Book Introductory Class

Now

Now.  Now is the time.  Now is the place.  Now is the opportunity.  There is no opportunity later.  It is only now. 

This is the answer to any questions you might have about starting kung fu, continue your learning in kung fu, or anything else in life that you want to accomplish.  Now is the time to do it.  There will not be another opportunity.  Get it in when you can.

This past year has been full of things that remind me of this fact.  The most important of which was my son being born.  Another was of a Kung Fu Great Grand Uncle of mine Moy Bing Wah passed away.   

These two things really nailed down in my mind that there is no past and no future.  There is only now.  My son made me realize it because of the quickness that everything passes.  He is about to turn 1 year old.  During that year I have had to spend 2 weeks away from him and it was difficult.  But it was necessary.  I helped me to settle in the fact that the time to hang out with him is now.  The time to be with him is now.  Life may take me away from him temporarily in order to make his life better in the long run.  But I will always come back and he knows that.  He knows that because I spend time with him now and as much as possible. 

The second event was the passing of Moy Bing Wah.  This man was a great man.  He was a direct student of my Legendary Sigong-gong Yip Man (aka IP Man).  He introduced Moy Yat to Yip Man.  He trained hard in Hong Kong.  He taught at the Moy Tung clan schools for a decade.  I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with him and I wish that I could have spent more time with him.  But the time I spent with him was more than enough for him to make a huge impact on me and my kung fu.  He continues to influence me even now and will do so in the years to come.   

The time is no longer there to spend with Moy Bing Wah, it is gone forever.  The time that I spent with my son this past year is no longer available.  I am so happy I was able to spend so much time with him and develop the bond that we have and that we will continue through his life. 

So there is something you want to do.  Do it.  Do it now.  Don’t talk about, don’t think about it.  Do it NOW!

Train kung fu.

Analyzing The Details

Every little detail in Kung Fu can and should be analyzed.  The smallest detail might have the most information, or the even absence of a detail might mean the biggest thing. 

Kung Fu has many benefits that will translate into your everyday life.  One of the major benefit’s is the ability and inclination to analyze the details of everything.  This is a double edged sword though, particularly when coupled with human being’s natural inclination to focus on the negative.  It is a very easy thing to do because the negative always seems to have the most impact.  Actually, this is not true, it has the most impact in that moment; however, when looking at the long run the positive is always more powerful overall. 

As you progress in your training you will start analyzing the details of yourself.  First it will be the physical details, this is where it starts.   Obviously in the physical details you are looking for the bad and trying to correct it.  You look at your elbow and work on pushing it more onto centerline, you look at your horse and you work on sinking deeper, you look at your spine and work on keeping it straighter.  You are always looking at the “negative” or what is wrong.  Then later in your training you will begin to turn that study of detail inward.   The natural tendency is to focus on the bad or negative aspects of yourself.  This is what you have been doing for years in the study of kung fu and it has worked.  You now have a good foundation of kung fu.   

This is where you need to be careful.   If you are going to analyze the negative parts of yourself, then you absolutely need to analyze the good parts as well.  When you accept the bad you necessarily have to the accept the good, otherwise you are missing the entire picture.  Also, it is not enough to just accept it, you must enjoy the good, enhance it even.  And give yourself credit when you fix the bad parts because now they are good or at the very least better, which is good.  This should start with the physical training in kung fu, when you develop your technique to a certain level, appreciate that technique and enjoy it.  Even if you have not perfected that technique that is okay, you can still enjoy the improvements you have made up to that point. 

So when kung fu imparts it’s habit of studying the details be aware of the snags that it may cause and avoid them.  Always remember to accept the good with the bad and enjoy them both.  For in truth, they are one in the same, there is not one without the other.  Yin/Yang.

Obstacles

Life sometimes gets in the way.  Which isn't a bad thing, it just is.  It gets in the way of things that you want to accomplish.  That is okay and normal.  However, if you really want to work on or accomplish something then you have to make it a part of your life as well.  And it will get in the way of other parts of your life, and that is okay.  Life is about balance.  

There is a constant juggling of priorities. When one area of your life is being affected you have to pay to attention to it, more than normal.  That does not mean that you need to ignore everything else, which is the temptation. It means that you pay more attention to it, and maybe a little less attention to another aspect of your life.  

One thing is certain though, Kung Fu improves all areas of your life.  All you have to do is to let it. And of course train consistently.  

Inner Circle Students

An Inner Circle student has been a tradition of kung fu teachers for a long time.  It is a group of students who decide to they want to master the system, and who are willing to make a commitment, mainly to themselves, but to their Sifu as well.  They have been called, inner circle students, special students, or indoor students in the past.  It all means the same thing, they are close disciple's of their Sifu.

To a Sifu, when they teach a student, that student is the Sifu's student for life even if they decide to quit training or train some other style.  The Sifu always views that person as their student no matter what.  As a student, however, you do not have to accept the Sifu as your one and only teacher for life, until you want to and are ready to.  Becoming an Inner Circle Student is a way of announcing that intention of becoming a lifelong student of the system and to your Sifu.  Even though a Sifu will always see you as a student, no matter what, the Sifu does not have to see you or accept you as an Inner Circle student.  Sometimes the Sifu will put you through a test and ask you to do something for them, to see how serious you are about the request you are making because it is also a large commitment for the Sifu.  Once you become an Inner Circle student, the Sifu has agreed to teach you everything they know as you are ready for the information and as long as you keep up your responsibilities as an Inner Circle Student.  

