Learning a new language or how to play a musical instrument is completely analogous to the process and methods of learning WingTsun™. The joy of learning and growing in these endeavors is in fact, the very “steam” which powers this train! As a guitar player, who has enjoyed playing for several years now, and still takes regular lessons, I am continually amazed at the infinite possibilities that can be realized. My limitations and struggles with the instrument come down to basically expanding my “vocabulary”, applying the underlying theory, and most of all, finding the necessary amount of time to practice. Time and how you chose to spend it, is always the critical factor in achievement and breaking new ground. In music, while there are countless modes and scales available to create melody, it is amazing how much music can be created with even a small amount of practical knowledge. The same is true for WingTsun™!
While it is universally accepted that Jimi Hendrix had a monstrous amount of technique at his disposal, it is even more amazing to note that practically all of his solos were comprised of his exclusive and imaginative understanding of two very simple five-note scales; the minor and major pentatonic. These scales themselves are very simple and somewhat dull if played straight, yet how he made use of these five notes in his arrangements and musical expressions was virtually limitless!
In much the same way, our WingTsun™ system offers us countless possibilities and solutions to various self-defense scenarios, if we are only willing to take the time to practice and consequently discover what is possible! When I first started learning WingTsun™, I like most of my peers would eagerly buy any magazine or book whose subject matter dealt with Kung Fu, and particularly WT, VT, and WC. I was always perplexed when the description of WingTsun™ read something like, “a relatively simple system comprised of three empty hand forms, a wooden dummy set, and two weapon systems.” Sounds so simple, right; something you can knock out in a few years! Really?
The good news is that it’s quite true that the benefits of learning WingTsun™ can be realized in a very short period of time. Even the most elemental and basic techniques and concepts can be immediately applied. The larger truth however, is that if you really want to be fluent in this “language”, you will have to invest more time than you previously imagined! The treasure is there for those who are willing to persist, stay the course, and dig deeper. This mentality is what separates people of common interest.
Like learning music or a new language, each of us has a different level of satisfaction. Some are very happy just to be able to play a few of their favorite songs, or be able to ask for the dinner check in a different language. That’s ok! But if your interest extends beyond the ordinary, you must be willing to dig deep and continually challenge yourself.
Our WingTsun™ vocabulary, like music and language is quite immense and profound! This presents a problem for those in a hurry who are more interested in quantity than content. Having knowledge of something and being able to freely apply this knowledge are two very different standards. As Grandmaster Leung Ting has said, “Learning is like rowing upstream; either you keep progressing or you drop backwards”. If you can learn to enjoy the process of learning for the shear enjoyment of it, the time will pass by quickly and the results will come sooner. I, personally, am never satisfied with my skills in anything, and will always take joy in my opportunity to take lessons and grow! Hasta Luego!