New Column! Ask Sifu Vol. 1

We’re excited to be launching a brand new column on our weblog referred to as “Ask Sifu.” This can be a discussion board the place the Sifus of White Dragon reply your questions on every thing that’s kung fu and tai chi. We goal to debate matters that embody historical past, tradition, philosophy, and even the perfect coaching strategies!

To kick begin the column, we’re happy to function our Tai-Sigung and the Founding father of White Dragon Martial Arts, Grasp Nathan Fisher.

“What was a lesson that you simply discovered from Grandmaster that resonated with you essentially the most?”  Yzabel – White Dragon San Marcos

Thanks in your nice query Yzabel!

Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong is a grandmaster due to his uncanny potential to see precisely what’s lacking from an individual’s martial arts ability. Due to his superb depth and breadth of data he has the power to instantly let you know essentially the most important areas to enhance upon to information you to martial arts mastery. 

Within the early days of coaching with him, I already had an in depth martial arts background. In spite of everything, I began instructing Kempo Karate in Berkeley, California after I was 15, again in 1977. Nonetheless, it didn’t take him lengthy to place his finger on precisely what was lacking from my martial arts. He would all the time inform me to “use extra physique in every thing you do”. By that he meant that one ought to by no means simply transfer an arm to dam or strike with out throwing one’s complete physique into the motion. That is simply good physics, a option to maximize the ability and explosiveness of a strike to cease an attacker as rapidly as potential in a self-defense scenario. That’s as a result of the extra mass you place right into a block or strike, the extra momentum it has when it lastly hits your opponent. Moreover, the sooner you progress that mass, the higher the affect in your attacker’s important areas. 

Tied up on this lesson was the opposite critically vital lesson of “by no means maintain your breath” when doing something in martial arts. By ensuring you “breathe naturally” you keep away from stiff, tense actions that find yourself being sluggish and sluggish. By ensuring the breath isn’t interrupted you retain your self relaxed and responsive. And from this calm state, you discover you’ll be able to evade your attacker on the proper second, and ship the type of explosive counter assault that may cease an assailant in his tracks. 

My instructor taught me these profound classes by the apply of tai chi, the place respiration naturally and connecting the entire physique to each strike and each motion is the primary goal. By slowing issues all the way down to the place you’ll be able to ponder every step in minute element, you start to sync up the breath to the motion of your physique. At this sluggish velocity, it is usually simpler to program your complete physique to be the engine of shifting your legs and arms, till there may be by no means a time once you throw a block, strike or kick with out the entire physique powering it. By this apply you ultimately arrive on the potential to remain relaxed and transfer with decisive explosiveness in each motion. 

It’s ironic, in a manner, that by the research of sluggish shifting tai chi one can finally arrive on the potential to maneuver even sooner and hit even more durable than for those who studied solely exterior martial arts like kung-fu or kickboxing, however I discovered this to be true for me. I feel I should have had a fantastic instructor!


“What was one of many largest challenges that you simply confronted to get the place you’re right now, and the way did you overcome it?”  Sam – White Dragon Clairemont

Hello Sam, thanks for you query!

I suppose one of many largest challenges I confronted in constructing a martial arts group was retaining everybody working towards the identical large purpose: to enhance the lives of our college students by conventional martial arts coaching. And, what I found is that this job obtained simpler the extra I clearly outlined and actively taught the core values our group stands for. (By the way, the core values of White Dragon Martial Arts are: martial spirit, martial potential, constructive perspective, respect, well being, duty, humility, and self-discipline.)

As soon as I obtained my college students to undertake the values that had been on the coronary heart of being a profitable martial artist and instructor it wasn’t that troublesome to construct a brilliant profitable group that turned out many prime notch martial artists. That’s as a result of I all the time pressured the significance of main and instructing by instance. For those who first embody the values you are attempting to show it actually isn’t that onerous to get folks to comply with you towards these beliefs. For those who deal with others with as a lot respect as potential, for instance, it isn’t troublesome to supply college students that worth respect as you do. 

Considering your core values typically helps you notice how it’s best to spend your time, and it additionally helps you prioritize the objectives you have got in your life. For those who agree that one in every of your core values is well being, for instance, you may discover you’re much less more likely to skip exercises. By making a stronger dedication to your well being, you may take a higher curiosity  in wholesome consuming and be much less involved in substances which may finally be dangerous to you. 

So I noticed early on that by training what you preach, particularly with regard to your core values, you inspire the best variety of folks to comply with in your footsteps. And for those who construct a workforce of individuals all devoted to the identical set of core values, it’s a lot simpler to attain the actually large objectives you’ve set for your self and your group. 


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