Recently, it has been more difficult to write about “Training in Kung Fu“. The reason is that there was a time when all you had to do to find something on the internet was put in what you were thinking, and the search engines would take care of the rest.
It is much more difficult to get heard or noticed online in today’s environment because of the increased competition. Because of this, I am positive that there are hundreds upon thousands of excellent articles and films that are being overlooked for no other reason than the fact that it is getting increasingly difficult to gain visibility online without paying for it.
I was thinking about whether or not it is still worthwhile to write a blog these days. If you’re asking me, the answer is yes; however, it’s not so much for the publicity as it is because it’s something I like doing in my own time. Writing down my ideas has always been a fun activity for me. Which is really humorous when you consider that I have never been someone who enjoyed reading. My preferred mode of instruction was visual.
You may be wondering what does any of this have to do with training in kung fu?
Over the course of my career, I’ve noticed that the only activities that individuals keep doing over time are those that get ingrained in their daily routines. Take for instance the act of writing in this blog. It is enjoyable for me to discuss my views and ideas with you. I find that brainstorming with other individuals in general is enjoyable. I don’t engage in any of this activity with the intention of making money. One of the benefits of doing things in this manner is the accumulation of financial wealth.
As I delve more into contemplating the reasons behind why I even bother to practice in the martial arts, I come to the following: My mind keeps returning to the same justification for this. It’s just something that I enjoy doing. I came to the conclusion that it was a voyage many years ago, and as time went on, I began to see that it is a journey that leads nowhere in particular. In point of fact, what matters most is the travel itself.
This is the case for the vast majority of the activities I participate in throughout my life. I am going to make a concerted effort to center my attention solely on the aspects of my life that bring me pleasure. I engage in activities such as playing musical instruments, training in martial arts, and promoting products and services on the internet just because I like doing them.
Training In Kung Fu for the Sake of One’s Ego
Sadly, there are far too many people who study in martial arts for the sole purpose of satisfying their vanity and ego. In my opinion, the characteristics of a genuine warrior are modesty and respect for the dignity of others. Years and years ago, it is how my dad initially instructed me to do things.
In addition to this, here at Enter Shaolin, we place a primary emphasis on both of the following:
- Having 3 P.R.O.O.F
- Developing your sensitivity
To be able to perceive clearly what your opponent is doing, you have to empty your mind of your own actions. When I say this, I’m referring to things like hatred, rage, and fear; all of these feelings confuse the mind. If your mind is muddled, it will be impossible for you to make efficient use of your senses. Having excellent structure can be developed by having 3 P.R.O.O.F., but feeling your opponent’s intents can be developed with having strong sensitivity.
Quick Kung Fu Lesson For You
I don’t know how many times I’ve made reference to this scene from Enter the Dragon, but the significance of the scenario is incredibly significant to understanding why pride and ego really work against you in a battle. I don’t know how many times I’ve made reference to this scene from Enter the Dragon.
We get a lot of emails asking us about how different strategies should be utilized in different kinds of settings. Although I am not certain if people enjoy the answer, it is the most honest response that one can give to another.
A good technique has both the chance of success and failure. No technique is 100% guaranteed to win the fight for you. And honestly, you shouldn’t focus on trying to get off a specific technique. The reason why we train so repetitively is so that when you need a technique it’s there to be used.
It’s similar to learning to play an instrument in that the initial step involves practicing different hand and finger postures. You will have difficulty finding your notes and chords until both your mind and your body recall the placements. But after a lot of hard work and practice, you’ll be able to summon the notes and chords to mind whenever you want, whenever you need them.
If the method does not work for you for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to let go of it and go on to another approach without wasting any time.
So many people stop Training Kung Fu, but why?
It doesn’t really make a difference which kind of martial arts a person practices. It might be Karate, Krav Maga, Jujitsu etc. When I originally began my study with Sifu Phu, there were at least 40 pupils in his school that I personally knew. There are hardly any still actively participating in regular training sessions.
The truth is that it is a matter of prioritization and what is more essential to the person training. It is naive to believe that if you work hard for ten years and then decide to quit training, you would be able to recall enough of your skill to be competent.
This isn’t just true for Kung Fu it’s true about everything. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
Why People Quit:
- They don’t prioritize it; when given the option of spending money on training or going out with friends on a Saturday night, it’s human nature to choose the latter.
- They get disinterested in training. This simply indicates that they were never truly interested in martial arts; they only enjoyed the notion of it.
- They are unable to handle the strenuous physical component of the training.
I am sure there are more reasons why people give up on themselves, but those are the ones that come to my mind the most. To be good at Kung Fu you have to integrate it into your everyday life in other words you have to make it a priority like brushing your teeth.
