WKFA Instructor Anne Vandrus

Sifu Anne Vandrus

Youth Student’s Corner

On May 13th, I got to congratulate our six newest black sashes on all their hard work. It was amazing to see the spirit from all those who graded, but what I found most inspiring was all the time those individuals put in leading up to that day—particularly from those who started their Kung Fu journey as kids.

I think it’s really special to grow up with Kung Fu—where you learn and grow as a person at the same time as you learn and grow as a marital artist—and like any long journey, it’s really tough. Since we now have quite a few black sashes who began their journeys young, I decided to ask them for any words of wisdom they’d like to share. Having started their own Kung Fu journeys as kids, here’s the advice they have for our current Youth students:

Sifu Liam, started at 5 years old (as a Little Ninja!): “No matter what, don’t give up on your goals, and always aim as high as you can in order to achieve these goals. Try your hardest at everything you do, no matter the difficulty, in order to make yourself a better martial artist.”

Sifu Serena, started at 5 years old: “Don’t always focus on an end goal in Kung Fu. Think of it as a journey and enjoy it, make friends, learn new things and challenge yourself. There is no time limit.”

Sifu Jeremy, started at 6 years old: “Always look up to the leadership team members and instructors above you. Follow this path and you will succeed on your Kung Fu journey.”

Sifu Sammy, started at 6 years old: “Don’t get discouraged if you don’t learn anything new for a while. Take it as an opportunity to practice your older forms and technique—it will only make your Kung Fu better!”

Sifu Ryan, started at 7 years old: “Push yourself until you think you can’t go on, then push further. You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish with proper attitude.”

Sifu Anne, started at 7 years old: “Don’t let your difficulties or failures beat you up—they teach you the best lessons, they make you stronger, and they’re just one more step on your path to great things.”

Sifu Spencer, started at 8 years old: “Just take it one step at a time instead of looking at it as a destination. The journey is just as important as getting to the “end!”

Sifu Sarah, started at 8 years old: “Don’t be afraid to answer questions with the wrong answer; you aren’t the only one thinking that and no one will remember a wrong answer two minutes later anyway.”

I hope you took away some thoughts and ideas to help you on your Kung Fu journey. As a black sash, I’m still learning and being inspired by my classmates! We’re all on this journey together.