August 16th, 2019
September, just like January, is usually a time when we get new students eager to try out wing chun, or alternately a few old faces reappear with the intention of starting again. Come October most of them have vanished. It is a cycle I have seen for almost 20 years of training in martial arts.
I am not sure how people reasonably expect to learn any martial art if they only want to commit to once a fortnight of training, and even that is usually if there is nothing else comes up that day. Even for some that do train with us for several months and start to grasp the depth of this wing chun, many still think that two hours a fortnight will make them a ninja. You can see the disappointment when after a year or so that things did not work out that way and other people progress much quickly.
There is always an excuse available to us not to train, feeling tired, bad weather, bad day, drinks after work, money; the comfort option is provided by our brain as a ready waiting friend. But just because we talk about relaxation does not mean there is not work to be done. I do understand the dilemma, I’ve had two kids since I started training, a busy job and loads of potential distractions. But you have to ask yourself the question if I am not willing to try now, to put in the work, when will you do it? Really, when? If your daily training routine is an exercise in avoiding discomfort, to pamper yourself after work every night, then it will only get harder for you. In fact ask yourself the question how busy are you really? How much time in front of the telly, computer etc, hanging around with people so not to feel awkward by saying you have something else important to do. Then ask yourself - what if? What if you actually put some time aside and tried standing practice every day, came to classes or even had a private lesson. If you have not really tried and do not intend to, then failure is guaranteed.
I am not writing this blog to have a go at anyone, just holding up a mirror to us all. Plenty of people have come to the club and in a short period seen a big improvement in their wing chun, in their physical, mental and emotional health because they have taken the decision to commit to themselves to a difficult endeavour. I train every day, I give my all for every minute of every class but I know I can be lazy sometimes. But what we do not want is to look back and say that maybe we could have been better, achieved our goals, if we actually put that extra bit of time in. Maybe turn off that telly or put the phone in the other room; don’t be half hearted. You only get a return if you make an investment.
So make a choice, if not coming to every class maybe one extra class a month. If you are one of the many people who have said to me you plan to visit Sheffield for private lesson, then do it. Why would you say it to yourself if you do not beleive it? There is only one person you will be letting down and failing if you not not try.
Motivation comes and goes, it is the drive to improve ourselves which we must cultivate if you want to achieve. There are days that you have drag yourself out, days when it hurts to stand for long period, days when the mind wont stop wandering, but if anything worthwhile was easy everyone would be a master. So stop putting it off, stop watching youtube as if that provides all the answers, and get training. Maybe you will not like it, maybe not see any improvement, but better to try and fail than never know what you are capable of.
Keeping you up to date with what is happening in class