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Determination

     Yesterday two students came in for a makeup Graduation. Both students are adults and the test was on a Wednesday night at 6:30. Those details are important because that’s the point.

     Here are two adults. They have spouses, kids, jobs, “to-do” lists, bills to pay, and they’re tired and would probably rather go home. Yet they arrive at the kung fu school on a Wednesday night to sit in horse stance for two minutes, run a mile and a half, and demonstrate weapons and empty-hand forms—all with the possibility of failing—and still, they showed up. I’m blown away by their dedication.

     The moment reminded me of my dad, who despite having a full-time job, being active in the National Guard, having a wife and child to care for along with his widowed mom and three brothers, he still drove fifty, sometimes a hundred miles to earn his Masters degree in business (that was way before online classes).

     I see that kind of determination in my students.

     I had the luxury of youth when I began Kung Fu. The only hindrances to my training were eating, sleeping, or going to school. No mortgage to pay or a spouse to spend time with, I could do Kung Fu anytime.

     Now, I’m blessed with these great students who continue to “steal time” in order to practice Kung Fu. I am so impressed and humbled by their determination. Students often thank me for teaching them, but that’s backwards.

     I want to thank them for allowing me the privilege.

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2 Responses to “Determination”

  1. angelinka Says:

    I’d like to tell you about somebody I met about 2 years ago. At first glance he didn’t make a big impression on me. Behind the desk he looked like an average man with widely opened blue eyes which never smiled. As a beginner I only saw him behind that desk or on the test. After I introduced myself to intermediate level, I had chance to see him in action, but wasn’t just quite ready to appreciate what I saw because I didn’t know anything about kung fu then. Not that I know it now, and yet as I progressed slowly have I started to see and understand the beauty of the art he was showing. I finally understood why they call it martial “arts”. He is a true artist and his art mesmerized me! Never before have I thought I would find fighting beautiful and graceful. But it absolutely is! My favorite form in his repertoire is Tai Chi Yang sword.
    I literally can’t take my eyes off of him while he is performing. So graceful, smooth, complete – perfect! magnificent! I am not to be the judge, but I can and I do appreciate the beauty. And it is because of him I fell in love with kung fu.
    ( I know you know who I’m talking about…)

    Dear Sifu,

    As one of your proud students I really appreciate your thinking of us, but I also want you to know how much we are influenced by your passion for what you do the best, your great knowledge and amazing skill, and even more by your genuine and caring personality with the positive energy you are willing to share with us.

    All that makes us love what you love and do what you do.
    You are contagious!

    With great respect,
    Your student

  2. James Bowden Says:

    Your’re absolutely right that it’s a blessing to be able to start kung fu in your youth years. I love kung fu so much that I can’t stop thinking about it. Thank you Sifu for sharing with all of us your knowledge of this great art.