My student had a premonition that the traditional Chinese martial arts will become extinct soon.
Many years ago my Ngok Gar senior predicted that one day their art will die out. It has not completely died out yet but it may not survive for more than another generation.
Sometimes until something is lost we will not treasure it. And when its gone and truly lost it becomes silly to try to reconstruct it. If its gone, then its gone. The time to do something is before its gone, not after its gone.
I told my student about my experiment in BojiLite. He mentioned that it may be easier to teach children who unlike adults may be more open to listening to instructions. I understand what he is saying because in Boji our basic posture requires the feet to be parallel. Now how difficult could it be to follow a simple instruction to keep the feet parallel?
As it turns out it is a difficult task to keep the feet parallel. Some do it because they just have to do it. Yet, some don’t think that its important to keep it parallel. Others do it as a matter of habit or they do not know they are doing it.
The last category is that who do it for their own reasons, never mind if its obstructing their progress. You would think that its logical to change your habit when it is hampering your progress. But no, its not gonna happen and then they wonder why they cannot make progress. Its a strange world indeed.
At this point I should say that even if there are people learning and bringing the art forward unless they bring the proper requirements along then they are just carrying forward an empty shell. An art that is left with people dancing to meaningless forms, even more meaningless drills and silly applications will not last long, unless they market it as a health art, or perhaps a cultural thing to do.
There are many good arts out there. Many are becoming irrelevant because they take too long to learn. I am not saying that getting results within a short learning period is bad. In fact, in the days of old many Bojiquan (Pok Khek Kuen) practitioners were combat ready within months. I suspect that even then this is not soon enough for today’s learners who want the results like yesterday.
Caveat – be careful of what you wish for in terms of short term results. Some training will harm you and cause permanent damage. I told my student about an enquiry from someone who wanted to learn Wing Chun which I am no longer keen to teach.
Anyway, I was curious to know why this person who is doing boxing and Muay Thai, two very practical art, would want to switch to Wing Chun. So I asked and he said he had a scaphoid issue (that’s a fracture in the scaphoid bone in the wrist for us layman).
What was more surprising is that he has not hit the mid-thirties in age. With this injury he was told to avoid hard impact. So the implication is that he should also avoid situations when he has to fight. Ouch! This is certainly a major setback for anybody. This is why we need to take care of our body and avoid practices that are potentially injurious particularly for the long term.
Anyway, back to topic, teaching children is not something I am inclined to do. This might be something others can do better than me. I have enough problems trying to teach adults. If I want to teach a group class I might just do it in the open in the park or along the park connector behind my place. But I know how groups dynamics are with politics, backstabbing, jealousies, and so on.
Maybe there is hope and maybe there is little or maybe there is no more hope. Some things we cannot change and its better to leave things to play out by themselves. We can but take a day at a time. As Lao Tzu said :-
For someone who desires to control the world
I see no chance of success
The world is an instrument of the Spirit
It cannot be controlled
It cannot be grasped
Those who try to control it are defeated
Those who try to grasp it, lose it
So the Wise man seeks not to control