Recent conversations about why I practice Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu (pronounced “Wing Chun”) have lead me to make the same statement: “Kung Fu has helped me with a lot of things in my life, most of which aren’t about fighting.” But isn’t fighting what Kung Fu is all about?
Recent conversations about why I practice Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu (pronounced “Wing Chun”) have lead me to make the same statement: “Kung Fu has helped me with a lot of things in my life, most of which aren’t about fighting.” But isn’t fighting what Kung Fu is all about? That is the reason I went to a martial arts school to begin with; to learn how to fight, defend myself, and build my confidence, the usual things that inspire most sensible people to do martial arts today. Since then, the purpose behind keeping up my practice has evolved and matured with me in ways I didn’t expect.
The principles of the physical practice have worked their way into my approach to everyday life situations. This is basic human nature, to figure out a pattern that works and find ways to apply it elsewhere. Two principles that have stood out in this sense are Relaxation and Facing. Relaxation is a process that increases a person’s awareness and their ability to react in the most efficient manner. Through diligent practice, the Ving Tsun system helps one realize what those actions are and how to make them second nature responses. Facing means exactly that, engaging one’s opponent straight on. There is a proverb for this, “Hand against hand, foot against foot, there is no unstoppable technique.” Applying these theories has helped me emerge victoriously from the physical confrontations I’ve been faced with since I started training. In everyday life, I’ve taken this approach to other types of challenges, like facing fears, conquering a difficult college class, or focusing and furthering my career goals. The discipline that I’ve developed from the practice has made me better at keeping a cool head and a full-on engagement. Among others, I have found these methods of approach to be common themes in my successes.
Evolving my attitude towards overcoming obstacles was not what I had in mind when I first stepped into the school. I didn’t really foresee it having such a positive influence on my success in life outside of the school, besides winning fights. What I did see when I first met my Sifu was an ordinary man, someone who I never would have suspected to be a Master of Kung Fu. I didn’t feel any confrontation or as though anyone had anything to prove. As he explained the basic ideas of the system and showed me the nature of the practice, it seemed very succinct and logical. The atmosphere that has been created at the school (now at 1324 W. Main Street) is conducive to the development of the aforementioned ideas, and helps students incorporate them into practice. There are people to work with at many skill levels, from 20 plus years of martial arts experience to complete beginners. There are people from all walks of life as well. This variety of perspective and approach makes for a unique environment that is ripe for the exchange of ideas, both verbally and non-verbally. However, all of these people share the common goal of improving themselves. After all, martial arts are about self-preservation and betterment.
This is an interesting time for confronting new things. With the new year under way many of us are seeing potential for some big changes on our horizons and are already feeling the effects of these coming shifts. Being aware of this as you come to experience the happenings of 2010: you can either Face and embrace them, or you can grapple and struggle with them.
Be on the look-out for future articles with further discussions about the artwork of Grand Master Moy Yat, and a conversation with the Masters who teach here in Richmond.
1324 W. Main St.
Richmond VA 23220