SINCE 1999 Marc Guyon has been a dedicated student of Wing Chun, a form fighting made famous by Yip Man, grandmaster of the traditional martial arts and teacher of Bruce Lee.
But the role of Wing Chun in mixed martial arts has remained a controversial one. Does it have a place modern combat sports and can its straight forward style stand up to high-level jiu-jitsu practitioners?
It’s a question Guyon gets asked a lot.
“Look, there are many different styles of Wing Chun. Some look like grappling, some look more like boxing and many of the Wing Chun schools across Europe look more like Krav Maga.
“For me, I’ve tried to incorporate the fundamental principles of Wing Chun into MMA because I see it as the truest form of fighting; there are no rules. MMA should be part of Wing Chun,” he tells ROUGH.
“When I’m fighting MMA, I’m not doing spinning roundhouse kicks. I stick to straight punches, oblique kicks…my style is more sober and more straight forward.”
Guyon initially moved to Hong Kong for an internship with the International Wing Tsun Association but has since gone on to open his own academy and earn a blue belt in jiu-jitsu.
I’VE TRIED TO INCORPORATE THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF WING CHUN INTO MMA BECAUSE I SEE IT AS THE TRUEST FORM OF FIGHTING; THERE ARE NO RULES.
For the past several year this has seen the Frenchman test his skills across Asia, taking fights with seasoned wrestler Sean Stolarczyk at IMPI FC 2 and more recently in the Philippines where suffered a lost to Jayson Margallo at UGB MMA Championship 14.
This weekend he will face China’s He Haoyang at Art of War 18 in Beijing and on 20 August will take on Matt Chan in a bantamweight bout at IMPI World Series Asia 4 in Hong Kong. It’s a schedule that Guyon has wanted for some time now.
“Originally I didn’t want to have two fights this close to each other, but I have to. I’m not working, I’m dedicating myself to this and the money helps,” he says.
“I don’t have a typical profile of a professional fighter. I spent a lot of time at university, I got my start as a white collar fighter when I was working full time. But I’m itching to fight. I feel I have a lot to prove.”
Across the Asian MMA landscape, Hong Kong isn’t the first port of call for someone looking to pursue a full time MMA career. The city is one of the most expensive in the world to live in and training facilities can not compete with the likes of Thailand or even Singapore. But Guyon is committed to making it work.
“For sure it’s possible, but it’s not easy,” he admits.
“I’m surviving. The Art of War fight is coming at a time when I need the money. It’s not exponential or booming, but things are developing. I’m very happy.”
It’s an admirable pursuit, especially with a young family to provide for and his commitment to the sport is one that few are prepared to make.
“I’ll never be in the UFC, but I want to see how far I can take this. Maybe in one or two years I will be a nobody and my career won’t go anywhere, but I don’t want to feel frustrated for the rest of my life and say I didn’t at least try.”