You will never be able to become an expert in anything if you are the kind of person who is always switching to new activities and giving up on old ones. I instilled in my children the belief that it does not matter what they choose to accomplish as long as they give their endeavors their complete and undivided attention. That is guidance that I believe should be taken by everyone.
We teach at Enter Shaolin that your physical size and strength have no bearing on your capacity to protect yourself when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. When I say to train hard, I do not mean in a physical sense, although it is one possible use of the phrase. What I’m referring about here is remaining constant. The finest outcomes will come from constant, prolonged training over a period of time.
Those of us that have been training Tai Chi Push Hands and or Wing Chun Chi Sao understand that it can be as intense or relaxed as the 2 participants want it to be. In either case, there is always something to learn from the exchanges.
Even when it comes to exercises if you can only do 1 push-up or half a push up then that’s what you do until you can do 2 push-ups and so on. The numbers aren’t as important as the act of being consistent.
If you consistently give it everything you’ve got, you will always see results, no matter what you do.
Don’t Learn Kung Fu, Become Kung Fu!
Until you fully integrate your kung fu into every part of your life, you will never reach a level of mastery. And if being able to fight hand to hand is a goal for you, then nothing less than 100% of your effort is required.
Fighting is serious business, I don’t advocate violence but there are times when what you believe in doesn’t matter and the person in front of you simply wants to destroy you. In these rare situations you are going to have wished you trained a little bit harder.
But I Am Not Training In Kung Fu To Learn How To Fight I am Learning For Health Reasons
More or less if you are trianing for self defense, competing in the ring/cage or for health the training is the same. I know you may be thinking they are different but the fact of the matter is the only that changes is the intensity in which you approach your training.
For example lets take something as docile as Tai Chi:
It’s great for stretching, its great for blood circulation. It’s slow, it’s peaceful as well as therapeutic. And if all you want is the health benefits that’s fantastic and I am so grateful that we have something like Tai Chi we can exercise our minds, bodies and spirit with regardless of our physical health or age.
However, if you want to use Tai Chi as an effective fighting martial art you can do that as well. You will still do the same exact training. The only difference is you will constantly increase the intensity in which you train. Basically pressuring testing your skill. (This process of pressuring testing is what really starts teaching you how to control your emotional state in a fight.)
…How about you?
What are some of your reason for training in kung fu? I would love to hear what you think. Let me know in the comments section.
Victor Williams says
I became filled with inertia, and immediately more capable of doing what it is that I want to do practicing Yoga because you shared, as usual, physical elements that help sustain the real exercise methods of martial arts psychologically meaning in the case of self- defense your student would not be in the disposition of creating a defense rather an attack, and that being that some days we at defense mentally are rendered under a submissive proposition by our opponent; when I say this I mean that in the event that I am really the victim with obviously no intent to create a threat your teaching leads me to good energy about converting the energy of a real attack, and thus freeing myself of fear when operating the conversion- I think this is smooth, and I value this family for all the days I live indeed.
Victor, Certified Yogi
Sifu Larry Rivera says
Awesome! It’s all about the energy.
John M says
Loved reading this. I started this journey originally to heal from an accident then i found entershaolin and it became so much more it became who i am and always was. Your exactly right it becomes like brushing your teeth. Theres alot of reasons i train now but it comes down to its just fun i love it i always look forward to it and my strongest part of my training is my consistency almost 4 yrs and ive not gone a single day without training for at least 2 to 3 hrs and i never get bored or sick of it thats how i know im home. Thank you writing on this topic. God bless. Your a great teacher.
Sifu Larry Rivera says
You are most welcome! Thank you for being part of the family.
Fraser D says
Still training every day but had to shovel the snow off the back patio (outdoor dojo) tonight!
Dan N says
My reasons for training have changed over the years. From training in judo as a young teen, to taking karate lessons at the Trenton YMCA
in the late 60’s. From there the military, school, and life got in the way,
until my son took an interest in Taekwondo. That was around 30 years ago and it’s been none stop ever since then. The reasons why I still train
in the martial arts, is that it’s great exercise, with always more to learn.
Sifu Larry Rivera says
Good reasons! 🙂
San Dude says
Very helpful post sifu
Sifu Larry Rivera says
Glad you enjoyed it!
franky MERCKX says
Day Sifu can you easily explain how I can return energy when there is, for example, want to push over or do a hand clamp. How can I give a hard punch .
Thanks in advance Sifu
Enter Shaolin says
Hey brother, I will ask this on the public webinar tonight on youtube: https://youtube.com/EnterTaiChi at 4:30pm EST.