Do Not Give Up
So many people start their training and then, after a while, they take a break from it.
Now there are various reasons for this.
Firstly, in all the years I have been teaching I could not possibly count the amount of times I have heard a beginner say things like;
“I love Wing Chun, this is awesome, I’m going to train everyday”
“Is it ok for me to come to every class?”
“I’m gonna train hard and be as good as you one day”
and so on..
Whenever I hear such eagerness to train, my head drops and my heart feels heavy, because I know they will not last past the next few months, at best.
Never, has a student proved me wrong.
This level of enthusiasm so early is a case of, ‘The candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long’, they simply burnt out too soon, or… well let’s face it, they were just full of ****.
People finish a beginner course with the basic tools to enable them to join in with a regular class, to start their training for real if you like, and this is a little like a toddler learning the alphabet.
Ok, very well done, you’ve learned the alphabet, but to stop there and think,
‘Well, I’ve done that now and I don’t think it’s as good as I expected’ would be a ridiculous idea.
Unfortunately this is often done by students, AND, is also often the roll taken of those who badmouth Wing Chun (A little knowledge is a dangerous thing).
Of course once we have that alphabet, we then start to learn how to use it, and the possibilities are endless.
Not only can we form words, sentences, paragraphs and stories, but we can read books too, and being able to read means that you cannot only read story books, but books on History, Science, Biology etc. which can all lead on to great things.
A beginner course is exactly what it implies, it is a necessary introduction to the basics, and it’s exciting!
Every lesson there is something new and fresh to learn, leaving every class with a new technique.
But at some point this will slow down.
The new techniques will stop and it will become time to practice what you have already learned, over and over again.
This, my friends, is where we see the second glitch and the next possibility of an end to training.
Because we feel as though we have not learned any new techniques for a while, we feel as though we are not progressing.
If you feel like this, talk to your teacher!
I say this because YOU will not notice your improvements but your teacher will.
They will have seen your previous problems disappearing, your confidence building, and the strikes they easily got in at the start of your journey, now need to be much more thought through.
This is in the same way that you do notice yourself getting older, growing taller or putting on the pounds, until you see an old friend or family member who makes comment on it.
The way training goes is like this;
There is growth and excitement, as you see yourself gaining new techniques and ideas etc. but you must realize that at times this will level off, IT MUST DO THIS in order to allow what you have learned so far to physically and mentally digest.
Constantly taking breaks is like pushing a huge ball up a hill, and then ever now and then, stepping aside and letting go of it.
Every time you come back to the ball you find it further down the hill than where you left it.
Constant training can sometimes seem slow progress, but slow progress is still progress, try telling a fisherman to hurry up!
When the fish is ready, it will come to the line.
Sifu Ip Chun once told me, “Wing Chun is like planting seeds, you give the seeds it what they need, food, sunshine, water, but what do we see? Soil, just soil. But we continue, again you give the seeds what they need, food, sunshine, water, but still what do we see? Soil. Eventually though, if we keep doing what we are doing, we will one day see those flowers blossom and bloom into something beautiful.”
Do not be discouraged by soil, it just looks like dirt, boring, but it contains the life force of our planet.