I wish I’d thought about this when I was younger.
Instead of simply “turning up” for training… with a little extra time and focus I know you can accelerate your learning and get good at Wing Chun much, much quicker.
Here’s three things you can do to speed up the learning curve and get ahead FASTER:
Step #1: Pick a Kung Fu School with bigger drive & ambition
The other day I was listening to advice from a personal trainer who said “Pick a trainer who looks the way you’d like to look!” So if you want to be lean and ripped then go pick a personal trainer who’s lean and ripped.
Want to get massive, then go pick a personal trainer who’s massive.
Bottom line is, if you want to know where you’re going look at the people who are already ahead of you. So if you’re looking to become a Wing Chun Master and you’ve got a fat, out of shape instructor lacking in skill, then it’s highly unlikely they’re going to take you much further than they got — being fat and out of shape.
Of course there are exceptions. I’d never expect Emmanuel Steward to be better than the heavy weight boxers he coaches, at the end of the day his job is to make them better but he has a track record of success. Pick an instructor who’s either been there, done that or at least has a track record of producing skilled martial artists and instructors.
Make sure you invest your time in finding a school that’s not afraid to sacrifice a few sacred cows, changes things up and ensure that everything is progressive and for the benefit of the student improvement.
Step #2: Make sure you are surrounded by QUALITY training partners
You can have the best instructor in the world but if you don’t have the training partners to crank up the hours with… it’s going to be tricky. Imagine being a novice, brand spanking new and walking into a room full of senior students and Black Belts.
Training hard and pushing the limits. Intimidating, right?
Now think past the awkwardness and focus on how good those training partners are going to make you? You’ll never be allowed to get lazy! The people around you, their attitude towards training and ability to push you to your limits will get your progress faster than a speeding bullet.
Look around the training room and look at the people you’re going to be training with. Can they push you to your limits and get the very best out of you?
Step #3: Split your training: Drilling, Sparring and Conditioning
It’s very easy to turn every training session into a Chi Sau session or end up in a sparring session that looks like nothing other than a brawl. Or two cats in a bag — fighting.
Split your training sessions. The time spent drilling should be spent drilling. Don’t let it escalate into a brawl or fight. If you want to spar or fight — do that during the allocated session for sparring and fighting! Drilling time is drilling time. It’s where you repeat movements (and the movements in between movements) over and over again.
Only by drilling these techniques will you ever be able to apply them for real.
Then — when it’s time to spar — don’t always go 110% at it. Sometimes you have to play and take it easy. If you’re scared to get hit then you’re scared to try new stuff and so you’ll never be able to do anything than chain punch.
Spar light, try new stuff and don’t be afraid to lose. Leave the ego at the door and when you leave the training room you don’t talk about how you managed to do this, that or the other to Cannon Fodder Colin, because maybe… just maybe he was trying make a new technique work and it didn’t. So he kept trying and trying because eventually it will.
Final Thoughts on Getting Good at Wing Chun FAST…
It’s all about training.
Reading about, watching YouTube videos, thinking and talking about Wing Chun won’t get you better faster.
It’s about training and banging out the hours. Hours or drilling, hours of training your forms and your footwork and hours of practising with ever increasing amounts of pressure.
Matt Thornton wrote an amazing article on live training years ago. It’s still valid today and IMHO it’s the number 1 reason Wing Chun gets such a bad rep. Yes we have free training and chi sau competitions but we don’t do enough.
Which means we do it badly and then whack it on YouTube for the world to take the piss out of.
I’ve posted a video of Matt Thornton talking about ALive Training versus Dead Patterns.
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