He refused to teach me any more stuff

I was in a Kung Fu class back in 1980.

I'd been doing kung fu for just over a year and had taken to it like the proverbial duck to water.

Training with my partner, doing wrist locks, we'd come to the end of our repertoire, if you like, that is, we'd run through all the locks we knew a couple of times.

What to do now, we thought.

So I asked my teacher Martin, if he'd show me another wrist lock (observing all the protocols of respect and politeness, as you do).

His response?

“Show me the locks you know.”

So I did.

Then he said, “When you can do those properly, I'll show you another one.”

There's some valuable lessons there. First, he was letting me know that he was in charge and he decided when I learnt new things. Wasn't my place to pick what and when to learn. That's why you start at say, white belt before progressing to the next colour, then the next.

You can't jump the queue in this stuff, it's structured that way for a reason, like you can't start sprinting before you've even learned to crawl. That's like trying to do full contact fighting before you've learned to punch and kick, or trying to do more advanced moves without the basic flexibility and strength needed to do them.

Then he was letting me know that quality is better than quantity. Being excellent at a few wrist locks is preferable to being mediocre at dozens. In the same way that having a few good stretches, breathing exercises or t’ai chi moves is better than knowing umpty-bazillion moves but not being up to much at any of them.

Quality and skill gained in just a few exercises or movements will transfer to every single thing you learn later. You're building a powerful foundation for everything to come. And with those foundational skills, you'll learn all subsequent material much faster.

And finally, he was teaching me to be patient. It'll come to you, don't worry, just keep doing what you're doing kinda thing.

Something I'd thought you'd benefit from me sharing. And I like the term “umpty-bazillion”, too. I'm going to use that whenever I can, methinks ;-)

So start with some simple, quality moves that you can learn to perform well, and become skilful. There's your foundation.

By the way, I recommend these.

Eight exercises which will gently stretch your body out and get you moving well, while reducing stress and balancing your internal systems. It takes me 2 hours to show you those eight exercises, in-depth.

That's some quality moving on which to build your foundation...

Ok, have a great day

Later,
Mike