When learning something new, a question you might ask yourself is: Who am I? Am I somebody who can adapt? Am I somebody who strictly and narrowly identifies themselves as a football player, badminton player, mathematician, teacher or is your identity subject to some small modification.
We have had some prospective students come to us who said they had doubts about what they had learned elsewhere or have otherwise been vaguely dissatisfied with previous training. They might have read about Wing Tsun or Wing Chun and taken in the blanket statements about this and other martial arts and, perhaps, taken them to heart. Among the perceptions, statements and categorizations out there are:
- Wing Tsun, Wing Chun is a martial art only for smaller, weaker individuals.
- One should study a martial art that more closely fits your unique physique.
- Wing Tsun, Wing Chun is a martial art that has no ring fighting application,
- Korean martial arts are just good for kicking.
- Wing Tsun, Wing Chun has no worthwhile kicking techniques
- …and it is too technical.
- Jiu Jitsu is just grappling.
- Wing Tsun, Wing Chun is ‘simple.’ To learn?
- Wing Tsun, Wing Chun has basically only one type of punch.
- It uses only the close-up range in fighting and
- …it has no grappling or anti-grappling techniques.
- Taller people should naturally gravitate to long-range martial arts.
- Tai Chi is primarily for old folks.
- Shorter people should study a martial art that emphasizes hand technique.
- Wing Tsun, Wing Chun does not have a powerful punch.
- MMA is the only reality fighting.
- Chinese martial arts are too fancy and not practical for fighting.
- Filipino martial arts are just for weapons skills.
The above internet statements are basically the opinions of the people who write them. There is nothing fact-based about these statements. They are neither true nor untrue.
In studying a martial art, what is important is what you believe about yourself. If you can adapt or disconnect yourself from what could be some limiting beliefs and you believe you could benefit by training in a particular martial art, that is the most important thing. One’s beliefs and self-perceptions make more of a difference that what somebody else thinks.
If you believe that you are an unhealthy person, ill-health may follow you for as long as you hold onto that belief. If you believe you are a successful person, you will begin to realize that in reality. If you believe yourself to be a failure, that may become your reality.
If you want to change what may be a limitation, one must take action. Action is the other key and has to be followed by each step in a choice to move ahead or make a change. This action might tell you, “Who am I?”
-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg