Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Common Mistakes in Learning Martial Arts

This post was recently made at the Wing Chun Geeks blog. While it was written specifically for Wing Chun students, I think it applies equally to learning any martial art; indeed learning about anything worth learning.

Below is an excerpt. The full article may be read here.

Mistake #1: People want to learn too fast
Gong Fu means hard work, and Wing Chun (sometimes spelt as Ving Tsun) is a style of Gong Fu.  This means you have to put in a lot of hard work before you can move onto the next level.  Do not be in a rush to learn all the forms, do not be in a rush to get to Chi Sau. Your Sifu will direct you there in good time, if you rush him or her, it will show in the quality of your Wing Chun.

Mistake #2: People try and change or add to the style:
Wing Chun is a very individual style, meaning my Wing Chun is going to be different than your Wing Chun.  However, this doesn’t mean you can start changing the style to suit your needs.  For example, if I add flying side kicks into the style, it would totally change how the style works. If you are adding things that might not belong there, more than likely it means you are on a low level and do not fully understand the style.

Mistake #3: You never hit anything

We are not suggesting you go around and start beating up people at the local bar. We are suggesting that you start to practice HITTING THINGS. For example, the heavy bag, a wall bag, wooden dummy. It doesn’t matter what you hit, as long as you mange to fit in some kind of resistance training into your regiment.

Mistake #4: You do not want to get hit

Getting hit is not a bad thing (as long as you do not lose any teeth.) What we mean by this is if you Chi Sau or are training with a partner and get hit a few times, it is not the end of the world. This just means they have exposed your weakness and it is your job to correct it.  Use “getting hit” as an opportunity to improve your Wing Chun.

Mistake #5: You do not focus on your stance (also known as horse)

Mistake #6: You only fight Wing Chun people

Mistake #7: You think Wing CHun is the BEST style in the world.  


The Strongest Karate said...

Good list. Here are a few of my random thoughts about the ones important to me.

Mistake 1 - I remember reading an excerpt in a book about martial arts recently when I was at the bookstore. It said "You will do everything wrong - and that is perfect". Rang so true to me.

Mistake 2 - This one I don't really agree with. If we did not experiment, we would not learn. And sometimes a failed experiment can be more illuminating than diligent study of the syllabus material.

Mistake 3 & 4 - Hitting and being hit are big parts of Kyokushin training (being a Knockdown style of karate). This one is dead on the money.

Mistake 6 - This one I am guilty of, as I think most martial artists are to some degree. Most of the time, my chance to fight involve other Kyokushin students. But this is why when we test for promotion we often invite other styles to fight with us.

Rick Matz said...

I think what #2 is referring to is someone wanting to create their own style without having already mastered the material at hand.

Paul said...

Good list, as for number 6 perhaps the author was talking about MMA tournaments. In that case, it is advisable that one has to learn some non-his-core-style techniques. And if he was talking about dirty street fights, perhaps it will be safer for one to learn some dirty tricks too....

PS: Fundamental rule: all fights have rules, even when we're talking about no rule, on-holds barred dirty street, life or death fights etc (for one thing law-enforcement is always keeping an eye on fights).

Rick Matz said...

Yes, the list is a good start.

Compass Strategist said...

New List
Mistake 1: Winning an individual fight does not always make one a winner.

Mistake 2: Not understanding that winning an 1 to many fight is about last man standing.

Mistake 3: Believe that blocking strikes is superior to evading.

Mistake 3a: Using the face and the vital points to block strikes.

Mistake 4: Focus on too few techniques

Mistake 5: Focus on too many techniques

Mistake 6: Do not realize that standing still and react means become a non-moving target.

Mistake 6: Do not realize that specialst in Kung Fu or Karate or TKD rarely ever defeat specialist of Gun-Fu in a remote open situation.

Mistake 7: Having a martial art background do not mean one have the license to kill (unless you are James Bond).