Monday, 12 September 2011

Motivation, Goals and Basics

After returning home for the summer with Master Zhou's basics to work on, I've realised I've ignored basics in the past. Now is my time to go right back to the beginning and get everything right. Basics are definitely something that every martial artist needs to train everyday, the bread and butter. Not only do they give you the correct body mechanics, but a serious session of repetition of basics, say doing Yi Bu San Chui (one step three punches) 100 times full power, 10 minutes horse stance, bow stance, stretches, kicks etc will leave you exhausted with every single muscle blasted. I've found loads of subtleties in the movements I had never thought of, a myriad of possible applications just from the most simple of movements.

The difficult thing is motivation. Forcing myself day after day to go through the same routine of the same endless amount of repetition of the same movements is boring, tiresome and horrible. But after a period of time I've started to feel the benefits. My body feels stronger, more powerful, my applications more natural and my forms smoother and nicer.

The only way I've managed to get through, is to set strong goals. Some days I get lazy, I feel like what's the point, I've done this so many times already! The only thing I can do is to remind myself of my goals and push myself through. Needless to say, I feel so much better than the days I give into my laziness, when I feel guilty and sluggish.

After all, this is the meaning of the very word kung fu. In ancient times kung fu wasn't the name of a martial art, it was an accomplishment of skill. Kung fu meant to have attained a high level through perseverance, through decades of training and refining; whether it was to make teapots, paint pictures, sword fight or even to cut vegetables, kung fu was an attainment. Through my constant training and refining, I have come to appreciate people who dedicate them to any skill, people who have that obsessive desire to perfect something. Kung fu is like a sculptor who chips away at the wood everyday, to reveal the beauty within; it's not adding on, but refining and discarding the roughness in your bodies movement.

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