Learning Traditional Martial Arts

Learning Traditional Martial Arts

What do you consider learning?
Do you only feel like you are learning when being shown new techniques?
How do you value instruction and practice on the refinement of kung fu techniques, basics and movements that you have already been shown before?

Training in Kung Fu provides and exciting pathway of learning because of a graded syllabus and a constant stream of “new” things to learn.

The problem is that, with this stream of ever developing techniques a student can become complacent at refining the Kung Fu they have already learned. Instead, focusing on always adding to the pile of kung fu forms or martial art techniques they have.

The student is then engaged in what I would call kung fu collecting.
When this happens the student has stopped focusing on the goal of being good at kung fu, and has replaced it with the goal of merely collecting sashes or forms as some sort of arbitrary gauge of their martial art ability.

Rather than, the gauge of their level actually being their ability.

Simply knowing a technique does not mean that it is being executed with a level of proficiency or that it has been practiced to a level where a student could actually use the technique in a self defense situation. Knowing and understanding are two completely different things.

As an instructor I see correction and refinement of technique as a much higher level of training and instructing. For me, in class, giving a student a correction or refinement on something they already know is what I am there for. Yes as a student you are always going to learn new things. But the difference between learning kung fu from a dvd or off some internet expert is the fact that you are getting personalised correction and feedback on the way you are executing your kung fu techniques. Every student comes to us with a unique personality, body type and ability and it is our instructors and my ability to help you achieve  the very best level of technique that serves you in your martial arts journey from a beginner to mastery.
Jow Gar Kung Fu is a very big system of martial art knowledge. In our syllabus there are over 50 traditional kung fu forms. So continual learning of new techniques should be tempered with gradual progression and refinement of forms and techniques that you already know.

“You do not get better at kung fu by learning new stuff, you get better at kung fu by practicing your old stuff” is something that students would have heard me say in class.

So if you feel disappointed when you are given corrections rather than taught something new. You are missing the point of having excellent instructors at your disposal. Anyone can do bad kung fu, can you apply yourself to do good kung fu?