Restarting Your Training
I would like to start this particular blog with a genuine heartfelt message.
To me Wing Chun is all about family, with Si-fu meaning Teacher/Father and Si-Gung meaning Teachers, teacher or Grandfather, and with everyone else being Kung Fu brothers and sisters to each other, in fact I’ve never known anything different.
And it is for this reason that my students mean so much to me, both those in my personal classes and those of you online too.
I love sharing in your enjoyment of training Wing Chun together, hearing of your progress through the system & what it has done for you and those around you, and I have also been there for you when things have not been so good.
Therefore, when one of you asks a question which contains a real concern, this needs addressing as best as I can, but also in this case, as quickly as I can, and the only reason I am answering this question as a blog, is because I believe that this is a common issue that many students may have but few are strong enough to share.
It is the easiest thing to just walk away but the strongest thing to find the answers and make the change.
Out of respect for the student in question I have slightly edited the question.
“I’m ashamed to say its been weeks since I practiced and often feel like I shouldn’t practice anyway.
Does anyone else have these moments and if so how you overcome them?”
Before we get to any solutions, let’s start taking a look at those of us who may have this feeling, even when we ARE still actually training, because this can happen then too.
I remember a golf story I shared a long time ago referring to a friend who started to play golf, and over a ten year period got from a 28 handicap, down to a 4 handicap, BUT, it then took another ten years to get that handicap from a 4 to a 3.
This wasn’t because this person was getting worse, but because they were getting better!
In the early days of playing golf there may be lots to learn (and so lots of enthusiasm) and the chance to make easy progress in decreasing your handicap, but the more you improve and the handicap drops the harder it seems to be to continue reducing it.
BUT KEEP GOING!
When learning anything, at the start there is so much to learn, so much to take in, and every day it seems like progress because there is something new being presented to you, but at some point this MUST slow down, not only because there are fewer surprises but because we need to allow these things to sink in, to physically and mentally digest, THIS, is often interpreted by you, as your not progressing, not learning, thinking that things have stagnated, but actually this could not be further from the truth.
The same can be said for relationships.
At the start of a relationship things are exciting and new, all the little things we learn about each other are fun and interesting, and sometimes when we have no new things good to find, we can start looking for bad things to find, purely in order to keep our ‘new experiences‘ growing, developing and exciting, unbeknown to us that we are possibly killing it.
Just like a flower, give it what it needs and then leave it, let it grow at its own pace, slowly, but surely.
Training does not need to be vigorous or intensive, little and often is fine as long as we can keep going.
I’m reminded of the time when I decided to start digging out a pathway for a friend, the stones were there, just overgrown with grass, so basically giving it a facelift.
At the start I was full of enthusiasm and keen to see some results, but this did not last long.
I was only a few steps in when my back started aching and I looked up to see the remaining 26 stones!
At this point I remembered my own golfing story, so I kept my head down and carried on, taking the job one step at a time (quite literally).
Half way through I didn’t look at what was left ahead of me, but instead admired what I had done so far, and by the end of the day the path was complete. An aching back, blisters on my hands but a job well done, and something to be proud of.
So the point is, Yes be enthusiastic at the start, but when the going gets tough, don’t give in, power on through, even if the job seems huge, and…
YOU WILL GET THERE.
I just mentioned:
‘Training does not need to be vigorous or intensive, little and often is fine as long as we can keep going’
But how do we KEEP going when we can’y even GET going?
Inspiration may come from many directions, wether this is from watching a movie, wanting to change your future (ie. get fit, get strong), perhaps from seeing the life changing experiences of others, and so on, BUT, this is usually the kind of inspiration needed from someone who has yet to start their training.
What do we do when we are already training, but now find ourselves feeling as though we have hit a wall, that progression is proving difficult or getting where I want to be is now seeming like too hard of a task?
I suggest that you do not look forward but look back instead.
Look at what you have achieved already, in such a short amount of time and take pleasure in that.
Then remind yourself of why you wanted to start this adventure in the first place and feel happy that you actually DID start, and that you are no longer just talking about it but that you are actually doing it!
“Okay, so you’ve had a break, so what?”
Take a moment to just quickly go through a couple of the moves you know (a stance, a punch or a hand position), this will help to remind you that you ARE doing something, that you HAVE moved forward already (even if only a little).
Then think of where you’d like to take this, then get your head down and only look at the one small paving stone in front of you at that moment, with the future idea being that now and again, you take a sneaky peek behind you and what you’ve covered since the last time you looked, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and glad you did.
As Buddha said:
“To move mountains, we must start by moving stones”
I do hope this has helped in some way.
We all go ‘Off the boil‘ occasionally, and that is fine, and getting back into training is actually not that difficult once you get started.
Why not watch a movie?
Get some inspiration back in your soul.
Remind yourself what you’ve done so far and give yourself a tiny goal to achieve by the end of the week.
Once you get going again you’ll be glad you did, and it will be as though you never doubted yourself.
Truth is though, you probably will again at some point, but hone that happens, you’ll know what to do.
Happy training everyone!