What Age Is The Best?
What is the best age?
This may seem like a strange question, and it is a little, so what do I mean by this and where is this going?
Well, I have three lovely children and only this morning while getting them ready for forest school (I home school but we have a few half days each week at a Montessori learning community), and I was thinking of how my eldest daughter (now aged 10) was so good at making clay models and what a joy it is to see her developing such artistic skills.
I then looked over toward my second daughter (aged 7) and thought of how marvellously caring she is and always finds the good in everything, a beautiful age to behold indeed.
It was then time to wake my youngest (a boy aged 4) who was still sleeping due to be a little ill this morning, and watching him sleep, I thought he looked so beautiful, soft skin and still having baby faced qualities.
Now personally, there was a time when I would think about my children (when one of them was still a baby of course):
‘Won’t it be great when they’re a little older and we can dress them in nice outfits?’
Or when they were at toddler age, thinking:
‘It will be so nice when they’re older still, and I can take them to restaurants for dinner’
And on reflection this was a dreadful thing, to not live in the moment but to wish for the future, especially when it’s not a case of us living under any hardships or anything like that.
Yes okay, at present we are all waiting for the day when Covid 19 has left us and we can get back to some kind of normality, but I am referring to that of being a child and wishing you were an adult, only to then find yourself, as an adult, in a job you detest and thinking of how your school days were the best in your life, and wouldn’t it be great if you go back again.
So, we need to stop thinking of what is ahead and look at what we have now, right now, at this very instant.
As John Lennon said:
“Life is what happens while you’re making plays for the future”
Goodness knows how many times I have emphasised the importance of Chi Sau training being that of trying to:
‘Stay in the moment’
And yet we do not do this in life?
I like the idea that…
Wing Chun is a way of life –
Wing Chun is Chi Sau –
Therefore Chi Sau is a way of life.
Stay in the moment in Chi Sau – Stay in the moment in life
As Grandmaster Ip Chun says:
“Which Form is the most important? –
Whichever one you are training at that time”
This should also be the idea behind such questions as, which is the best age for your children to be?
‘Whatever age they are today’
I see students in Wing Chun, always rushing to ‘The next level’ of training, Chum Kiu is better than Siu Lim Tau because you get to step, kick and turn.
Wooden Dummy is better again because we get to hit things, then Knives are better still because you can take these anywhere with you to train… and so on.
I even see senior students and even instructors turning their noses up at drills, probably because they think or consider them to be boring or beneath them, this not the case, but if you do feel this way, then try to find something good within that drill, change your approach to that desired end result and the drill becomes exciting again.
The only reason a child may not like a subject at school, maths for instance, is probably simply because they are not good at maths, but allow them to find ‘something’ interesting, fun, or even just something they can do well within that subject, and suddenly you are back on track again.
If not this becomes a catch 22.
They cannot do something therefore they do not like it, because they do not like it they avoid it, because they avoid it, they never get good at it, and the cycle repeats itself…
Perhaps you think that you are quite skilled now, and therefore do not need or wish to run drills, but remind yourself that it is more than likely that you are quite skilled now BECAUSE you ran, and should still run, drills.
This train of thought also gets me thinking about cricket, not a game I understand so I’ll not get too much into the details, but what I do know is that people want to play cricket, no one wants to be the fielder.
Everyone wants to be batting or be the bowler, but who the hell wants to start alone in a field waiting to see if anything happens!
If kids decide to have a game of football, rarely will anyone say, “Please can I go in goal?”, kids want to be where the excitement is, the striker or the forward, people don’t even want to be a defender, never mind sitting around in goal.
But here is the issue, because that fielder and that goalie are crucial to the success or defeat of that team.
Take one small cog out of a watch and it will cease to work, so make time to respect the little things in your Wing Chun, appreciate the drills and the basics, for it is these that will define the longterm outcome.
So what ever you do today, look for the good in it, try to appreciate it rather than avoid it, what a dreadful waste of your life it would be to spend time avoiding things.
Over the last thirty years of teaching I have been amazed at how many people have commented on how happy they are in finding Wing Chun, but then so saddened not to have found it sooner, thinking they had wasted previous years, bit again I tell them to look for the good…
‘If you are truly SO happy to have found this place you are at now, consider this…
By changing one thing in your past, would not have brought you to this good point in your life today.’
Happy training everyone, no matter what you train,
and remember to appreciate every second of it!