Just started Wing Chun at 44 years old, Any Tips?
by Trevor Mercer
I'm a 44 year old male that's just started Wing Chun classes and find as I'm older my coordination is not as good as it was when I was younger.
I use to do boxing and was surprised once I started these classes how my mind was a lot slower at remembering punches and blocks.
Is there anything I can do to help with this or will it get better as I continue the classes.
I'm determined to see this through and become good at Wing Chun but was taken back a little at my slowness. Any encouragement or help would be much appreciated.
Many thanks Trevor
Comment by Rob: Congrats Trevor! You prove to everyone that 40 is the new 20.
Most people find the coordination challenging when starting out in Wing Chun. We tend to have an ambidextrous style, and in many cases, we use a number of fine motor skills, as opposed to gross motor skills.
This is not the case with many other martial arts, or boxing.
For instance, you train to fight on your dominant side only (almost never on your weak side). And there aren't many fine motor skills. Wrapped up hands and wrists, stuffed into boxing gloves really limits what's possible, fine motor skills-wise.
Keep at it though. Like anything else, you get better with practice.
My best advice for beginners...
To develop Wing Chun skills, especially in the beginning, repeat the moves slowly. If you can't do it slow, you won't be able to do it fast.
Another tip is to pick one or two moves to concentrate on at a time. Get those good and stable and then you can add others.
A final tip, practice at home and refine in class. Learning a new skill boils down to hours of correct effort. Work smart AND hard.
Side benefits to Wing Chun
And what I noticed from training my weak and strong sides, and improving my overall fine motor skills, is that I've gotten more intelligent ;-)
I think this happens to many people because you activate both sides of your brain more often. i.e. if you're right handed, you end up doing a lot of attacks and defense with your left hand.
In any case, most people I know, who are very comfortable with both sides (after a lot of training time), still have a stronger or more coordinated side, me included.
And when we learn something new, it tends to come to us much faster compared to when we were new.
I think I took me almost a year before I felt I had any dangerous power behind my straight punches!
Keep at it!
P.S. Here's a similar question from someone else, but he was 30 years old.