Hey family how has your week been? I wanted to share with you this week a peek into my training with Sifu Phu. As you may or may not know, I’ve been training with him for about 23 years.
Around 2013 I took time off from training with Sifu to focus on my internet marketing skills. I was however still teaching my own students and doing my own training solo too.
I recently restarted my private training lessons with Sifu Phu. Jamie had hinted that we should film some of my lessons from time to time, so people can see what it is like to train years into it so they can see a contrast from her beginner standpoint. I told her that I don’t like people watching me train with Sifu, not because I am embarrassed about my skill, rather because I don’t want someone else to get discouraged.
You see, the reality is the mistakes you are making today will be the same mistakes you are going to make in 20 years from now. The difference is what your skill level is vs. the person you are playing or fighting with.
For example I still mess up putting my energy in my wrist. Sometimes I am disconnected. Even though this is happening someone of lesser skill than I would never know because my ability to feel energy is higher than theirs. So even if I make a mistake I can feel it faster and have time to fix it before they can figure out how to capitalize on it.
But put me in the hands of Sifu Phu who has been training longer than me and it’s like I am a newb all over again. It doesn’t mean my skill hasn’t increased it just means his has also increased so the distance between his skill and mine is still relatively the same. So while I am doing better and am better, the same mistakes still shine through because he is also gotten better too! It’s really crazy and can mess with your head sometimes.
Martial arts is really humbling and this is definitely one of those times.
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With that said, I also want to share with you a secret to my skill increase as well as teachers around the world. The secret to really getting better at your martial art is by teaching what you know to others because it reenforces what you yourself are learning.
And this could be teaching a child in your life, a fellow friend or a complete stranger you meet doing some kung fu at the park. In all cases teaching anyone what you are learning even if you are just getting starting is going to help you grow in your skill and help them too.
As you communicate the information to your training partner you become more subconsciously aware of it yourself. Because people are unique individuals the more people you train with the more opportunity you have to feel different energies. Every time you feel new energy and learn how to deal with said energy your skill level increases.
This is why the likely hood of ever catching your teacher(s) skill level is very unlikely. For example as long as Sifu Phu continues to train and teach new people I can never close the gap on his skill level. And that’s okay because I am happy in my Kung Fu Journey.
This is why it is also important not to think in how can I catchup to so and so, because if they keep training it’s unlikely you ever will. We’ve seen being completely quit on themselves 10+ years into their training because they couldn’t catch up to Sifu Phu. But that was an unfair expectation in the first place, and then their ego and pride couldn’t handle it and then they collapse, blow up and quit.
So the lesson is make realistic goals in your training. My students often say, “Larry, if I can get to where you are right now, I’ll be happy.” That’s definitely possible, because they are taking me at a point in time, they don’t want to get past me which unless I stop training might be possible, but instead they are picking a snippet of where I am now, a healthy goal to work towards.
I am glad I have someone who can continue to help me to continue to grow as a martial artist like Sifu Phu and even working with my students. Different people, backgrounds, strengths and energy all play into helping you to grow your skill.
As a side note: Whenever you get the opportunity to touch hands with someone of higher skill than you take it. Because it is in those moments of training that you will have your biggest breakthroughs in your training. We just happen to be holding a seminar in Pittsburgh, PA in November, if you have the opportunity you should come! 🙂 Get the details here
In my lesson this week Sifu was talking to me about keeping my energy in my wrist. He pulled his example from the press push section in set one of the Tai Chi form.
He said when I am practicing my Tai Chi form to be mindful of the energy in my wrist. And keep in mind I know this, it just goes to show you we will always be continually progressing and refining our skill. Which goes back to, when people ask me how important Tai Chi is in their overall training, I always tell them it is important and how it was a game changer in increasing my Wing Chun skill and over all martial art skill.
Tai Chi teaches you how to connect your body as well as a multitude of other benefits. When you can move more connected, you will be more powerful in all that you do.
This week we got started back up with filming for Sifu’s Corner. We are excited to be back at doing these videos which address comments and questions from members and fans to help them understand what we do more and to help them learn and grow more too.
Check out this Sifu’s Corner on when is & isn’t okay to lean while kicking:
If you have any questions for our next Sifu’s Corner write them down and next week Jamie will be creating a form for question submissions. This is a great way for members and non-members to get some burning questions answered. 🙂
Now on to your training…
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