What Have We Done In 12 Months?
So here we are, one year on from the start of the first lockdown (and still in one I might add) and to celebrate, this morning I had my 1stAnniversary Vaccination, YEAH! 🙁
While sitting for my required fifteen minute wait afterwards, I started to think of what I had accomplished during this last twelve months.
Put on a stone in weight,
Discovered my six-pack again,
Learned two new languages,
Oh, and am now proficient on the piano.
Well okay, maybe not all of those are true, but the first one is!
To be serious though, I have discovered so much through teaching on Zoom and spending time with our wingchun.online students, finding better ways to get the point across in a much simpler and more direct way, something I am always striving to do.
As my dear friend and Kung Fu brother (Shaun Rawcliffe) once said:
‘I am a lot better teacher now than I was ten years ago,
but not as good as I hope to be in ten years’ time’
Of course, I would much prefer to be face-to-face with my students, correcting them by hand and playing Chi Sau with each and every one of them.
There is still so much benefit to be gained by training online.
One of tests I used to give my instructors was to teach a beginner a technique, while speaking from around the corner!
A teacher may be able to correct a position when it is there in front of them, but how well do you know every detail in your head too?
I would tell my students:
‘A good indication of knowing that you really know a technique/stance etc.
is when you are able to teach it without the need to see it, perhaps even over the phone!’
In this exercise, after having them mention every point they can remember, they would then step around the corner to see what they had created from the student…
Often with a Tan Sau for instance, realising that they forgot to mention the thumb position, or the height of the hand let’s say.
Anyway, the point is, that when I came home from my vaccination, I sat in the garden for a while, watching, well among the chickens chasing the cat and the ducks chasing the dog (my animals are all messed up, thankfully), I noticed the wonderful flowers and how the light shone off of them.
This got me thinking of my time with my Sifu, GM Ip Chun, not the class time, or even the countless hours privately training at his home, but the times we had just been out for a walk in the park maybe, socialising in a way that seemed a million miles away from the expected teaching of a Master to his student, and yet…
These times were often some of the best lesson times,
NOT hands on, but simply sharing each other’s time and space.
It always amazed me when walking through gardens how Sifu would stop and mention the name of a flower, and not just, “A rose” or, “A daffodil” but their Latin names!
It was on one such walk Sifu shared a wonderful piece of wisdom:
Too many people rush their training in Wing Chun and only cheat themselves out of time and experience.
Think of this as growing a beautiful flower, you plant the seed give the soil food, sunshine and water, but you are still just looking at soil.
The next day again, you give the seed food, sunshine and water, but still you are just looking at soil.
It is at this point that many students leave Wing Chun because they do not see immediate benefits, only soil.
After a while you begin to see a shoot growing out of the ground, this is exciting, but it is also slow, and you are eager.
Each day you give the young flower food, sunshine and water, but in order to make it grow faster you give it a pull.
Again, every day you give food, sunshine and water, but again in order to make it grow faster you give the shoot a little pull.
The outcome of this will only serve to see the flower die.
So give the young flower food, sunshine and water, but also time, and eventually you will enjoy all the beauty it has to offer.