“If you’re not willing to fight for it, you don’t deserve it.”
I’ve always loved that quote because of it’s built-in gauntlet thrown down to the reader. It doesn’t have the “inspirational poster” qualities of a mountain peak, the grand canyon or a majestic falcon sweeping across an orange and purple sky at dusk. Nope, it in effect calls out the reader with the reality of any accomplishment: for all the “power of positivity” jargon that basically keeps the self-help industry afloat (which I’m not knocking by the way) I think too little is put forth in that honest manner- that you need to be willing to fight for what you want. Wing Chun training is no different. If one wants to make their Wing Chun skills practical and functional for use in a self-defense encounter out on the street or effective in the tournament or full-contact arena, one needs to realize that you will have to fight, literally and figuratively, for each percentage point of skill you develop.
This is not to say that it will always be a tough, swim against the tide process every time. The key to developing real, usable and long lasting skills in Wing Chun that will allow you to flatten some prick dumb enough to set his sights on you or your loved ones is to first develop the skill of deliberate practice, or purposefully directed practice with the intention of improving a specific skill set or ability.
Everyone says they are focused on improving each time they practice but they really aren’t; I bet 99% of the time they are going through the motions of what they already know, engaging in rote repetition.
1,000 Small Ideas; No Big Picture
Think about your own training for a second. How many times have you done the first form, Siu Nim Tao or “small idea” set, in training-either solo or in class? I’ve done this set hundreds if not thousands of times. It wasn’t until I made use of this idea of deliberate practice by using the Siu Nim Tau Seminar DVD by Sifu David Peterson that I realized how much of my time spent, while not useless by any stretch, was not optimized for maximum growth and development because, while I repeated the skill sets of the first form to ingrain them into my muscle memory I did not perform them with the INTENTION of IMPROVEMENT. Once I began to be fully present in what I was doing AND make the intention to improve each time I performed this set, it was like my training got a B12 shot. It’s really that powerful. As the saying goes, “energy flows where attention goes,” only we can replace “energy” with the word “skill” and get the same result. You need a measurable standard to practice against to keep the ideals and proper techniques fresh in your head. Check out a clip from Sifu Peterson’s DVD (which you can pick up by CLICKING HERE ) below:
The 10,000 Hour Express Train
Behavioral experts and performance coaches have long touted the 10,000 hours to mastery concept, meaning that it takes 10,000 hours of practice in any one area to achieve mastery.
Sounds about right-but do you have 10,000 hours to wait before acquiring that level of skill? Me neither.
The good news is this: what studies have shown is that by harnessing the power of deliberate practice one can potentially reduce the 10,000 hours down to as little as 2,000. It’s like taking an express train from New York to LA vs. stopping to pick up and drop off folks in every state: it’s still gonna take awhile but nowhere near the time it would have had you not adopted this practice.
So are you ready to hop onboard the Ass-Whooping Express? Good. There’s only a few things you need to do.
- Make the conscious, mental decision to perform each of your forms, skills, entries, drills and techniques each and every practice session WITH THE INTENTION OF IMPROVING. Feel each motion in your body and link that with the mental decision to improve that particular skill. Repeat this with each motion, technique and skill you perform.
- Feed your brain with the correct study materials. This will feed your brain in the time you are not physically training so your subconscious mind can chew on and digest info to filter down to your body. Check out our REVIEWS tab for the most clear-cut, thorough and straight-taking reviews as to what to use. Trust me, I won’t steer you astray.
- Fight through Motivation Blocks. You have to be careful not to put too much pressure on yopurself to improve this amount by this date and so on. The challenge with this type of training becomes being able to push through these bouts of motivational “writer’s block” and keep your eyes forward. My personal remedy to this is focusing on the idea of performing each motion, technique, etc. expertly and flawlessly as I do them while simultaneously saying “f**k it, I’ll get it when I get it.” A bit paradoxical, sure, but it works for me.
Start With This ONE Thing
Pick up Sifu David Peterson’s Siu Nim Tau Seminar DVD set and watch it once per week for one month. Practice your SNT set daily (which you should be doing anyway!) and while doing it, don’t try to remember what was said on the DVD; there is a shit-ton of material on it, all of it immensely valuable. Just focus on the idea of improving a bit more each day; make your elbows a bit tighter to the body, put more intention in your palm strikes, maintain a sense of tension in your inner thighs while sitting in your yee jee kim yeung ma stance, etc. Conversely, when you watch the DVD, don’t try to think about performing the set in your head; just listen and absorb what is being said. Later, your subconscious mind will go to work linking your muscles and your mind.
Is it going to take awhile? Sure.
Will it be frustrating at times? You bet.
Will it happen overnight? Hell no, but just like one of my favorite quotes that I began this rant with…
If you aren’t willing to fight for it, you don’t deserve it.
Train Smart, Stay Safe