How Strong Are Your Roots?
Last night was a lovely evening so I decided to go for a stroll down the lane and stopped to look over the countryside and listen to the birds singing.
While I was there I began to stare at a tree in the distance, a huge solitary chestnut tree of perfect proportions and it made me think again of Wing Chun.
When looking at a tree, what we see above ground is the same size again underground, with as much growth outward to the skies being rooted in its foundations.
Gung Fu (or Kung Fu) means Hard Work and Skill, and by this we mean that you have devoted a lot of hard work in order to attain that level of skill (just like a painter or carpenter etc.), but we do not see the hard work, only the results from it.
This is the same with trees.
We all enjoy looking at a mighty oak in all its strength & glory, a giant redwood towering above the world, or an amazing cherry blossom in full bloom, but never do we give a thought to their roots.
In order to have a solid core we must have the best roots, then, and only then can we reach for the sky.
A tree given the freedom to grow will be in perfect balance with each branch stretching out as long as the last.
Only when a tree is starved of light, closed in by its surroundings or given no view of what it is naturally reaching for, do we see its growth misshapen, green and vibrant on one side (perhaps), while dying on the other.
So be like the trees and train your basics daily in order to develop strong foundations within your roots.
This will lead to a vital core, solid when it needs to be or pliable when you choose.
Only then will we see the branches expand evenly, representing all areas of your Wing Chun, and when the time is right, the green leaves or the bright blossom will shine giving you the fulfillment you have worked hard for and rightly deserve.
Master Ip Chun once told me, “Think of your Wing Chun like growing a flower, first you plant the seeds into the ground, giving them food, sunshine and water. You do this every day, food, sunshine and water, and for the longest time you see no results, but eventually this pays off when the flower blooms”.
It is during this time period, when a student can feel that, as they have not had immediate blossom, that, (the beginner especially) has justified reason to start to doubt their Wing Chun and ends their studies before they have even truly begun.
The simple reason we see nothing from the seeds for a long time is because that flower is working on its roots, working on its basics if you like, the most important part of its development, and like the flower, the trees and your Wing Chun, without good roots, foundations or basics, you will never truly blossom.