How Do I Get Better at (Blank) Anyway?

I was going to write this blog about wing chun specifically. but then I realized it could be applied to anything. However, I will still use wing chun as an example.

Some time ago I was practicing chum kiu (wing chun’s second form) in class. This is the form that introduces kicks. Mine felt very weak, as if I wouldn’t even be able to knock down a five year old with them…not that I would ever TRY to do that, but I hope that sentence helps you to understand just how bad my kicks felt. Anyway, I went to Sifu for advice about the issue.

“Sifu, my kicks suck,” I said. “What can I do to get better at them?”

His answer?


And that was all he said. It’s all he HAD to say. There are many things in life where, if you want to get better, the answer is simply, “You have to practice.” This holds true of my other two biggest passions in life: writing and playing guitar. You will find there is NO magic bullet to get better at these things; it just takes time and effort.

I think the reason the answer is so frustrating is because I’m asking the wrong question. What I really want to know is not HOW I get better, but WHEN. However, I think that answer could be just as irritating. I can hear it now.

ME: Sifu, when will I get better at kicks?
SIFU: It depends.

So we are now up to a three-syllable answer (up one from “practice”), but it’s no less annoying!

I think the key here is that I need to learn to just let go of this worry. Forget about getting better and just enjoy doing it. Don’t be so self-conscious about improvement. Then before I know it, the day will come when I step back to look at what I’ve done, and I will realize, “Holy cow…I’m a MILLION times better than the last time I checked!”

Excuse me while I go put that theory to the test!


About Steve Grogan

I am 40 years old, divorced, and a father of four kids. I am a practitioner of a self-defense system called wing chun kung fu. My other hobbies include writing, playing guitar, reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Recently I have gotten back into fitness, and this time I am DETERMINED to get the washboard abs...whether my metabolism will cooperate with me or not! The purpose of this blog is to write not only about my hobbies, but also about whatever crosses my mind, whether it is something I don't understand or something that aggravates me. So join me as I indulge my tendency to think too much about topics that don't usually cross anyone else's mind!
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