So my teacher/sifu asked me this Saturday to write a short essay as to why I want to learn kung fu to keep on file. He said usually asks students to do this when they first started but did not think we were serious enough at first so he asked us now:) Anyways the point of the essay is that he will ask us in the future to do the same thing we will be able to see how much our answers have changed and what direction our practice is taking us due to maturing in out art. So here is what I wrote:

Why do I want to learn Kung Fu?  Well ever since I was a young child I have been fascinated with the martial arts. Mostly due to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but honestly as children we have many interests and fads and even shorter attention spans. Therefore I cannot honestly explain this strange attraction other than to say I had a natural affinity to it.  That is not to say that it was easy for me or I was a natural. As a young kid I was full of energy but a little chubby and very inflexible. Through consistent training I learned that in martial arts and just about anything in life, being good at something takes a lot of hard work and time. Therefore martial arts showed me and/or gave me hope at a young age that you can do anything if you are willing to put in the work.

Fast forward to my college years I finally knew that what I was really interested in is kung fu. For some reason from all of the different styles/systems available out there the Chinese Martial Arts attracted me most for their’ aesthetics, variety, and long and sometimes often to fantasized history. Little did I know about internal vs. external, shaolin vs. wudang etc. etc. I got into contemporary wushu trained hard to train my body to endure the physical demands required of the routines but by the end of it all I realized that although training gave me discipline, and increased physical attributes. The movements felt empty and more dance like than martial in nature and the demand on the body was too much which meant a short competitive career similar to a gymnasts. So I got into a couple months at a JKD school, some time at a Muay Thai/ BJJ school still locking for the real deal and my niche in the martial arts world.

So it wasn’t until April 12, 2010 (I checked and found the old emailsJ) that I replied to a Craigslist add by chance looking for a training partner that I found you. What I learned in that first hour of meeting you was that I really didn’t know anything. I was really interested in knowing what you know and how it is that you knew it! I really like your philosophy and what you had to say that day and I can honestly say even though I wanted to be a better person and develop my self I really wanted to learn how to make my martial art functional so I did not want to feel like I wasted years of my life learning useless skills. All I can say that when I first began to train with you and Treet training was tough and I was definitely eating bitter. In the back of my mind I couldn’t help to think that I was a punching bag for your student. The more we trained and more importantly the more you talked to me as we often do after training at kung fu garage I can slowly see feel changes and how I was moving and reacting jut from all the sparring we were doing. I was stumped honestly. You opened my eyes to what true martial skill is and got me feeling, thinking, and moving using intent and trying to cultivate skill. I feel truly blessed to have met you and train under somebody who is so willing to teach openly without holding back. I can say today that my goals are not the same as when I first walked into the garage.

I feel that my goals are now to:

  • To train hard and maintain a high level of skill in order to be able to defend myself or loved ones should the need arise, now that my eyes are opened to what real kung fu is I want to be able to absorb as much as I can. I feel like I am just at the very beginning.
  • Preserve these training methods and art for the next generation or for those who seek the knowledge so that it does not fall into obscurity and disappear
  • Continue to not only develop myself physically but mentally and spiritually
  • Always continue to research, refine, and test myself on all levels body/mind/spirit

“If you wish to rule the country, first you must rule your own house. If you wish to rule your house, you must be capable of ruling yourself. The aim of exercising is not to subjugate (another) man, but to subjugate you. If you can subjugate yourself,  you will be able to subjugate others as well and be unconquered (by them). If you are able of conquering, others wouldn’t dare conquer you.” –  Jin Yi Ming

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