The Way of Kung Fu Much more than fighting!!
In these days of social media and YouTube masters and/or keyboard masters everybody has an opinion about what is the best fighting art or who is the best fighter. Often comments are made from behind a computer and most of the time if not almost every time they are made without knowledge and without respect.
Take into consideration that any fighter of any style that trains well can be a better fighter than another one from another style that trains badly. Any style doesn’t matter which one.
It is a useless discussion. If you feel the need to express yourself go into a ring and fight. If you want to fight in a ring it is a sport and you train differently than if you were training for self defence and neither of these ways is the same as The Way of Kung Fu.
I use Kung Fu as a term in general and it can be seen in this context as every art that has originated in one way or another from the Shaolin monastery. For the record also a doctor or any individual that has attained great knowledge and capability through long and hard work can be a Kung Fu master in their discipline.
The Way of Kung Fu
Kung Fu is hard work.
You cannot learn Kung Fu, you need to practise Kung Fu. The more you practise the better you will get. A Kung Fu Martial Artist trains everyday without exception. Basic movements are trained everyday, punches, blocks, kicks, forms, patterns, .. everyday even if you have been practising for 20 years. At an older age the physical training will be less and more spiritual training (I do not mean religious) will be done.
Kung Fu is a complete art.
You not only train physically but you train your mind as well. Through meditation and Qi Gong exercises you train your mind and body that is why Kung Fu Masters stay vital and keep increasing their capabilities because the internal development is not limited by their age.
Kung Fu is a way of life it is not a hobby.
You implement what you learn in your daily life. You learn to respect yourself and others. You seek peace and calmness in your actions and stay in control of your emotions in potential stressful situations. It is a lifelong learning process and you seek to be the best person you can be although you know that you will not achieve perfection. You try to stay humble and not have your ego take over, a common problem in Martial Arts in general.
Kung Fu is patience.
There is no goal in Kung Fu. There is no end. The road, your path is presented to you by your Sifu (teacher, instructor) but he/she will not walk it for you. You have to go your own way and sometimes you will get distracted and loose sight of your path but with the guidance and help of your Sifu you will get back on track. If you have the patience and the humility.
Kung Fu is fighting.
Make no mistake Kung Fu is fighting. It takes longer to practise an art like Kung Fu than it would to practise a fighting sport that is only intended for fighting and in the early stages the latter would become a better fighter faster. But in time and after a lot of practising the structure, the concepts will grow in your body and mind and you will become a great fighter. The techniques may sometimes look easy but are in fact difficult to master and only after many years of training are they really understood.
Kung Fu is health
Training Kung Fu contributes to your physical and mental health. In training everyday your joints, muscles, tendons, in short your whole body will stay fit and flexible. The stretches that are taught in Kung Fu are so important to train strength and flexibility and have proven for centuries to actually work.
Kung Fu contributes to vitality, through practising everyday you will be able to keep performing and your competence will keep increasing with age. You will stay vital at old age and be young of mind.
Kung Fu contributes to longevity because it also trains Qi Gong a traditional Chinese healing art.
Kung Fu is respect.
In modern society we have lost the feeling of respect towards others. If you see the comments that are made on facebook my stomach hurts. Treat others like you want to be treated yourself. In Kung Fu we respect our fellow students, we respect our teachers, we respect our students we never intentionally hurt one another. We are learning to become a beter fighter, a better person. We are not trying to be better than anyone else, we try to be better than yesterday.
Kung Fu is a lifelong journey that I hope many will make no matter what style you like to practise. Train hard, be humble and show respect in your actions. We set the example for the next generations, do not look at others, look at yourself and be the best person you can be, respect is earned and if you make a mistake learn from it and try to do better next time. Everybody makes mistakes all the time.
Have a great day!