by Sifu Craig Robson

Guest Column

Gardening is a rewarding experience. One starts with a piece of ground and prepares the ground for planting. This involves a lot of work and repetitive actions until the soil is ready to receive the seeds and plants. There are pauses in the exercise of gardening. Once the seeds and plants are in the ground the gardener can leave the garden for a while to let it grow. But if the gardener leaves the garden too long weeds start to overcome the garden plants, eventually smothering them out so all the gardener’s hard work is can be for nothing leaving only the regret of wasted effort.

The best way to prevent a garden being overcome with weeds is regular weeding. Every few days during the growing season the gardener must spend some time tending to his or her garden to ensure that the garden crops have room to grow and are not squeezed out by the weeds. If the gardener leaves the garden too long it is a tough task to get rid of the weeds and save the garden – much harder and less productive than regular weeding and tending to the garden.

Kung Fu can resemble gardening. Getting to the point of being ready to learn involves learning and working “the basics”. Once you know the basics you are like a planted garden, ready to grow. But if you don’t train/practice regularly, during your “growing season” the knowledge you have acquired through hours of hard work can be lost and smothered out just like the plants in the garden.

If you leave your training for too long it’s a tough task to relearn the lost skills. It is much more effective to train regularly, not only to learn new skills and knowledge but to retain the skills and knowledge you already have.

With Kung Fu the growing season never ends; be a constant gardener!