Excerpt: Don’t Compare Yourself…

It’s difficult to find realy good books on the basics of Kung Fu. Here is an excerpt from one by noted teacher Paul Eng entitled simply KungFu Basics.

Do not compare yourself with others with regard to speed of learning or skill. People differ in how they learn and how fast they learn. Some people need a lot of time practicing alone, repeating the forms over and over until they have understood and memorized them; others learn quickly and are able to repeat the forms after only one or two demonstrations. You may find that you learn some kinds of movements very quickly , while you just can’t seem to catch on to others. Do not let this worry you. Neither be discouraged by slow progress, nor impatient and arrogant if you are learning quickly. In fact, learning slowly can be an advantage in the long run. Experienced sifus know that sometimes quick learners do not learn thoroughly. They catch on so fast that they feel they have mastered a movement before they have repeated it enough to really understand it. They are eager and seem ready to move on, but they are in danger of forgetting what they just learned as quickly as they picked it up. In contrast, slow learners are move likely to develop a solid foundation for  a good practice in the long run because they may have to repeat the movement hundreds of times in order to remember it. They don’t have confidence so they keep practicing, and that practicing builds muscle memory and well as skill. If you learn more slowly than others, accept the fact that you will not be able to perform many new movement perfectly the first time, nor even the second or third time. Eventually however, with perseverance you will achieve your goal—and your form will show the hours of hard work and effort you have put into it. If you learn fast, take care; look for details that might be escaping you.

2 Responses to “Excerpt: Don’t Compare Yourself…”

  1. Jonty Kershaw says:

    Well said, Sir.

    In my experience, the best students are the ones who do terribly in class, then go home and practice all week. I make it a point to tell my students that I’m one of those types myself: I’m slow, I’m clumsy and I’m flat-footed, but I’m still practicing.

  2. I’m the student who learned quick, in my zeal to learn what I was watching in the movies for so long. It took a lot of years to come to the understanding of foundational strength and correct body mechanics in movement practice. I would love to return to training one day in order to coordinate and refine it all. I’ve received a lesson from master Eng from the grave! Gratitude to plumpub.com for the excerpt and condolences to the family of Master Paul Eng.

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