Monday, April 12, 2010

two short tales

A man sought to learn to play a flute he was given by his greatest friend, he bought a book which showed him where to put his fingers and how to blow through the flute and so he did it a few times and found he was not very good at it, and so he threw his book and flute away.

Another man happened upon the book and flute. He picked them up and read of how to learn to play the flute, and practicing every day he became a great master of the instrument.

A man found a teacher, who taught him all he needed to know, but he doubted the teachings and moved on.
He met another teacher, who again taught him all he needed to know, but he did not practice the teachings and so he moved on.
He met another teacher, who one again taught him all he needed to know, and then made the man practice it by sitting there with him while he did it.
The man exclaimed, "At last I have found the right teaching"
And the teacher doubting the man, moved on.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

take your time

Sometimes when we are eager to practice or play we build and reinforce bad habits because we do not take enough time to learn what we are trying to do step by step.

Often people who 'get it' don't, because they do. They accept their ability to imitate and understand a move as having learned a move, method or technique, nothing could be further from the truth.

At a class I was at not long ago a highly skilled guest instructor stopped the physical lessons for a few moments and related to us that sometimes very simple moves can take years of practice to get right. He related that just because you were able to do something in class when a teacher shows it to you, doesn't mean you can do it well.

The move has to become part of you, so why be hasty? Why rush into things with sloppy methods and bad habits? People who brag about how they can do difficult things can seldom do simple things right for some reason.

Once you begin to practice, you get better at what you practice, if you practice mistakes and bad habits, they won't go away over time, you will just get better at doing things the sloppy way. That is nothing to be proud of.

Take your time, practice everything step by step and go slow enough to get it right.
This method takes patience, but good things come to those who wait.

That guy who rushes into things and thinks he is so good because he can do advanced moves while he is a beginner, that guy who seems to "get it" quickly, he isn't who you want to be. You aren't meant to "get it" you are meant to practice it, then you will get it over time, and what you will get is Kung-fu.

(from wikipedia)
In its original meaning, kung fu can refer to any skill. Gōngfu (功夫) is a compound of two words, combining (gōng) meaning "achievement" or "merit", and (fū) which translates into "man", so that a literal rendering would be "human achievement". Its connotation is that of an accomplishment arrived at by great effort.