My return to America has been wonderful in all parts of my life especially my training. Instead of letting jet-lag get the best of me I decided to begin my training at 5 in the morning to get more Qi out of the air, as many other masters have suggested. It is definitely a challenge to get up so early to begin a tiring workout but the benefits have been so rewarding that I can not return to my previous routine. I feel that I am unlocking something that I had only heard about it legends. It may still be years before I fully understand what it is but just having a taste of the new possibilities fills me with vigor for the rest of my day. Being done with my workout at eight in the morning gives me true clarity for the rest of the chores and tasks that lie ahead.
Recently I have run into a divide in my training. I have the many traditional forms and movements that I have learned from my master. The thousands of techniques that I must plan out carefully in order to make sure that they are all improving:
Everyday: Wudang fist 3 times, Preheaven 20 movements two times, Post heaven 64 palms 4 times, 25 footwork steps 16 times.
Monday: Three principles fist and the staff
Tuesday: Unlimited Fist and Crescent Moon Swords
Wednesday: Baji and Spear training
Thursday: Six Connecting Kicks and the Qing ping Sword
Friday: Seven Stars and Stealth Saber/ Six Harmony Saber training
Saturday: Tai Qi and Guan Dao
Sunday: Nine Palaces and Throwing Knives
This is only my training regiment for the next 6 months because I am currently using this season to capitalize on my flow training. After my flow training levels up, I will readjust it to emphasize my hand precision.
That being said practicing these motions over and over are not the exciting part of kung fu. The second part of my training is my research which is very much alive.
Evasive training in the forest, fighting against other styles, new weapon ideas, more effective teaching methods, multi person fighting tactics, new strengthening ideas both internal and external. Researching is an endless road that will ultimately define what type of super hero you become. With out research you will become and old traditional robot.
Of course at times it is very easy for me to become so excited about the research that I don't want to train the traditional movements. Much the way Bruce Lee made Jeet Kun Do and tossed the rest of his training to the side. The truth is this is very selfish and irresponsible. It is the traditions that make it possible for us to research and learn more. It is true that we must all grow in our own way but we still need to pass on the seed that was given to us. Your students will not be able to have a strong core based off only your ideasand concepts. They must be given the same chance that you had to grow. The old movements that may seem boring at times are the letters of the alphabet that allow us to write our own story. When the letters are forgotten, then the students become illiterate, forced to try to piece together ideas of a teacher who neglected to give them roots.
So you can think of the research as the yin and the tradition as the yang. Both are essential for your growth and need to find time into your training routine. It may appear to be impossible to to do both at first, but you get the same 24 hours that I do. Just remember that you have dedicated at least a third of your day to getting money. Give yourself at least an hour a day to get stronger. You may soon find yourself in a situation that you can't buy your way out of.