Thursday, July 21, 2011

How To Develop Repeatable Wujifa Strategies

One of the fundamental means for developing a real and successful practice in the art of Wujifa is to develop the ability to evolve different strategies that are reproducible and repeatable as well as training methods that are functional across many different skill-sets or platforms.

Now the questions the Wujifa practitioner, or any martial artist, needs to ask is; what are these different strategies which are most functional at ones’ current level and how can they be developed and/or improved over time?

After answering that, you may be asking yourself ‘What are the first steps the Wujifa practitioner should take on their path?’ The very first step is to define, define, define. Understanding “what” it is you are doing and “why” you are doing it. 

Understanding the “what” and “why” are really helpful in getting clear on what you need to do and why you are doing a practice.

Next you will want to identify and manage the capabilities you will need to execute and develop in working toward your goals in your practice. Investing in a training journal, setting up times and places you will train, as well as the training methods you will start with are good examples of some of these goals.

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. C.S. Lewis

Make sure you test and evaluate your strategies, development process, and execution, as these steps create possibilities for tweaks that can often create insights for establishing improvements that are essential for real success.

Be organized. Have some simple organizational structures in place. Having a sense of how to organize your practice can be key. If you take the time to understand the processes involved, the clearer the bigger picture and processes can be defined now and in the future. Take some time to develop your map for improvement. Include the processes and procedures that will ensure the implementation of these become a way of life. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, at the same time you’ll need enough to nourish your progress toward your ultimate goal.

There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth. Maya Angelou

How do you know? Information, data, and metrics are useful in providing general estimates to guide strategic decision-making and performance measurements. So another important point is the establishment of goals and milestones. It grounds future assessments of the effectiveness of methods and strategies established and where you may be missing something important in the process you have set up for yourself.

Remember your rules are simply methods. Review them and see if your practice has matured enough, or that you have the ability to know when to change the rules to maintain strategic advantages in your Wujifa training practices.

Peter Drucker said, “Success always makes obsolete the very behavior that achieved it. It always creates new realities.”

A big key to progress is the understanding of the process. In the beginning, processes may not be comprehensively defined or understood which is fine. As one matures in their practices then strategies can further be developed, defined, and refined. Remember asking questions are a great way to do this. Make sure you write down questions in your journal and review them. Visiting past questions can reveal patterns and opportunities as much as your current question(s) may.

Peter Drucker also said, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

Take responsibility for your progress and learn to navigate change so you can be successful on your developmental journey. Knowing where you want to go is important. Even more important is the understanding of where you are, even more so when setting out on your journey.

As we say in Wujifa “You are where you are and that’s where you start.” Be practical and take the time to assess where you are and what your current goals are. Common sense isn’t always common practice. Taking a little time can make all the difference between failure and being on the path to success, even before the planned changes have begun to take hold.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Curiosity and the ordinary

The question came up about how one stays curious while they study the ordinary in Wujifa. As we have said before there are many different keys one can use that can help them understand the practice of Wujifa. Curiosity and the ordinary are two of the keys we can use to explore the practices and to aid one in making progress within the Wujifa practices. First of all, thank you Dan for asking this question in the comments to the post ‘Ordinary and Extra-ordinary’. Second, are you curious about what the answer might be to this question? Good, let’s see what we can find here.

Heraclitus the Greek philosopher said, “From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, out of oneness come all the many particulars.” In Wujifa we seek to understand the connections that lead to oneness and the more connected we become the more ability we have to engage with many different situations. You could say the singularity is what everything has in common. Then again, this whole concept could be just a little too much on the ‘woo-woo’ side of the fence.

Let’s clarify a few things first. The first is the question of what is one willing to do to create change? How much faith and will power does one have? Many people who talk about wanting change, if they are really honest with themselves, may only wish for change and aren’t willing to do the work that is involved to engage change.

Another common problem that many people have is they believe they can’t do it, so their truth is they don’t do it or only half heartedly try. They believe in their limitations. There is another set of people who believe it may be possible, and then it seems they find every way possible to distract themselves from doing the real work. They believe "it’s not their fault". Another type of person simply makes up stories about how they just need to put the time in. They believe simply practicing a specific type of Zhan Zhuang or practicing some special secret tai chi form or qigong for 10 or more years they will automatically get it only to be disappointed. These people overlooked critical benchmarks, tests, or verified results and applied analytical thinking to their theories. Many may have even worked very hard toward achieving their goals. Missing the opportunities to adjust and correct themselves by simply missing practical and verifiable benchmarks they could have applied along the way.

Questioning, testing, being open to the possibilities yet remaining grounded in where they are in the moment; this we could call being functionally curious. The functionally curious are testing and verifying and exploring the possibilities. This is the real key. Most people are curious for a moment and then close their eyes and fall asleep following without thinking. Remember the kind of curious I’m talking about is more like an explorer or a scientist. The kind of explorers who have “passion” and the kind of scientists who are willing to “test” it out and look for the facts and not simply believing in fairy tales and stories told by others. The kind of curiosity that drives people forward to do the “work” with the satisfaction of finding out for themselves

Aristotle said “Bring your desires down to your present means. Increase them only when your means permit.” In Wujifa we say “You are where you are and that’s where you start.”

Maybe I side-tracked a bit from Dan’s question; although hopefully there are some insights above that may be helpful. Here is the bottom line; people become “bored” when they aren’t being congruent.

People give up, quit, make up stories, become distracted when they are afraid to look, really look, at where the incongruence lies. They hide in their stories, emotions, their understandings and beliefs. The ordinary isn’t really all that ordinary when you stay open and awake, testing and exploring. The ordinary is something that only seems common when one falls into a trance. While practicing the basic and the ordinary there are many thing to be noticed along the way.

I’ll end here with a quote from Heraclitus the Greek philosopher also said something like “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Notice the river and the man for what they are these are the secrets to the common and ordinary.