Just a quick message to wish everybody a Happy New Year and to let you all know that Brighton Wing Chun is once again open for business.
 
After a very long break due to my personal life eating up most of my time I now have much more time to dedicate to the club. The New Year sees the launch of a new Ladies Self Defence class as well as the resumption of Thursday evening classes at the Millwood Centre in central Brighton. In the near future we hope to get another space sorted so that Monday nights class can also be re-opened.
 
Campaign to take on new students has started so please bring along friends and put word around. 
 
Currently looking for premises to expand and open classes in Seaford and Eastbourne.
 

In the last few weeks have had a number of questions from students about certain aspects of their training and concerns about not being able to grasp concepts and or not being able to execute techniques well.
 
At BWC we actively encourage students to question the instructors and to delve deeper into the art as we feel that it is an essential part of the learning process and helps to develop a true understanding of the science behind the art. There are, however, as with all things, dangers to avoid when following this path and I felt it a good time to point out a a few of these.
 
Due to the small size of our classes it is inevitable that sometimes students will be shown certain techniques that are advanced for their current grade, it is important to remember this when attempting to asses your own progress. if at any time an instructor feels that there is any part of your kung fu that is lacking we will point it out to you in class, if we have said nothing then you should not be concerned. Additionally nothing that we teach will be grasped instantly, focus on practice and the positive rather than being harsh on your self and worrying about the negative, put simply if you cannot do something it merely requires further training, it will come eventually.
 
Another area that has created a lot of questions is research carried out on the internet, which is fine but here extra care is needed. Remember that just because another school  may have a different training regime does not mean they are right or wrong, there are many approaches to learning and the test is the final result. For many beginners it may not be a good idea to look at other schools as it may just lead to confusion, more advanced students should be at a level that they can judge for themselves. Whatever you do please do not get involved in the constant, pointless "Mine is better that yours" arguments that proliferate, they are a waste of time and energy that would be better spent improving your own skills! 
 
 
After teaching an unnecessarily confusing lesson the other day I have decided to write a piece about how to learn a martial art.
 
During the lesson I taught some things that were a little too complex for some of the students in the class. These things were not conducive to the learning process and could have been detrimental to learning. Having realised this (not on my own) I shall write how to learn a martial art and be sure to keep all future lessons in keeping with the needs of the student.
 
Learning a martial art is a long and difficult process. It requires dedication from the student at an individual level and only you can bring yourself to the end of the road. Having said that it is the responsibility of the teacher to guide the student down the correct path to best benefit them.
 
The important thing to remember is that it is a long road. A short while ago I had a revelation in my own training and came up with the saying 'You don't have any of it until you have all of it'. This means that although there will be stages of your training where you will feel confident that you can survive in an altercation in the street, defeat an opponent in a competition or know kung fu, until you have mastered the martial art you have chosen there is always the possibility that one person can execute the one technique that you do not yet have an answer for.
 
It is very important in martial arts to learn the basics first. The stance, how to step correctly, how to punch correctly and how to defend correctly. This is why we have forms and drills. They are to teach the student correct application of their bodies as well as their techniques. This is also why we have the motto of 'train slow learn fast, train fast learn slow'. If you try to jump in too deep too early you will not have proper control of yourself and therefore will not have proper control of the situation. As you know the key to martial arts is control of the situation, that is what we train for.
 
Our syllabus is structured to teach the student the basics of fighting before moving them on to the Chi Sau (Energy arms) element of training. The Chi Sau training is merely a tool to allow the student a tactical advantage in controlling a situation in that they can know where they and their opponent are without using their eyes but instead by using their tactile responses.
 
When training it is vital that you learn the basics well. These are the foundations of everything that you will build on top of them. As well as being a good and solid foundation, learning the basics well will develop the habit of learning everything well. This is for your own benefit and bear in mind that your kung fu is only for you and only you can make it happen.
 
The way to learn a martial art is;
  • To train well and to the best of your ability at all times.
  • Be mindful of yourself and learn to listen to what your body is telling you.
  • Train only for yourself and do not concern yourself with the others around you.
  • Be patient, the road is long but the benefits are worth the time and effort put into it.
  • Take it to the end, you will gain nothing for giving up halfway through.
  • Allow your teacher to guide you but correct him if you feel he is taking you on the wrong path or onto a path for which you do not feel ready.
  • Learn to understand the science of the art you learn this will give you a deeper understanding of why you do what you do.
  • Play with what you have learned try it out in different ways and see what may be done with it.
 
I think my next blog will be some of the quotes that have inspired me throughout my own training.
 

 

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