I have been practicing martial arts for over four decades, and for more than 30 years I have been teaching Chinese martial arts on a full-time basis to a multitude of people from different walks of life. During my teaching career I have continued to expand, enhance and refine my own knowledge by endeavoring to learn from different teachers. And although I have a few principal teachers, many other masters have influenced my martial arts training. I am grateful to all of them for sharing their arts and experience with me.
One of my teachers, Grandmaster Leung Shum, who has taught me Eagle Claw Kung Fu and Wu Style Tai Chi, says that I am “Kung Fu Crazy.” Well, I can definitely say that I am very passionate and dedicated to the arts.
I find my own practice to be exhilarating. The experience of continuing to learn is extremely fulfilling. Learning, at a certain stage, is no longer about gaining new knowledge. Rather it is about refining and nurturing the special bond that exists between student and teacher.
In teaching my own students, I am meticulous and demanding but I never ask anything of students that I know they cannot perform. I view each student as an individual who is psychophysically unique from all others and I challenge that student to raise his or her own expectations.
Each student is drawn to the school for different reasons and needs. But to accomplish what your inner self sets you out to do requires patience, discipline and perseverance. There is a saying that “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” However, the teacher is not a magic wand; it is time and practice under the teacher’s careful guidance that produces the desired results, the results you came to seek.
If you come to the school with preconceived ideas and unrealistic notions, you set yourself up for failure. If you are sincere about learning you must first empty your cup of old ideas and static thinking.
For over 40 years I have been walking the martial arts path and yet each time I train with one of my teachers I empty my cup. The statement that “Knowledge has a beginning but no end” is very profound. I am still walking the path; won’t you join me?