No One Here but the Fighters

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Humberto, by day he works at UPS. The rest of the time, he trains ving tsun and keeps very close ties with his family.

Humberto is a senior student at the school. He’s been studying here since about 2011. Originally he came because he made a new year resolution to be more fit and because he’d seen the original Ip Man movie which really inspired him; seeing Ip Man being so focused and relaxed in so many really challenging situations.

After the film, he did his research and looked for ving tsun schools. After his first visit to the school, the atmosphere just felt right and he decided that this was the place.

What keeps Humberto going?  He says that every day there is something new to learn; Maybe adding to something you already know but you add something new to the puzzle.

He says, “I enjoy training. I came here to learn to fight but in time that changed. Now I see that isn’t about fighting really its about having a humble soul, having inner strength.”

Today his main focus is helping beginners to come up in the system and to complete his own training. He says this helps him be better too. He says, “When you know something and you teach it to another person, it’s like you get to teach yourself twice, which always helps.”

The things he learned here transfer to the rest of his life. Accepting when things go wrong, he learned not to panic but learn there’s always some way to fix the situation, just like in training and chi sau.

Sifu Matt introduced him to meditation too and that was something he’s stayed with since day one because it makes a difference in his kung fu and in his normal, every day life.

Every year he renews his resolution to train for another year, to stay in shape, to defend himself if necessary. He really loves that Sifu Matt doesn’t hold back in the way he teaches him and everyone else. He always shows him the right way in training.

“I never thought I’d be helping out in teaching but when Sifu asked me to do it I said I would try my best and now I help others learn and advance in their own practice. Its an honor to help out like that.”

Glad to have you with us Humberto.

 

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Just Enough

The other morning at breakfast, my wife said this little throw away comment.

She said, “You know I find that when you eat slowly whatever you have is plenty.”

I didn’t think much of it at the moment. But it came to my mind again while I walked to the gym to train.

“When you eat slowly whatever you have is plenty.”

Is this not true for our whole lives?

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When we slow down and live more mindfully, putting an end to all the ceaseless craving, wanting and chasing, we can realize that whatever we have, right here, right now, is plenty. And in keeping our lives simple and straightforward we can be happier and more free.

When we make our lives more complicated, with all the doing, with all the many possessions, life becomes more burdensome. We spend all our time working and chasing the dollar to keep it all going. Life feels less simple and we find ourselves more stressed and live less mindfully.

I look at it like I look at the art of Ving Tsun. It’s a simple art and should be kept that way. You do only what’s necessary in terms of offense and defense. You economize everything. Your motion, your energy, your time, your footwork, everything. You do just enough to get the job done. No more, no less.

As the years pass in your training, you should be trying to make your Ving Tsun more and more simple. Not more and more complex. If you are making it more complex you are doing it wrong.

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This is true in our lives as well. As we get older we should be making it more and more simple. Not filling it up with things that make it more and more complex. Things that make us have to run around and keep the juggling act going. We should have and do just what’s necessary. Have and do just enough. Realize that whatever you have is plenty.

When you put this simple Ving Tsun philosophy into your daily life you will be able to get down to what really matters to you. Whatever that might be for you.

In Ving Tsun we have a very simple formula that tells us how to use the system. A formula that teaches us simplicity.

Try to bring this formula into your daily life and see that what you have already is plenty.

Three simple rules:

  1. Accept what comes
  2. Follow what goes
  3. When the way is open always go forward.

 

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Meditation, Qigong and Kung Fu

Sifu Matt believes that to just train external Kung Fu is only half of the training. The other half is meditation and Chi Gung practice. At the academy we don’t just train Kung Fu, we also train the mind with meditation and the internal state of the body with the practice of Chi Gung or energy/breath work. Sifu Matt teaches sitting meditation help to relieve stress and helps us to live in mindfulness everyday. We must learn to keep our mind  balanced and calm. Not only is this important for Kung Fu practice, it is important for everyday life outside of the academy.

Chi Gung is the practice of gentle movement combined with breathing in order to exercise our internal energy, or “Chi”. It seeks to work the internal, whereas Kung Fu Training works the external. There are many different kinds of Chi Gung exercise, some are slower, more like Tai Chi Chuan, some are faster and use more power to strenghten the muscles and tendons. Contact the academy to learn more about learning these two practices.

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Retreat Schedule Sept 29-30 2012

Join Sifu Matt for a weekend of mindfulness meditation at the LIttle Village Buddhist Meditation Center this weekend, Sept 29-30, Saturday and Sunday.

 

Come for some or all of the retreat. RSVP required. 773-301-6257