Adult Student’s Corner

by Sifu D’arcy Langois

Next time you are in the Kwoon, take a look at the wall above the mirrors where you will see four posters with the label, “Explore all of our Focus Points.” Kung Fu is undeniably a physical artform as we train our bodies to perform the various techniques in our curriculum. However, the physical side of martial arts is only one part of the picture, as martial artists are often encouraged to engage their minds in their training.

Enter our four Focus Points. Those posters are not just decorations meant to take up space on an otherwise empty wall, they are designed to encourage you to think about your Kung Fu training. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Focus Point #1: Rate Yourself on a Scale of 1-10.
“Is this the very best that I can do?” That is the question to consider when you think about Focus Point #1, but it shouldn’t just be a reflection of how you feel you are performing the techniques/forms, as there are many ways to rate yourself. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  1. Keeping Focus: How well are you keeping yourself in the moment? At the start of each class we perform a simple form of meditation in an attempt to bring our minds into the present, and focus on our training. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you keep your mind locked in on the class?
  2. Maintaining Intensity: How well can you maintain full intensity training throughout a class? Every activity we undertake during a class has some martial application to it, from training techniques, to holding stances. On that same scale, how well can you keep your intensity up through the course of a class?
  3. Attention to Detail: While learning new movements (in forms or techniques), how well do you remember the specific details? Every movement from a simple punch to a complex form, share a host of specific details. On the scale, how well do you keep track of those details?
  4. Flat-Out Trying: How well do you keep trying, particularly when things are getting difficult or repetitive? There are times in our training where you are being asked to do things that are extremely tough, or things that you have done before, and it can sometimes be hard to keep working at it. Again, on that scale, how well do you keep practicing the movements?

These are just a few things to consider when you are looking at Focus Point #1, and it is by no means a comprehensive list. I encourage you to rate yourself on a variety of scales, in a variety of classes, and to always try to be honest with yourself. Being able to keep your mind locked in on the question, “is this the best I can do?” is a great way to further the mental side of our Kung Fu training.

Explore all of our Kung-Fu Focus Points.