As a Wing Chun instructor at the Yost Wing Chun Kung-fu Academy (in Terre Haute, Indiana), I receive a lot of questions and comments about what fighting is and is not. Some of these people have a background in a sports-related style of fighting; while, others have no background at all. What I’d like to share with you today is something that came to me about a year ago, from a young man (in his early twenties) who presupposed that muscle meant ability to fight. Allow me to explain:
This young man believes that without being physically fit, through weight lifting and extreme cardio-training, one cannot possibly “know how to fight”. In his mind, without the ripped up body of many UFC fighters, one cannot fight. So, let’s explore whether or not this is true.
Firstly, how many push-ups does it take before you know how to fight? What? Push-ups don’t teach you how to fight? Okay….
What if we added jogging to that? How far would we have to jog before we knew how to fight? What’s that? It takes more than push-ups and jogging? I agree, but you said….
What if we added some time hitting a heavy bag? How many times would we have to hit a bag before we knew how to fight? . . . . .
You see: In and of themselves these things mean nothing in relation to fighting. Fighting is (or should be) a whole-self approach to dealing with something that intends to do you harm. (You or someone/persons around you.) And, if it is done from the muscle of a person, the person will only be fighting with the muscle.
What happens when someone fighting with just one part of themselves fights someone who is fighting with all of themselves? Who has the greater strength?
Learning how to use our wellness – however that manifests itself for each of us – is key in being able to use all of ourselves in defense from that which seeks to do our self harm. Presupposing someone’s ability based on the mass of muscle they have is a delusion that could prove deadly (in the worst of situations; humbling in the least). So, don’t judge the book by its cover. And, if that’s what your martial arts program is teaching you – learn something more practical, efficient and effective. Because – guess what – you will age just like the rest of us. And, if you don’t learn the practical, efficient and effective you will be the weak, unable and disabled – regardless whatever you can or cannot do at twenty-something.
Don’t get me wrong, one should seek their wellness, but wellness is more than muscle mass. I have met and worked with many a muscle-bound men who had so many injuries that they could hardly move. My point is this: Develop your wellness and learn how to use it in real, practical, efficient and effective means; otherwise, – as they say – to assume makes an . . . . Well, you know how it goes.
Empower yourself to life!™