sparring session with each other okay okay some people I think you could aspire exactly the same way as your box just open up your hands we're gonna like well yeah but linji no I find like when I saw him I had to had to modify my game plan a lot and Nils how did that feel smart with Lyndsey as opposed to me cuz you know when we went out with me we went at it like it's MMA but with post hands and then I saw you were just like changing your strategy like how do I get around this guy huh this hand fighting is different this is he was effectively different yeah completely different the difficulty with him and this I would actually say reminds me the most of as you asked about vengeful he's moving forward the whole time it's got his hands forward moves forward and they're also very stable so he tried to to manipulate his hands you see that they're really really salty and he got me a few times punching also here stomach etcetera so it was good yeah it's a fun thing I noticed about bagua Zhang is it's it's like very similar in gold to Wing Chun but like opposite and approach like I supposed to maintain central line it's like break the center line actually because before you ask me about this and I think that's a there's a big mistake most people make they watch it mother yeah so they believe that you have to stand there and do that fancy stuff actually or then she is doing there just be aggressive because you don't have time to stand there and do your Hollywood stuff because you get here ass kicker so now if you still you just pushing for my keys that he said he's aggressive yeah yeah and it's interesting because they're they're like Donnie the strikes hurting you and took your yeah so okay sorry aggressive to the body but you know what a nice part it's like okay he's hitting me but it's no it's not doing significant damage but at the same time it's so frustrating isn't it yes but I wouldn't even say that it's liji puts a little bit more into this yes he's being mean yes you know he would have marked up my face a lot more I probably would have knocked us back a little bit more this is really interesting because that's the other thing I'll fund me because we all have a different background and I always try to Josh like we all approach that with like oh it's good said yeah and it gives us one truth then Lindsay comes we've got another truth maybe another way the sparring session actually reminded me a lot of something I've learned from my very first pro kickboxing match it was my first time transitioning from essentially amateur Taekwondo and amateur karate you know at these amateur traditional martial arts to professional kickboxing first time fighting with the gloves on first time fighting with the shirt off first time fighting in shorts instead of the uniform pants and every little detail made a big difference like in the pants when you kick boom there's this nice little snap that just tells you okay you're doing that kick with the right amount of force and the first time I put the shorts on it's like where's the snap I feel like oh where to go I feel naked this you know I actually was literally mostly naked and without the shirt it's like the same thing you don't get and snap feedback from the uniform and so it's it takes a toll mentally and putting on the gloves versus empty handed it feels at first like I've got pillows on my hands these are useless but you get used to them and it's like oh these are weapons I can crush people with these now but yeah take them off once you're used to minutes like oh this it's a different it's a different animal so every little rule every little piece of equipment makes a significant difference sometimes just a little bit I don't think she has some strong feelings about Wing Chun so Lin Jie we talked a lot about how Gbagbo is like wing chun and we had a conversation about this before like no no no ba gua is not like the wing chun so uh what do you think because I think region there's very very few step space step work so I I don't recommend you study we do so wrong time maybe for three months is enough for you you're gonna make a lot of people on the internet angry about that that's okay they're gonna be like the study at least 40 years then you have to put the step you'll have to take it back it's okay so the footwork is more important okay because let's take a close look at the footwork so the goal is get behind them whenever possible to get a 45-degree angle whenever possible how do you use that because if you're moving so fast and I'm standing versus wing-chun leave all the angry comments guys but how all your martial arts suck just kidding not really good all right so Nils Ann and Lindsay are gonna go through what happened on that knockdown so Nils came with a right hand strike Lindsay blocked and then basically palm struck the shoulder and wasn't even that hard but here go put a little bit of power into it just a little bit go ahead all right now I'm gonna film the feet so you can see exactly what's happening with nose feet he goes from a stable stance head right down the center to a unstable stance with his center of gravity behind him forcing him to move backwards or fall as I'm demonstrating right here the fun little snippet of technique that we gleaned from a sparring session so use that as you will thanks for watching get out there and train


  1. Hi  Ramsey 

    I am Nikhil from India. Very big fan of your channel especially Q&A with coach segment. Recently I have seen a video of you and your student showing baguazang technique and application in a very practical sense. I liked it very much. 

    My request is this. If possible please make a video showcasing baguazang and it applications in a real fight scenario in more broader sense.

    Because now a days kung if is practiced only in show form or for health purposes  and no one is doing it for actual fight scenario. I would like you to showcase it's strength and effectiveness in real life situation.

    Sorry it's little long. I hope you will respond.


  2. great use of trapping, circle walking, and the bridge! Linji did an awesome job being able to share his experience with you guys. And props to you to be the awesome person you are to make this happen! gloves, no gloves it should all be trained. peace!

  3. Happy to see this kind of open inquiry, a nice exchange of light sparring and trying out a different element, inside control fighting is greatly underutilized. I think theirs much still to be understood and learnt from TMA we just need to bravely asses it under more natural conditions

  4. Hey Ramsey I got a couple questions…

    1. How do you become a better sparring partner to beginners (I box myself)?

    2. How do I promote combat sports to my friends/others? I think people are missing out because of their preconceived notions.

