Honor Dedication and Respect
The words in the title all intend and hold within a common theme of positivity, virtue. As a teacher, coach or mentor it is imperative that these values are instilled unto your student especially where the skill being taught holds knowledge that could potentially end or take a life.
This title or mandala is posted in bold type style on the website I created for my kung fu organization, the Pacific Wing Chun Kung Fu Association. The words hold special meaning and remind me of the many hours spent with my Sifu Alan Bak Fu Vasquez and Kung Fu Brothers working to understand and apply all the technique within the Wing Chun Kung Fu System.
I was blessed to have found a mentor in Sifu Bak Fu he truly cared enough to help us understand and made sure we worked hard at every technique we were taught. I spent a little over four years training at Orange County Wing Chun Kung Fu Association, and I am honored to have met and trained with some of the finest martial artists today.
I consider it a great Honor to be a part of my Kung Fu family which extends to our mother association in Hawaii via the Hawaii Wing Chun Kung Fu Association headed by Sifu John DiVirgillio.
The time spent studying a martial art or any skill based activity requires some degree of dedication, but in the case of Wing Chun Kung Fu there is no substitute for the dedication you need to put into studying and practicing this Kung Fu style.
In ancient times the perseverance one needed to have just to even become a student at many kung fu school was a testament to the prospective student in regards to their resolve or dedication to learn. This helped the Sifu make decisions on who to admit and give this knowledge to and who was not worthy.
Life in these times were a little more cut and dry in the fact that if you were in a fight or struggle, it could mean one lost life. Respect was paramount where study of the martial arts was concerned. Training was also very serious, students dedicated themselves to study, having and holding respect for the art, their Sifu and for themselves. Respect was demanded in all aspects within the training. If a student didn’t show proper respect or dedication to their training they were removed from the kwoon or worse they died due to the course of their actions.
Today’s students and practitioners are held to a much lower standard if any standard at all, due to the attractive monetary gains to be had. There are also paid advertisements where they expound anti-hate , or anti-bully campaigns, wherein a true martial art or kung fu system would hold their students and practitioners to these base ideals.
As martial arts came to be popular in the late 60’s and into the 70’s these positive ideals were intact and true to these ideals, which produced many of the great martial artists of today. Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Bill Wallace, Jim Kelly, Wally Jay, Ed Parker, Mas Oyama, and Morihei Ueshiba to name a few either created their own style of martial art or influenced the world with their mastery and dedication to the martial arts world in general. These true martial artists held themselves and their students to the highest of standards.
In my training it was instilled that respect was paramount, and being a good student was my job when in stance. It was within the first lesson where we were taught this ideal. Respect for our Sifu, the art, our fellow students and for ourselves.
For those whom were dedicated in training and whom progressed through the ranks it became clear whom honored these base ideals.
It is an Honor to have had the opportunity to study under my Sifu whom I respect and hold in the highest regards, and with a few my Kung Fu Brothers whom to this day I consider close family.
At some point every teacher of martial arts come to an important crossroad, where they are transmitting a skill-set or knowledge which only few are worthy to possess to running a business where these ideals are bypassed for the sake of a dollar.
Dedication to your art, and students is paramount, uphold our Sifu’s teachings with honor, and respect yourself, your Sifu and your fellow student no matter where your particular art come from. This is the Tao or Way of a true Martial Artist and a true Kwoon or Martial Arts School.
Train Hard, Be Well, and Much Respect!