If Only I’d Started This Sooner?
In the (coming up to) 30 years, that I’ve been teaching, we’ve had over 10,000 classes and taught over 10,000 students, and throughout that time it is impossible to count the amount of times I’ve heard this point made:
‘I love Wing Chun, it’s great, I just wish I’d started this years ago, instead of wasting all that time studying Karate’
Or /Thai / Kick Boxing / Judo / Aikido, and so on.
To this problem I’ve always had the same approach and answer..
You need to think this way:
If you’re at all happy with the things in your life right now, even if you can find just one thing, like your partner, your family, your children, your business or work, or the fact that you’ve just discovered this amazing new art (I’m talking about Wing Chun of course), then by changing just one thing in the past, there’s a strong chance that you would not have that one thing, (or if you are lucky) the many things that you are happy with now.
Including this meeting.
Because whatever path you have taken and whatever you have done in the past, it has brought you to this moment, right here, right now.
So if you’ve trained in a different martial art or even a different form or lineage of Wing Chun, studying hard for, let’s say six years perhaps, and after seeing this new and impressive system you feel as though that time has now been wasted, it has not, because you can and should, build on those experiences as huge benefits.
Let’s say, if you studied Karate for all this time, YOU now have the understanding and mindset of a person from that style.
So should an attacker put up a guard, and you have some recognition of it, you will be one step ahead of them by having a good idea of what they’re thinking and what they possibly can (or cannot) do.
Try to turn this train of thought around for a moment.
What if I did meet you those 6 years ago, and you simply loved Wing Chun, and couldn’t wait to start, but then I said; “I will teach you, but first I want you to study Karate for six years so that you have a knowledge of long-range styles before I then show you the short-range methods of Wing Chun”.
I think it would be fair to say that you would not be happy with my request, and doubtful that you would accept the challenge either.
Often people that start Wing Chun end up doing it for the long term, and embracing it as a part of their life, and it is for this reason I always find it cringe-worthy when a person say to me that they’d REALLY love to start Wing Chun but they cannot possibly leave their Karate training as they’ve been doing it for nearly a year now!
Change is good.
The past is the past.
Learn from it and move forward.
You do not always need to do tomorrow what you did today, certainly if you know in your heart that what you did yesterday is not really what you want to be doing anyway.