Commitment and the Paths

In each class that I teach in one way or another, I’m trying to recreate an experience that I had as a student of WingChun. But other than the talent of the instructor or that of the student’s, there is a path that the student has a choice to either partially go down or go down in totality. That is to say a practice in body, mind, and spirit. A lifestyle if you will.

I’ve heard it said that a good teacher, above transmitting information, creates an optimal learning environment. It is up to the instructor to invite you on a path. But it is the choice of the student; how far they would like to delve into the path. Now, before I make this sound like I’m trying to get you to join some cult and drink the Kool-aid, understand what I’m really talking about here is involvement and commitment to yourself.

In this digital age, I find that commitment to something, or commitment to a practice  is scarce. Kierkegaard had something to say about this. Busy people “fill up their time, always find things to do,” but they have no principle guiding their life. “Everything is important but nothing is important.” To be everywhere is to be nowhere. It’s my opinion that we have never  been  more busy, stifled by choices, and frankly never been more unhappy.

Having the platform, and making the choice, to commit oneself is a very special thing. Even if you feel frustrated or your arms hurt a little bit from practicing, you are forging your will and committing yourself to something. You are making a deposit into the bank account that is your martial ability and fortitude. There are no short cuts here. Being a good WingChun practitioner takes hard work as does anything in this world that has any value. ‘Kung Fu’ literally means “hard work.”

So I cordially invite you on this path. But I can’t do it without you. I am only one part of this ecosystem that is our school. And your fellow students are also a part of this ecosystem. The more that you attend, the more spirit/focus/power/technical ability you exemplify, the more you give to your classmates. And……. The more you get back! The rising tide lifts all the ships.

One So I encourage you and I invite you to go down this path. I pledge my commitment. Dare to commit yourself. You are worth it.

Sihing Tom Richards

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