“The way in which knowledge progresses, and especially our scientific knowledge, is by unjustified (and unjustifiable) anticipations, by guesses, by tentative solutions … These (guesses) are controlled by criticism; that is, by attempted refutations …Criticism of our conjectures is of decisive importance: by bringing out our mistakes it makes us understand the difficulties of the problem which we are trying to solve. This is how we become better acquainted with our problem, and able to propose more mature solutions: the very refutation of a theory–that is, of any serious tentative solution to our problem–is always a step forward that takes us nearer to the truth. And this is how we can learn from our mistakes.”
Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations
This quote is from a book of scientific philosophy and basically I take it to mean that science can only progress by welcoming criticism. “Criticism”, as he says, “is of decisive importance.” We must put all out hypotheses to the test. Will it work in real life? And while I welcome the UFC and other sports arenas as partial laboratories, the ring isn’t the street and so we can’t make apple to apple comparisons. We have to use our brains and make conjectures and inferences and hypotheses and then test them.
Wing Chun is the science of in-fighting. We need to approach it scientifically. Can I really deploy this action fast enough to work when my opponent is fast and aggressive and possibly armed? This is true times 100 if they are actually armed. Is the action you are using in your school a fantasy? Put on some gear and creep a little closer to the line, as close as you can get. To me, this is not squared up at a distance but standing face to face as in an argument in a bar or in the doorway of your house. If some young, strong, fast opponent suddenly swung on you, what would work?
We can easily fool ourselves. Sometimes, we get an unpleasant wake-up call in a beat down. Lets test our hypotheses in the Kwoon, not on the street.