My continuing journey at Wu Tang Kung Fu

From my last essay, my journey has just begun. All that I had learned before I became a black was a tune up for what I would be learning. Being A Black Belt in our school means a lot to me. It means that you had to sacrifice so much and pay your dues to be considered one of the best. That doesn’t mean that you have to stop learning and just think of yourself as being too good. You are expected to improve spiritually and physically in all aspects of your kung-fu life. I look at my two masters Alex Chang and David Chiang and I am amazed at how hard they work and it inspires me to work as hard and even harder. I did a lot of soul searching and endless nights thinking of what I wanted to do and how was I to be portrayed as a martial artist. What I learned is that there is so many things to learn but I don’t have the time to do it all. So I will choose those forms that can help me become better and stronger. I realized that not only knowing forms is important, but also the applications that goes in to every form I have learned. So now, I go back and retake another look at these forms and make it my own. It will take to another direction a better outlook on forms in general.

Then the Baji class started and I thought that I could never do this. I saw what the other Black belts did when I was a yellow belt, at that time I just wanted to survive. But Master Alex was teaching and I was comfortable with him. Having done Bagua with him for three years, my mind was at ease. I knew it was going to be hard but I was prepared to take a new challenge. Alex taught us a lot how to deliver power from any direction or stance you are in. It comes down to breathing and bringing the chi to the point of contact. With breathing you must also fix your structure–because with a perfect stance you can overcome almost any situation. I knew that my stance needed work and didn’t know how to fix it, but in this class I found my answer. Now its up to me to work on it and improve myself in all aspects of kung-fu.

The most important things that I have learned after earning my black belt are breathing and structure. Now it’s my goal is to fix them and do the best that I can. There is no need to learn too many forms. There are not enough hours in a day to practice everything. I don’t want to one of those guys that learn so many forms but have no substance. I want to be better than anything else right now and everything will take care of itself. I want my peers to consider me to be a martial artist, not a novice. It is important to me for all you guys to think of me as an artist not a person who just do forms.

Then something else came into my lap. I started to be an assistant instructor with Taison Okai on Friday nights. I saw a different side of myself– I wanted to teach and I found out that I enjoyed it. I saw how those kids were doing and it got me upset. There was chaos in the class and nothing was being done right. So Taison and I took it upon ourselves to change the astmosphere in the school. We made a conscious effort to put discipline into all the kids. We made structure a key role in our approach and following orders a must. This is a place of learning not a playground; you come to kung fu to learn. We can throw some fun in once in a while but the key point is skills. When I was offered to take over the Sunday class I was honored and scared. It was a big responsibility and I didn’t want to let my Masters down and myself.

In teaching I saw many different things. I saw all my faults that I had when I was starting off. I saw all my stances were wrong, my movement was not correct, and my approach where I had the will was lacking. I learned that all those kids have different personalities and needs. Each comes here for different reasons and must be treated as such. I see those who have the heart of warriors and dragons, and those who don’t have natural ability give it their all. I also had seen those who are here just to waste time, no matter how hard you try. I also found out how to manage time and the situations. I learned how to devote time to those whom need my attention and those who don’t. My approach to teaching is quite simple, I need them to concentrate on what they are doing and give it their best. They don’t have to be perfect the first time out, but learn from their mistakes and get better the next time. I want to see all these kids become black belts one day and be much more than what they are now. I will give it my all until they don’t need me more.

Thank You
Instructor Patrick Jurakhan

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