Fisherman with net
Temple on mountain
Real Dragon Pole?
Learning new skills and getting good at them takes time. Saying “I can’t” isn’t going to help your straight punch, footwork, or get your body mass behind your elbow strike. Have patience and push frustration aside.
Don't chit-chat, don't shoot the breeze, don't horse around during training time, don't smile or laugh or give into nervous giggles, don't apologize when you hit someone. Here's why.
You "act the way you train." In a real life or death situation, communication goes out the window.Communicating with a psychopath (verbally, with body language, facial expression, etc.) on purpose or subconsciously can get you killed.
Only damage counts. Focused, deliberate action steeled by overwhelming intention to damage the sociopath in front of you... and his three partners surrounding you. You act the way you train.
Train like your life depends on it. But remember that your kwoon and Wing Chun is a community. After or before training time, say 'hi' to new comers and stick around to chit chat for a moment after class.
Your goal shouldn't be to master Wing Chun. It should be to master each move, one step at a time. Do that, and mastery comes on its own.
We all react the same when our eye gets gouged, or when a forearm slams into our windpipe. Arrogance will not, and cannot, make you better because no one is bulletproof.
Take needed rest from training. But don't take too many days to rest either. Don’t train Wing Chun for one or two classes followed by a week long break. It will set you back and undo the hard work you've put in.
Unsure about what you're doing? Having difficulty with a move or getting at a target? That’s what sifu and the instructors are for! They are open to your questions and want you to excel.
Your sifu and instructor are there because they want to help you become faster, stronger, and deadlier.
Listen to them even if you think you know it already. You may learn something new. The day we stop learning is the day we stop growing.
Do you want to get better at Wing Chun? Slow down. If you can't do the move or the combos slowly, you'll never pull it off at high speed. Sloppiness is not speed. You'll only injure yourself or get yourself killed when faced with real violence.
Pick one skill and get good at it. Dedicate a few minutes before and after class to develop the skill, and/or practice it outside of class. Soon, you'll have it down solid and can move on to the next skill.
At the kwoon give words of encouragement to other students. Compliment your sifu and instructors if they ran a particularly good class or gave a great explanation that helped your understanding.
Push your cousins to do better and be better. And extend this attitude online, too. The competition and rivalry isn't necessarily within us; it is against those on the outside, like the predators who harm our communities.
Forms, shadow boxing, running, push ups, hand stands against a wall, can all be done no matter where you go. It'll keep you sharp and stay in shape.
Also, drop by a local kwoon and join a class as a guest student. Learn a few things from a different school and instructor.
Follow your school's blog, Facebook page, and other social media accounts it has. Comment and share their news and events.
Don't be shy about purchasing books, DVDs, and other Wing Chun resources that will help you improve your understanding and skill because it supports your extended Wing Chun family.
Bring friends and family to visit a class or join your kwoon. Sifu will thank you, plus, it's fun. Share and recommend resources you discover like books, videos, websites, and movies to others who are inside - and outside - of Wing Chun.
The more people who train Wing Chun and are aware of it and respect it, the better it is for all of us.
Most importantly, get loved ones to train and be responsible for their own self-protection. You're not a full-time bodyguard and can't be in all places at all times. Wing Chun is the answer.
Happy International Wing Chun Day 2014!
P.S. What would you add? Leave it in the comments below.