To become an Inner Circe student, it is customary to give some Hueng Bao, and to let your Sifu know that this is your intention.  In the past, the process of becoming an Inner Circle student was symbolized by sharing a cup of tea.  We still sometimes do that in present day.  But it is a process, first you announce your intention to your Sifu, then you have to build a relationship of trust with your Sifu, then you have to maintain that relationship.  It is not so easy to do, although it is very simple.

So why become an Inner Circle student?  For one, when you know that you want to master the system is when you should consider becoming an Inner Circle Student.  Or if you know you want to teach it one day.  Some people join as a show of dedication to their Sifu.  Some people just want to get everything they can out of the system and this a way to do it.  Usually Inner Circle students get keys to the school, so that they can train at any time they want, and so they can become instructors.  

A student can join the Inner Circle at any time, however, the student should give this careful consideration. It is not for everyone.  It does involve extra responsibilities around the school and to the school, there is a commitment, and the Sifu will have some expectations for the Inner Circle Student.   The choice is the student's and you can attain a very high level of skill in the Ving Tsun system without becoming an Inner Circle Student.  But the people who join get to participate in and learn from "Kung Fu Life", which is a much more powerful way to learn and the way to true mastery.  I am an inner circle student of my Sifu, and my Sigung Moy Tung.

Growth

Kung Fu is about Growth.  

There is a lot to kung fu.  First is the fighting ability; that is what most people train it for, even though we may not use it for that reason everyday like the founders of the system had to do, we still learn it for that reason.  And you never know when something might happen.  With all the civilized aspects of the world we live in today there are still a lot of dangers and a fight could break out at any time.  Fighting is very easily the basis of survival.  Knowing when not to fight is powerful, but you also need to know when to fight and how to fight and it has to be second nature.   Ving Tsun can teach you this skill.

 But there is more to kung fu than just fighting.  Fighting ability is really the tip of the iceberg in kung fu.  Kung Fu can enrich your life like nothing else.  The amazing thing is that it is not even that difficult to learn and to do.  You just have to do it.  You may not feel like it sometimes, but you have to remove yourself from that mind set or emotion and just do it.  If you allow it, kung fu will open up the universe to you.  

To be completely transparent, kung fu is not the only thing that can do this for you, there are many ways to become "enlightened", but it is one of the very few if not only way to do that and to learn to be a great fighter at the same time.  It's your choice.  I chose Kung Fu.  What do you chose?

The Way I Teach

We always say in Ving Tsun, "Don't expect, don't compare." Everyone learns differently.  Some people will catch on to the physical movements quickly, some will understand the theory behind the movements quickly, some will understand the philosophies before anything else.  We all view the world differently.  I advance people when they are ready to be advanced, when they have enough of a foundation to progress to the next technique, drill, form, whatever it may be.  

The best way to learn is to figure it out on your own.  Too many people just give you the answers, most of the time it is better to work for those answers.  The truth is that the only one who can teach you is you, as a Sifu, I can guide you to the right answers, but that is all.  You have to do the work.  If I did just give you the answers it would actually be a disservice to you and to kung fu.  Figuring it out on your own will, will lead you to developing your own kung fu and possibly even improving upon kung fu itself.  Of course, you would have to train decades to even get close to being able to improve upon it, even then, it is a very well thought out system, so you would have to be as good or better than Yip Man himself to be able to make that kind of a change.

 The other reason that I teach this way is because I can tell you a million times the details of a technique, but until you perform the technique to the point you are comfortable enough with it to understand it, you will not get the detail. You have to put in the work.  

So when you are ready for a new detail, technique, drill, form, I will teach it to you.  All you have to do is to train enough to be ready for it.  

New Year's Resolutions

New year's is as good of a time as any to set goals.  You should really always have goals and benchmarks set so you can go over them and track them.  But why not start with New Year's?  The key to achieving goals is to stay consistent. If you do that then the only thing you need is time and you will accomplish whatever it is you want.  

The most sensible goal is one that can accomplish multiple things at the same time.  I can say, honestly, that kung fu has enabled me to accomplish every goal I have had to date.  It can help you as well, you only have to stick with it.  You will get as much and more than you put into it.  

Now I have goals for myself, my family, my kung fu, and the kung fu school.  I know I will complete them because of the kung fu I have trained and continue to train.  One of the goals I have for the kung fu school is to get enough students by the end of this summer, 2017, and to get an official location in Louisville.  So, come be a part of this with me, help yourself accomplish your goals and help the kung fu school grow and prosper as well.  It can change your life.  All it takes is focus and time.  

Chum Kiu Season

This Holiday Season is, also, Chum Kiu Season.  For some reason every holiday season I feel like working on Chum Kiu.  Maybe it is the colder weather making me want to sweat more, maybe it is the vast amount of food that makes me want to be more active.  Or maybe, there is a season for every form, maybe certain techniques work better during certain time frames...

Regardless, it feels good to do Chum Kiu during the holiday season.  There is a lot to be said for listening to your body or listening to your gut.  To do so you have to become more aware, to become more aware you have to relax more.  Relaxing is one of the 3 Principles of Ving Tsun (Wing Chun).  It is one of the most important aspects of kung fu, also one of the most fun to enjoy and work on.  It's harder than you think, but it's still easy.  Just relax.  

Enjoy your Holiday Season, get lots of rest & relaxation, and if you know Chum Kiu, play it a lot.  If you don't, then come in to Kung Fu of Louisville and learn it.  Happy Holidays!