Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Don't set limits on yourself!

Training under the watchful eye of Chen Ziqiang
We just had Chen Ziqiang conduct a series of seminars at our school- the third consecutive year he has visited us in the UK. Anyone who has trained with him will know what a fantastically dynamic and athletic individual he is. People often approach these events as if they are spectators rather than participants. Happy to watch and marvel at the workshop leaders skills but full of reasons why they cannot do the same thing - too old, too many aches and pains, too busy etc etc... While the topics covered included basic training, broadsword, push hands and cannon fist, the central message put across by Chen Ziqiang was that people must not put limits upon themselves.

Don't say that you cannot do the jumps or fajin or stretches. Some of the participants were in their seventies but were still encouraged to leap and punch - even if a little lower and slower than they may have done in their younger days. Lee Davis-Conchie, one of the instructors in our school, was another participant leading by example. Training Chen Ziqiang's short cannon fist form with a chest drain attached. The last workshop finished at 5pm on Sunday afternoon and the same evening he went back into hospital for his fourth round of chemotherapy for the leukemia that was diagnosed a few months ago.
Cannon Fist group -  participants ages ranged from people in their 20s to 70s
 So don't think too much about what you can't do. As Chen Ziqiang said "don't label yourself and don't let other people label you" - just throw yourself into your training and then you'll make a success of your practice!