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5 Skills Students Need

Becoming a student in a kung fu school is exciting and scary at the same time. Exciting because you are going to start something that’s fun and maybe you always wanted to try but never had the opportunity until now. Scary because you never done anything like it before and have no idea what is expected from you as a student.

On becoming a student, there are 5 basic skills students need in order to become successful.

  1. PATIENCE - You must have the patience to realize that through the practice (time in) your body will be able to mimic those movements the others before you are doing. Your teacher knows best on what to correct and when. Asking questions too early in the game only confuses you more, unless it is a simple direct question like: in this move is my hand open or closed? To ask the teacher for an explanation or a demonstration of the new move before you are ready is one of those things in the school that is looked down at but no one really tells you. New students are sometimes so eager to get what’s going on that they forget that they are in class and need to pay close attention to the teacher. The best method on getting the kung fu is by trying to listen to the Sifu carefully when he or she explains it in class and keep trying to work on it until you get it. It is like creating a sculpture, at first it looks unidentifiable but over time it starts to take shape and become a work of art. Many beginners are afraid that if they practice wrong they will never be able to do it correctly. This is not true. Not practicing at all will make you never get it. You will be able to sharpen your skills the more you practice. After all repetition is the mother of skill.
  2. PERSEVERANCE - This is the ability to not give up and truly believe you will eventually get it. You just have to stick with it long enough to get it. Everyone started exactly where you are today, as a beginner. Even your Sifu was a beginner at one time and had to learn the same lessons you are trying to learn today. Sometimes the Sifu may take some time to explain and demonstrate the techniques for the students. This is where the student's perseverance is really needed. It is still the student’s responsibility to pay close attention whenever the Sifu is talking or demonstrating. There is an old saying that states “the student must steal the secrets from the teacher.” This means that the student must focus all his attention on what the Sifu is demonstrating in order to “steal” the moves, being able to pick up even the smallest detail in the Sifu’s movement. It is the students responsibility to pay that much attention that he can “steal the details” in the movements that the Sifu is demonstrating, hence “steal the secrets from the teacher.”