From Sports section of http://www.complex.com/
Its interesting to me that this is even a conversation, but its still interesting.
There is a great reservoir of magical thinking that surrounds Chinese fighting arts. Even though I sometimes follow the convention of calling a style of fighting an art, I am actually in the camp with Wong Shun Leung that Wing Chun (and other forms of kung fu fighting styles) are skills, not arts. The worth of an art is something that is assessed based on an aesthetic (opinion).
Skills either work or they don’t.
But many people still believe in “Dim Mak” and magical Qi powers. My experience is that some of these phenomenon exist but they are exceedingly difficult to cultivate (taking years of effort) and even then, they don’t turn you into Superman. This is the clear message we get from the tragedy of the Boxer Rebellion at the start of the 20th Century. Iron Shirt Chi Gung won’t stop bullets.
In unarmed fighting, size matters. Chinese systems like Wing Chun and Hung Gar and Bagua are just fighting technologies that are not inherently superior to other methods of fighting. Any highly skilled fighter in any fighting skill is potentially dangerous and physics always plays a great role, despite the various tactics used to try and offset advantages of power or size.
“First courage, then power, then skill” is a standard Chinese saying in this regard.
Bruce Lee was a great admirer of Ali and used to study his fight films, even shadow boxing with Ali’s projected image. Many have commented that Lee’s dancing footwork is Ali-like.
In the book The Making of Enter the Dragon, director Robert Clause recounted a conversation related to him by Bolo Yeung (the big muscular Chinese guy from that film). “Bruce knew he could never win a fight against Ali. ‘Look at my hand,’ he said. ‘That’s a little Chinese hand. He’d kill me.'”
Bruce Lee was 5-foot-7 and weighed 145 pounds.
Muhammad Ali was 6-foot-3 and weighed 200+.
Do the math!
I know, I know — Bruce Lee did a lot of Biu Jee (darting fingers) and so forth, but Ali was big and strong and fast and had amazing reflexes. He demonstrated many times his capacity to knock out heavyweights with strong chins (Liston, Foreman, etc). He outweighed Lee by 60 pounds. There is a reason people use the phrase “pound for pound” when discussing fighters!
We can all learn form Lee (again!) and take a dose of reality in regard to our fight fantasies. The first step toward improvement is realistic self-assessment.