Sifu Jeremy Norris

Junior Student’s Corner

As we all know, Kung Fu is defined as being a martial art. Within martial arts there are many aspects that come into consideration when calling an individual a martial artist. One indefinable aspect is discipline. Often, within our academy we use discipline as a tool to learn and improve, but what does discipline actually mean?

Well, it is said that “discipline is being able to force yourself to do something, in spite of how you feel, over and over again until it becomes a habit”. In many ways this definition can be applied to Kung Fu. Within our training we are faced with challenges that we may not want to do, whether it be a challenging technique, or even pushing through that section in a grading, we all have had this moment. The defining aspect is what you choose to do in that moment, this is where discipline comes into play.

Having discipline is not easy, in fact it may be one of the toughest mental aspects within martial arts. Discipline forces us to choose the hard way and push through our issues. So, how can you have discipline in Kung Fu? One thing to consider is to never give up! Too many times we hit that wall where we think “I can’t jump like that to do this kick” or “This sequence is way too complicated” it is in this moment where we must push ourselves to get through. There are many ways that we can have discipline outside of the kwoon as well. One example would be training outside of class. As simple as it sounds, many people struggle with fitting in training time into busy schedules. The excuse used is “I have too much work to do” or “I just want to relax” but the simple fact is that it only takes a few minutes to do a form, or some pushups. There are no excuses in Kung Fu, that is what creates discipline.

Using the term “there are no excuses” is a strong stance to make. It can be perceived as one sided or extreme but it is true. Yes, you may have limitations holding you back, but there is always a way around it. Take the example of a sprained wrist. Does that mean you’re going to stop training until it is healed? No, a disciplined student would say “alright I will just do more stances and kicks”. This is an example of having to push through a limitation without giving up. This is discipline.

While training if you remember to always push through and work past your difficulties you will succeed. Discipline is the main ingredient within many aspects of Kung Fu, it is how we learn from our mistakes and push past them. Without proper discipline our training would not be at the same level of success that it is at today.