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?”
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!