Published on July 6th, 2014 | by Arnout0
Wearing the Blue shirt for the first time
The 5th of July 2014 was the first graduation event of my Wing Tjun career that marked the way to a whole new level of Wing Tjun. In our system different knowledge and ability levels are indicated by grades and different learning levels are grouped in shirt /sash colours. The blue sash and shirt are the first level that is in no way linked to a change in the student program & subscription of the school. This level is the first of another long row that I have studied and trained for. And on this graduation day I got to wear the Blue shirt for the first time.
Up til now our program was mostly about learning words of the Wing Tjun language, the hand, arm and leg movements, posture and so on. We have learned basic grammar like which moves fit together in a sequence and what move should you use to counter one of your opponent. We have learned to exercise our skills and improve our vocabulary with small stories. In Karate you would call them Kata’s we call them Forms. Sui Nim Tao is the basic form that contains all hand positions, Chum Kiu integrates twisting and the power of pushing and pulling at the same time and the Saam Chin trains the tendons and muscles to become the weapons needed in hand-to-hand combat.
Once in the blue of course the vocabulary of the Wing Tjun language will grow but the words and grammar setup will become much more complex just like going from short story reading to reading a novel and writing your own short story. It will contain ground fighting, escrima (stick fighting), more and longer forms and free sparring.
The level of studying will go up quite a lot and so will the deepening of the understanding of body, mind and soul. Practicing Wing Tjun has taught me much more about our body’s physical abilities but even more about our mental ones. A big part of getting to the next level is picking yourself up when you think you cannot go any further. A couple of days ago we were in a 5 minute horse stance. That basically is a seated position without the chair. As you might understand that takes strength and endurance of the body. But even more it takes the right attitude to get through it. I have a small knee injury that stings like a needle when we do this. and I had to let go of the tension in order to massage out the pain. 2 years ago I would have ended the horse stance at the moment of pain. But last week I did a 10 second massage while only going up a little and kept the horse stance position as much as possible. The pain kept coming and I even tried to do a one leg horse stance, that wasn’t much of a success so I decided to complete it with the pain. And miraculously the pain dissipated and I was able to do it. Yes afterwards I felt it. But now 6 days later my knee seems to get better. Like my mindset overcame my physical limit and forced my body to start healing itself.
For me this is a large part the essence of practicing anything the Kung Fu way (Kung Fu means Skill through lots of practice). The practice changes you both mentally and physically. It helps you reach your potential through hard work and lots of training. Every time you become a little bit better, sometimes because you learn something new and most of the time because you improve what you already know. And every time that happens your practice level increases and you become able to do more, faster, and more accurately. My journey in the Blue has started this Saturday and already contains all the events, obstacles and victories towards the Black, it’s time to discover them.