Our TOP TIPS on the slippery slopes of Kung Fu training by Bennett Martin
Development in Kung Fu, Calisthenics or anything for that matter is always jam packed full of ups and downs, good days / bad days. One step forward, two steps back. In martial arts it’s 100% a physically and mentally demanding rollercoaster.
Learn things inside out!
The basics, foundation or fundamentals of a kung fu style / system can never be undervalued or overlooked. Most importantly, repetition is a key part of improvement.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 timesBruce Lee
Importantly, with this approach, you can immediately take full charge of your trajectory of growth. In a single technique / section or even a full syllabus. This is 100% essential in your basics.
Don’t Rush Your Kung Fu
As you take ownership of your journey it’s important to recognise a few points. These are from a personal view and gained over many years and different styles, you’ll maybe have a different opinion?
However, the principle probably remains the same.
Never put your self-development in the hands of anyone else
The dangers of Kung Fu feedback
- if given for ALL the wrong reasons
- coming from a place of egocentricity
It’s important in our journey that we take responsibility of how we process feedback. Filter out the rubbish. It’s a huge advantage to our arsenal.
The next and perhaps far more uncomfortable point is how you deal with affirmation / accolades (or the lack of them).
How you develop in this area will have a dramatic effect on your ability to continue to self-train in future.
This one is not easy. It takes courage, reflection and time.
As a result we hit ‘prime time’ of where the ‘snakes and ladders’ analogy comes into full force.
It’s a little complicated in that it has a potential to cause overthinking.
Moreover, as a developing practitioner you should have an understanding of your current abilities.
Know your Kung Fu operating system
You need to be as self-sufficient as possible and have a moderate sense of security in your own training program.
Primarly for those styles that don’t have a granular belt system or many different levels to attain. You could easily spend 20+ years at the same ‘documented’ level in some systems.
The closer you ‘zero in’ on what you want to gain from a drill / exercise, the more chance you have of BIG cumulative gains.
Don’t get duped by beginner scams either in Kung Fu or Calisthenics.
Get yourself a Kung Fu plan!
If you spend your whole time with the approach of thinking ‘I just want to be good at Wing Chun’, sadly, it’s unlikely you will.
Coming to a conclusion, this brings us back to good old ‘snakes and ladders’… somebody tells you a technique you’re doing is ‘good’ – a set of combinations is ‘good’. It’s natural to feel a sense of accomplishment, a buzz almost, some recognition of effort and your skills.
Impressed and validated your psyche and ego head up the ladder. You get used to praise and you keep climbing. Your training becomes fuelled by this.
Consequently, when any critique comes, you’ll wobble and ride your first snake.
Firstly, you dig in and work hard, positive affirmation still doesn’t come?
Am I ‘not good anymore’, or is it that the bar is now higher?
Frustration or despondency sets in and starts to negatively impact your progression.
You can see how that big snake is not too far away now. It has the damaging potential to let you slide right back to the ground.
Not Bad meaning Bad but Bad meaning GoodRun DMC
My point is that’s it’s vital to very literally take the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ with the same manner. Try not to be driven by postive affirmation alone.
It’s important to know how to motivate yourself too.
A tweak here and there, a gentle nudge in a direction, putting you happily back on your kung fu journey .
The backdrop to all this philosophical stuff is that words can be a huge power. They should be used appropriately, at the right time, for the right reasons.
Don’t get too hung up on the words or the affirmation itself.
Find your own groove
Your confidence will develop and sync with your ability.
You’ll find they will ebb and flow and importantly have a strange way of keeping each other in check.
Dodge the snakes and climb the right ladders, at the right time, for you.
You may want to jump in to a Calisthenics journey too…
For more information check us out on Youtube at ‘Inspire Through Actions Calisthenics’.