Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Motivator

Leo gave some interesting thoughts on motivations for beginning training and continuing to train. Specifically he was discussing the difference between men and women and retention, but I began thinking about the reason(s) I started training and how they are similar or different to the ones I have to continue training, both in terms of the long term commitment as well as what gets me to temple daily. We've talked a lot about why we train now: the challenge, the community, the mental training, the benefits to our personal well being, and the straight up exercise. But for me at least, I started training for different reasons than those that motivate me now.My initial impulse to come train was borne of 2 things 1) I had lots of free time and I was bored 2)I wanted to look cool doing kung fu at parties. Secret number 3 was that I wanted to become a contract killer.......... The free time is now gone (yes I'm working again). I have found I feel un -coordinated more that I feel cool when training; and if anything the more I learn the more I'm humbled about the lifetime of learning left. And, I don't want to be a contract killer anymore..... But clearly I still train; funny how things change like that. You always get more than you bargained for. I'd be interested to know what prompted other folks to start training (exercise? party trick? followed a friend/boyfriend/family member?) and whether that's the same motivator they have now.

(Also, I love the Buddhist-y cyclical nature of how you train for a reason but training changes your reasons for training so you train more and then your motivations change again and so on and so forth...)


  1. My motivations that started my training.

    1) Walked by Shaolin Temple sign and I always wanted to train there.

    2) My friend Sarah, was showing lunbi caijiao and gongbu to a fellow classmate in acting class. I asked her where she is training and she said I should check out the Shaolin Temple.

    3) My mother called out of the blue one day and said, "Leo, my one regret in life is that I never had you learn kung fu." I'm like, "What? That's your one regret in life?!" Mind you, all this happened the same week as number 1 and 2. So the universe just aligned and I joined the temple.

    What keeps me at temple now is obviously a little different than when I started.

    1) I love the family aspect of it. How we all really support each other and I dream of No. 1 soup at night.

    2) I love the Chan Buddhism part of Shaolin Temple. I sort of grew up with Buddhism and it's really interesting to me to hear so many similar viewpoints. The Buddhism classes are absolutely wonderful.

    3) Training at the temple is essential for acting. I don't know how to describe it other than it helps me be completely in the moment.

    4) To keep fit.

    5) Stretch your body, stretch your mind.

    6) I need more Chi.

  2. Leo- I guess it's not your mother's regret in life anymore since you're training kfu. You've fulfilled your mother's regret! :)