Monday, February 28, 2011

Real Gongfu Training Partners

Simply finding people to practice with maybe one thing and then again, finding a real training partner or partners maybe very much another. What I’m saying is that it might not be as easy as you might think. I remember a very skilled martial artist saying “that finding a good training partner could be harder than finding a good wife.” Now that maybe overstating the point although over the years I have seen the results of two or three people who really take the time to explore and lift one another up toward each other’s collective goals.

One of the things that often come into play is the level of dedication involved in the types of trainings that are required. I’m not talking about simply practicing your Wujifa Zhan Zhuang or simple moving sets like “side to side” or other practices. What I am talking is when practicing two person skill sets like point and off point (fundamental micro movement two person grounding drills) as just example.

There is a level of support and cooperation that is needed and, a level of challenge… that drives all partners forward. There needs to be openness and honest to call each other out on their bull crap, to eat bitter as they say and balancing this with an understanding of when backing off for a bit is a good idea. To be honest I watch many married couple having issues with this one.

Then there is always the issue of timing. “Timing is everything” they say, and finding the time to get together to train can be a whole other issue. The amounts of time required for serious training can be overwhelming when seen from the outside. Many of those outside influences like work and other relationship (wife, children, or girlfriends, etc) seem to require attention as well.

When you are really serious about making progress think about training partners. Think about what it takes and what you are willing to invest. Personally I have been very lucky and “time and conditions” were such that I could train and lucky enough to have others who were willing to, and were in the right space too.

Make sure you take the time to notice, mentor, and help others out too. Understand it may take time to find those key people and time when depth of gongfu with others can be explore.

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