  5. Hey ramsey can you cover the grappling with blades stuff? Like fiorie and all that, would love to see your take on it

  6. great video! what do you think is the best way to kick? instep or shin? i keep finding mixed results and i would just like to hear your opinion

  7. Bagua is in circle step foot work designed for slipping thru multiple opponents and Wing Chun is straight blast. The Asian guy is right. But study wing Chun until you understand the art then jump to Bagua

  8. #Oh and another thing …to see TRad Chinese Arts for fighting eg Bagua XingYi etc I would recommend Bruce Kummar FRantzis …cheers

  9. Hi Ramsey , have been enjoying your videos over the last year…and your sensible approach …Three questions please : 1. How does a Mormon Missionary in South America gravitate to being a professional fighter and coach ? Have you eschewed all your earlier Christian learnings ? 2. What is your view of Yi Quan from Wang Zhang Zhai…and practiced by Yoa Chengrong up in Beijing ? 3 How did you end up opening a Gym in Shanghai ….was it to bring MMA to China ? Keep up the good work , Thanks & Cheers Martin

  10. please look at this. I have some cncerns about that video since you done some of that stuff already in full motion. This guy just stands still and gets played. That´ll nerver happen. I don't know how to feel about videos like that.

  11. Even though the Bagua guy was ripping abit on WC, does he realize alot of the stuff he did was similar to WC. He was probably more WC than the WC guy

  12. Hi
    Your channel actually helped me going back in shape. Since I am watching your videos I started training again, lost 18kg so far ( 2 months)
    Anyway, this is my very first comment on an online platform or social media but I really like your philosophy and the way you explain the world.

  13. Im a wing chun guy, definitely no anger. There's foot work in wing chun, and from what I've seen and how I'm trained centerline is mostly misunderstood. Not that it's an "ultimate fight style", I don't think any style is. Training 3 months though is arbitrary, how many hours in those three months? I have full respect for anyone who is honestly dedicated to their style. Thanks for sharing that session.

  14. When I was a kid we called it slap boxing and did it for fun. Everywhere bus stop, school, gym,backyard, parties. That and chest boxing. We weren't trained. We were idiots.

  15. Open handed strikes are useful because there's less risk of breaking your hand, if you aim at the skull. Instead, the body should be punched. Many traditional MA's used this method, as well as traditional boxing before the Queensberry rules and introduction of gloves.
    However, yes, i love when you guys do this kind of experiment. You're insightful, respectful and curious. Keep up the good work!

  16. Hello I have been studying Wing Chan for 80 years now. These techniques were so pathetic! I am ooffend. I will challenge any of these rats to a true fight.

  17. This whole video is about a MMA guy understanding Kung Fu basics.

    Those who are taking the wrong notion here that MMA is making TMA right,that's wrong.

    The reason TMA don't work is that people don't know what they doing. Most of the time,they do wrong and blame TMA don't work.

  18. I think open hand techniques can be used if the fighter knows what he

    does and has enough training to use it. For example, sometimes it is

    easier to use open hands to hit harder locations such as jaw instead of

    bare knuckles (there's a higher chance of you breaking your fist/wrist

    if you do so). Otherwise go for elbows.

  19. Watching Russian slapping tournaments has proved to me the power of a stiff handed slap right on the jaw, but past that closed fists definitely feel safer for the fingers and more powerful in general for tensing the forearm muscles

  20. It's worth mentioning, you can get a hell of a lot of power out of palm strikes if you involve the wrist muscles and synchronise that with the rest of the body. I can definitely hit much harder with the palms than the fist, even if I do tend to prefer to fist for other reasons. But you gotta work with the advantages of the weapon, rather than treat them like impaired fists.

    On the wing chun vs. bagua note, this was absolutely fascinating to watch. I do agree that WC footwork is not nearly as good as bagua, and their circular footwork is incredibly useful, but I think Linji misunderstands something about WC strategy – at least how I understood it, the reason we move straight in after taking an angle isn't because we don't want the deeper angles, it's to give the opponent something to think about the moment you get your opening. Otherwise you just lose the chance because they'll recover the position.

    Once you have taken that shallow angle of attack, you can then continue to attack, or move deeper to take the back, or do whatever you want really. Wing Chun strategy is all about breaking through their guard, but there is flexibility in what you wanna do afterwards.

  21. I love how people are starting to realize that there really is a difference between fighting with gloves and fighting without gloves. Typically, the more gear that's worn, the more it shifts from a battle of technique to a battle of weight/power. There's a reason a lot of the older martial arts have so many techniques in them, and a reason many of those techniques are not ideal in the ring. Unfortunately, most people who learn these techniques don't have the presence of mind to use them in a fight even without gloves.

    I really appreciate the open mindedness of this video.

  22. Two sincere martial artists. But they are used to striking with their fist. If you are used to using your closed fist, you'll be better at it than using an open hand. If you are used to using an open hand, you'll be comfortable doing that. But there is a huge difference between slapping,a using the open hand to strike. No offense to the Ba Gua guy, but he wasn't an elite fighter. Two men at the same weight with 10 years of real fighting experience will get about the same results, whether they are used to using the empty hand or the fist. Trained people that use mostly the open hands are striking with their fingers (to the eyes), the heel palm, the for arrn bones and the elbows. If these guys were talking to a real Ba Gua instructor, they would see the difference. But again, it's just what you are used to, like whether you use the two big knuckles or the three smaller ones to strike. It's just how you learn it.

  23. Great experiment! We make such sparrings with friends, but the eye pokes and finger injuries are happening sometimes. And what about open hand vs close hand sparring experiment? 🙂

  24. There are few videos of open hand ending street fights .and those few videos are amazing one hitter quitters .

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