Youth Student’s Corner
by Chantal Moylan
In Kung Fu we should always try our hardest, even when we are tired or think the instructor isn’t watching (they are always watching). It shows discipline, respect, and it sets an example to everyone else around you. If even just one person tries to be the best they can, it will encourage others to do the same. Just remember your best might not always be the same as someone else’s best. Some of the easiest ways to show us you are trying your best is by doing the simple things, like having nice low stances and strong bows.
The bow is one of the most important moves in Kung Fu. It is a sign of honor and respect, which is why we always do it at the beginning and end of each class. There are different variations of the bow: the short bow, the long bow and the long bow for forms (with the double tiger claw double back fist and left look at the end). Often people rush the bow in their forms. Doing the bow as fast as you can doesn’t mean you are better, in fact, it’s actually better if you slow down and have strong stances and the correct hand formations (keeping your fingers together). You should always start and end all your forms with a nice strong bow. The double tiger claw is a move, that means you should have strong tiger claws and take your time to make it look good.
Stances are our foundation, they are almost as important as the bow. Stances are everywhere in Kung Fu; in all our forms, all the basics and sequences and basically everything else we do. Stances are the first thing we learn, along with the bow. If you think about it, there are even stances in the bow too. Some stances are fairly easy, like the Closed Stance and others look easy but are actually really difficult, like the Horse Stance. There are also some pretty tricky stances too, like the Cross Stance. You should always try your best to make your stances as good as you can. You could be learning something as simple as the Single Step or as complicated as the Dragon Form but you can still give your best effort by showing your best stances and having an open mind.
In conclusion, the Sifus always want to see you try your best, and sometimes that can look different depending on the day. Also know that it’s okay to take your time on your techniques. You only need to go as fast as you can do the technique well. You always have room for improvement and in every class you could focus on one thing and try to make it better, for example, making sure your hands are chambered when you’re in your Horse Stance. Remember it’s the little things that count!