JOURNAL NOTES

Normally I pick a specific topic and write about it in detail, but this week... I thought I'd take mental notes of my training in the past and share it with you, and hopefully you can relate to it.

One of the difficult things regarding wing chun, is actually saying specific periods in time.  In other words, often I've mentioned that, when you focus on improving, its not the same as saying, I'm gonna get into shape within the next month, or lose 5 lbs in 2 weeks...It just doesn't work that same way in the world of wing chun.  Actually, the old saying, when it happens, it happens, really is the case more often then not. You'll be working on something for 1 week, or several months, hoping to get it right, and then one day, you wake up and you can just do it.... 

The punch - It doesn't take that long to be able to make your punch into a gun.  But to really understand the punch took me about 2 years.......The fact is, everyone knows when you can finally explode the punch.   And you'll feel good about it.  But only you'll know when you can actually pull the trigger to launch that punch.    Just remember this little saying, there's a difference between the ability to launch a punch to get into a fight compared to launching a punch to end a fight.

Patience - Like with all things in training in wing chun, time is no guarantee for results, and patience is no difference.   You'll need this,  to survive your training... no one ever quit wing chun coz it was physically exhausting, but mentally taxing.....

Speed of improvement - We live in a google world, and everyone always wants thing here and now... And while you can't do that when you want true skill... the secret is simple.  All foundation work has to be solid, if you understand that and constantly work on it, you'll became better, faster, and improve quicker then anyone else.  When I first started, i can't say i  really knew that as a fact, but I did one thing that made all the difference.  I always listened to sifu.  Till this day, i have not gone above his criticism and still demand that he says what's on his mind regarding what i do in the art.  As a result I was able to improve so quickly.

The gift - Often times people will say, wow, that guy just has the skill.... and people will often believe that... You hear that with athletes allot that he's got that god given skill.. But the reality is, that has very little to do with becoming good in the art. People ask me, how did you improve quickly.  And the answer was simple, I wanted it badder then anyone I've ever known.... everyone has their reasons, but I wanted to be beyond skilled in wing chun...

Like everyone else - The stuff running through your head in training i believe goes through everyone else whose serious........ how do you deal with kicks, how about muscle, what do you do if you get taken to the ground, what if the guys bigger... If these sound familiar i too asked the same questions and got the answers needed..... Sometimes, the answers you get aren't exactly what you want to hear, but in the end, its the truth and if you practice you can do it...... so.....in the same order that i just written.... you move in, don't let muscle have ground to be used on you neutralize it, stand up, just attack his center.....

Finally - if your lucky enough to find a master, time does fly by.....eventually they to will go...So, live by  that motto, and don't waste your time when given the chance.....

Detachment -  This is probably the most difficult to talk about, since its not so set in stone with how you actually learn it... But after giving it some thought... detachment starts not at the end of your training but from day 1 at the same time when you learn  the stance.  Detachment has nothing to do with not caring, but letting go when the time comes....They dont' teach this in sports, as you can see from the likes of Favre and Jordan, and many others who have had a difficult time leaving the game, but if you understand that wing chun is simply a tool, and not the main focus, you'll understand then the further meaning of detachment.

The first lesson that sifu ever said that came out of his mouth was refine the heart... i remember it so clearly back in 95 when i first met him at Degeberg.  While its great to say, often in training this doesn't have any meaning till the later stages of your development.    Now with more understanding, while I've always mentally new what he said, I finally understand it and find myself working on that aspect more so then the actual art itself.  I believe everyone eventually gets to this stage, and when your skills are exceptionally high you then end up focusing on it ever more. 

Written by Sifu Ed Cruz
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