Saturday, November 9, 2013

What I have learned

This year in I Ho Chuan I have learned that I am in Kung Fu for recreation. I have found that Kung Fu was the first exercise program that I was able to stick with for more than a month, mostly because my brain was engaged the whole time in class. I would get bored with any other type of exercise, my mind would wander, and then that would be the end of it. I found that while in Kung Fu classes, I was totally in the class, and thoughts of what my boss was doing, what bills had to be paid or whatever stress was previously on my mind would be gone, and I would be present. I liked that I was learning potentially valuable fighting skills, although I have very little need of them in real life, and that I was getting rid of any middle aged spread that had started to happen. So the classes were enjoyable, the benefits were there, but it is not my life. First in my life is my Family (after 20 years of marriage, I know it takes hard work, as in effort and commitment to keep it successful), then a fairly stressful but rewarding career (supervising a crew of ten) that is also a lot of hard work. If Kung Fu was only more hard work, I would be farther ahead to just sign up for more overtime and go shovel coal out of a pit at a hundred an hour. What makes Kung Fu enjoyable is the people that I have meet there that I have a rapport with, and have made friends with. These are the people that I have built up trust with, were it is safe to spar with even though I make mistakes and leave myself open to their hits. It is the people that ran as the Silent River team in Mud Hero’s, then sat around a campfire and just talked.  I want to keep Kung Fu in my life, but not have it dominate all my free time. Is there room in Silent River for the Recreational Martial Artist?
Dennis Donohue


1 comment:

  1. Of course there is room at Silent River for everyonet. However, you must remember that you signed up for a year of mastery in the I Ho Chuan. This was your choice and with that choice came responsibility and commitment. You chose to make kung fu a priority this year and as such you have been feeling the pressure that comes when such promises are made but are a struggle to keep. The I Ho Chuan is not for everyone but everyone who signed up for it did so for a reason. You all wanted something more than one can get by only approaching their kung fu as a recreation. If you want more, you must put in more. Yes, much of what you put in will feel like a sacrifice UNLESS you stay the course. By staying the course you will reach that wonderful tipping point where you will recognize that what you thought was a sacrifice was actually an investment that pays you dividends for the rest of your life. You can't get that unless kung fu is more than a recreation. Nothing is for free.

    You send mixed messages by signing up for a hard-core mastery program like the I Ho Chuan while wanting to only recreationally commit to your kung fu. You may have forgotten our conversations at the beginning of your journey but I have not. You definitely knew what you were signing up for and you most definitely were not approaching it as a recreation. You wanted more. While your resolve and priorities may have changed, the commitment required for mastery has not.