Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Last night, sometime during erqijiao, I thought, "Well this isn't as bad as I always dread it being. And if you have to teach the second part of class, then really the most tiring part is over."

I did indeed get asked to teach the second part of class. This time it was tsabu. I love each time I teach something new because I invariably learn some new mechanic from Sifu that I either forgot or never knew in the first place. However, when I woke up this morning without any aches or pains (I'm not complaining mind you!), I wondered if I am getting stronger or if I am benefiting from the 40 odd minutes of teaching that have replaced the end of my Level 1 classes. Again, I'm thrilled not to be doctoring aching crying muscles and joints, but it makes me worry that my revelation during erqijiao was actually a revelation of my not training as hard.

I realized early on that by bringing in a new generation of teachers, Sifu is also giving the older students a break from teaching and allowing them to have time back that training time that you lose. I love teaching (and learning) but I've realized that if I want to keep progressing, I can't settle into thoughts like "well once class is half over I'll just be teaching and all the working out will be over." If anything, that means I need to take that precious first hour and train even harder, and not think about saving anything for later, since later I'll be training teaching-style. I don't resent using that time to teach, as I said, I love that it allows me to refresh on things myself, but that means every moment that I'm going down the line is doubly important and I should take full advantage of it instead of anticipating its end.


  1. I really like your realization, that you oughtn't save anything for later. We all should go full chi each trip down the carpet, regardless of whether we're teaching or not during the second half. No coasting allowed!

  2. I felt the same way when I finished learning basics and started to do forms on the second half of class. I would find myself going down the line saying to myself, "Whew! Almost over!", instead of training harder. I don't usually have aches and pains anymore unless it's right after class. The human body is an incredible marvel of biomechanical engineering. That's why Shifu is always pushing us to kick faster, jump higher. It's too easy to just lay back and rest.

    The responsibility is on us to train and push ourselves. As we progress through our training at the Temple, I feel Shifu wants us all to learn to teach ourselves how to train. And train even harder.

  3. I think teaching also allows the L2 people to keep training (almost) everyday.

    Why did shifu have me teach all of sudden after a couple of months I trained in level 2? I definitely didn't become awesomer in that short period of time. I think it's so that I could refine my movements and rest a bit.

  4. no, you always were awesome sucheela =)

  5. rrrriiighhhttt

    maybe he likes my confusing-always-on-the-wrong-side-erluquan teaching style