I have been training in martial arts for many years and during this time I have seen many students come and go.
Our lifestyle is a very significant contributing factor to our health. I have been a doctor for 30 years. When a patient is found to have diseases like hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity, I always ask the patient to modify their lifestyle first before taking medication. Unfortunately most of the patients will choose to take medication. Dieting, maybe. Exercise – OH NO! Even if they unwillingly try to exercise, they soon will give up. Why? It is because they don’t have a good reason for exercise. When they are running on a treadmill, they think this is a punishment by their doctor because they are fat, or for having high blood pressure and cholesterol. These people start their exercise regime with a negative motivation. Surely no one can persevere any training with such negative feelings. In order to engage in training successfully, you need a good reason to start with. This means we need positive motivation.
If I ask my fellow students in the Wing Chun class their reason for training, some will say to learn self-defence to protect themselves and their loved ones, some want to earn the black belt, some want to have better health. These are all good, positive motivations for training. However martial arts training is a very long and hard journey. After a while, all of these good reasons will evaporate. You will find it becoming harder and harder to get out of the house to come train. Why? It is because there are some important elements missing from our good positive motivation. It is the joy and fun we get from learning Wing Chun.
For me, I am a person who loves to learn. I have found Wing Chun to be a valuable treasure. Even after my years of training, there is still so much waiting for me to explore and learn. I am always amazed at how the founders of Wing Chun developed such a system 300 years ago without much knowledge of anatomy and physiology, but accorded with the biomechanics of the human body. I must admit I feel so lucky, and privileged, to be able to train under Sifu Henry. He is like a living encyclopaedia of Wing Chun. He has been leading me step by step through the training. Every class is an eye-opening experience. Yes, at the end of each class, my whole body is aching, yet I know I have learned something. And the most important thing is that I have found joy and fun from learning Wing Chun. The knowledge of self-defence, black belt and good health are only the by-products of the training. If you ask me why I come to train, my answer is: I just love it!
Dr. Thomas Ngai