Be Your Own GURU: One Simple Change To Make Wing Chun Training Twice As Efficient and Practical

The only thing that separates success from failure in defending oneself is the ability to take ACTION and apply the knowledge that is in your head.

Internet entrepreneur and social media phenomenon Gary Vaynerchuk consistently calls the majority of people who listen to his podcasts, read his books and follow him on social media “students,” not “entrepreneurs.”

Why does he say that?  Because they read, plan, strategize, journal, make dream boards, order another book, listen to 7 more CDs, write their 10 year goal list and read some more…but do not GET GOING.  They do not ACT.

A survey was done that found out 90% of folks who invest in a self-help product such as a book or CD set never even begin using it, and of the 10% who do start, 90% of them never finish reading or listening to it!  Whats’ more, out of the 10% who do finish the book or CD set, 90% of them do not implement what they have learned into their lives.  Once they have the course or book in their hands or on their shelves, this is where most people stop.

Makes no sense, right?  Wrong.

When you understand the human mind it makes perfect sense.

The life cycle of improvement for the majority of the population works like this:

  • some guy or gal is unsatisfied with an aspect of his or her life
  • they get all fired up and decide to make a change
  • they buy a book or invest in a course which promises them results they seek (with the disclaimer in fine print reading “if action is taken” )
  • They bring the book or course home
  • NOTHING happens

Why is this?  And if this is true, why is the “self-help” section of any Barnes & Noble so hopping?

Here is why 99 out of 100 people from that survey I referenced above do not get the results they seek from the products they have invested in: the act of buying the book or ordering the course satisfies the need to improve his or her situation; it is as if the book or course was a rabbits foot or “magic talisman” on their shelf…until the “warm fuzzies” wore off and he or she begins to feel those same feelings of discontent and helplessness again.  So what do they do?  Head out and get another book or CD set!  Feeling empowered, the cycle repeats itself again.

I can attest to the validity of that survey – because I did it! Over and over and over again.  After researching this aspect of our behavior as humans and more importantly, getting in touch with myself I can see it so clearly now.

I find it truly sad-in the most non-judgmental and loving sense of the word-to see so many people at a Panera Bread or Starbucks reading the latest guru’s book, since I know that so many of them will never change their lot. As I stated above, I can empathize because this has been me on several occasions.  I guess I was lucky enough to have a bit of an epiphany.

My turning point?  Once I DE-focused on comparing myself to others and RE-focused my mind on why I am putting in all of this time training to begin with, I began to break the cycle and my confidence grew as I took more action.

Applying a taan-da block and strike in a full-speed setting. Even in training, this can be a dangerous scenario. I told my partner to swing full-force. Even though I knew where he was aiming for this drill, the intent and speed was still on the strike. If I did not react accordingly and with full commitment to action, I’d have gotten my bell rung.

The $10,000 Library and the Deluxe Toolbox

As the old sayings go, walking into a library doesn’t make you a genius, walking into a gym doesn’t make you healthy and that $900.00 top of the line Craftsman brand toolkit does no good if it sites on the shelf.   The deluxe toolbox is of no use if you never build anything with it. You can read all the books on building a bookshelf, watch YouTube videos, purchase top shelf tools, join the Handyman Club BUT until you get in the workshop and fuck up and learn and fuck up again and adjust you will never EVER build that shelf. Once you build that first shelf it is one hell of a lot easier to build the next one. The first one is the hardest.

If you really want to change- and I mean REALLY– then you eventually reach a point where the only thing that satisfies you is acting on information you have poured into your head.

Be Your Own GURU

My student and friend “Jim” whom I mentioned in a previous post has a saying that I have basically stolen and made my own-hey, that’s a hell of a compliment.  He always says that rather than admiring this person or that person that you should “be your own sports hero.”

He also hates Bruce Lee so we enjoy going back and forth about that, as I grew up admiring Bruce Lee and although my admiration for him has shifted from a form of idol worship to the way one appreciates a philosopher or artist, for example, the way a composer would admire Bach or a painter would Picasso, I enjoy giving Jim shit about it.

More sage advice from my buddy “Jim,” who happens to be the one being thrown in this pic. The only way to be your own hero is through taking focused, consistent and committed ACTION.

Be you own GURU; act on the info you know. Just like the bookstore analogy above, I believe in feeding your mind with good info but at some point it should only serve as a reminder of what you already now and are acting on.

Chang and Eng’s Lesson

The keys to increased skill through training are CONFIDENCE and ACTION.  The two are not unrelated.  They are like Chang and Eng, the original Siamese wins I saw last week on the Discovery Channel.  In our Wing Chun training, confidence and action are symbiotic: they reinforce each other through growth and development, and a lack of one can and will kill the other.

Chang and Eng Bunker, the original Siamese Twins (and yes, that is where the term comes from).  These guys are my new mascots for Confidence and Action in my Wing Chun training, as each one is either mutually beneficial or fatal to the other.

3 Ways to “Turbo-Charge” Your Wing Chun Training Immediately

Our Wing Chun training is no different.  The key to making Wing Chun work for you lies in how you practice and implement what we work on every class or training session.  Here are a few shortcuts you can begin to integrate into your training starting today:

  • Seek to understand the combative aspect of whatever you happen to be working on.  For example, approach your forms training with the eye of picking out specific self-defense moves within their structure or framework.  Pay particular attention to the body mechanics of each specific move; that is what you need to download into your muscles and your brain’s hard drive.  One of my favorite ways to train this is to pop in a DVD of one of the Wing Chun forms and watch it from an analytical point of view, as if I am a cop studying surveillance footage for clues, seeking a correlation between how the form moves and the reality of a self-defense application.
  • Focus on how you move.  Don’t just muddle through the stepping drill or the second form.  Keep those inner thighs tense and pliable like a bungee cord or rubber band.  When it comes time to explode on some shit-bag who attacks you you will need all of your force working together not only to attack the centerline but to move back if need be or to cut an angle.  If any of the moving parts are off, your whole structure is off.  If your structure is off, you best get it back quick or else you will be flopping around like one of those cranes with a broken wing I saw last week on Animal Planet.  Guess what-shit didn’t work out too good for them.  Again, this is another area where watching a DVD yields great benefit, since by watching the DVD you are programming into your mind just how the body is meant to work
  • NEVER approach Chi Sau with the mentality of a sparring match.  Now you are probably thinking,”wait a sec-did I just read that right?”  Yeah, you did.  Why?  Because when I see people approach chi sau training like a sparring match the following things always happen:  people lean forward, rock back on their heels, sway from side to side like some bad Neo-from-The Matrix-shit, move on their tippy-toes like Fred Flintstone bowling and deviate so far from the centerline their arms look like they are driving a school bus just to get a “hit”in.  Now since in sparring the aim is to hit and not get hit, people begin to lean, rock back, press forward, all the same crap I just said  before to also avoid getting hit.  The result is a sloppy flailing around that anyone who is remotely dialed in to FORWARD PRESSURE and centerline focus will be licking his lips like a wolf at a pork chop.  Chi sau should be assertive and have a measure of aggression but it should be forward pressure based and structurally tight.  If something doesn’t conform to either of those 2 core principles, screw it.  Let them come to you and expose where they want you to hit them-don’t try to draw anything out of them at the expense of your own structure.

Why is this last one so important?  Once the structure isn’t compromised then all of their vital targets are open for you to attack!

I have to always reinforce these  reminders to myself- then I must ACT on them.

Reduced to simplest terms in my own noggin: Get Clear, Get Focused and Get GOING.

I think you’ll be pleased with the results soon enough.

 

Train Smart, Stay Safe

Sifu Bobby

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