習武的付出和平衡 The Endeavor and Balance in Martial Arts Learning
來源插圖 Illustration Credit: Pinterest
多年前，在我開始學習詠春拳不久後我每月開始讀武術雜誌。我喜歡讀詠春拳和其他傳統中華武術相關的文章。我還喜歡讀武術界最新的趨勢，例如總合格鬥術(MMA) 的普及和以現實生活狀況的實戰為主(Reality-based) 的格鬥術的流行，如Krav Maga 和Systema。不過，最近在我腦海中留下深刻印象是來自澳大利亞的武術雜誌,“Blitze” , 的編輯Silvio Morelli所寫的一篇文章。文章標題是《採取中庸之道》 (“Take the Middle Path”)。這篇文章提出了有關在學習武術必需作出的努力和平衡的一些很好的見解給我了一些想法，在這給習武的朋友作參考，特別是給那些剛剛開始學或正想學習詠春拳的朋友。常言道：「要怎麼收穫,先怎麼栽。」很多人想成為第二個葉問或李小龍。習武的人需要真正認識到，他們想得多少就要付出多少。他們必須要付出時間，金錢，及血汗的代價來獲得他們想要的功夫。習武不是一件輕鬆的事。我記得在電影「駭客任務」有一個場景演員基努李維只需幾秒下載一個軟體後，就睜開眼睛說：「我會功夫了。」我想許多習武人看到那一幕臉上八成露出笑容。在他們的內心想：「如果真是那麼容易就好了。」 習武不會在一夜之間獲得驚人成效。在我的情況，我也付出了相當的代價。但是與很多武術前輩比較，我付的代價是一點都不算什麼。我相信很多前輩作出更大的犧牲，來換得到他們的功夫。例如，我的少林師傅當他6歲就到少林寺且一待十多年，幾乎每天練功10至12小時。我陳氏太極拳師傅和師公陳小旺習武十年，除了睡覺，吃飯，整天就是練太極拳。他們很小就沒有正常的家庭生活。他們沒有受正規教育的機會。他們也沒有一般人成長時會有的休閒娛樂。現在他們都非常有成就，也是國際上有名的師傅。雖然這是兩個較特殊的案例，但它們背後代表的意義是相同的。所以，我深信您需要努力付出才能得到任何珍貴的東西。 一旦您得到它，您將更會珍愛它。您願意付出什麼樣的代價？
似乎和付出對立的另一邊為「平衡」。甄子丹在電影「葉問 」的角色被他的妻子在木人樁上寫下「老婆大人」四個字，提醒他不要將幾乎所有的注意力和時間都放在功夫上。平衡對熱中武術的人有時可能是比較困難做得到，包括我在內。一旦人們發現練功夫的樂趣與魅力，那就很難停止不練。如果我們一天不練功夫，我們的身體感覺怪怪的。 3天沒有練，我們感到很內疚。一個星期沒練！！？？我們不會讓我們自己這麼頹廢，對不對？然而，如果想持續練習功夫，保持生活裡的平衡是很重要的。並在我們的其他角色，如兒子/女兒，丈夫/妻子，父親/母親，做我們職責應該做好的事情。更不用說，其他休閒娛樂也在爭取我們有限的空閒時間，例如電視和電腦。現在人們有許多壓力來自不同的方面 - 家庭，學校或工作。從這個角度看，那麼在像類似少林寺的地方習武是相對容易的，因為他們最主要做的事情就是練功夫並且外在干擾相對是很低的。Silvio Morell 給我們的忠告是「關鍵是要有足夠的靈活性，以調整事情的次序，因此能夠照顧到其他生活重要的領域，但仍保持相當的聚焦，不荒廢我們的訓練。... 這需要自己去挖掘出什麼是我們的心裡面真正重要的事，並且武術在我們的長遠目標和日常必須做的事項排在什麼地位。」所以，除了恆心外，我們需要有足夠的智慧來學習排列優先次序及管理我們的時間，才能將練習功夫擠進到繁忙的生活裡。練武並不是像百米衝刺，而像一場馬拉松，或許更像長途越野賽跑。我們必然會遇到許多的高低起浮，並且在路上障礙不斷。它不僅考驗我們的堅持和恆心，它也考驗我們的智慧。此外，我認為我們還需要心存感激。我們要感謝找到我們喜歡的武術。我們必須感謝我們的武術老師。而且，我們還需要感謝周遭親近的人接受, 甚至於包容,我們的喜好和讓我們做我們喜歡的事。因此，如果學校的課業繁重，那麼就專心在課業上。如果身體不舒服，那麼就安心在家休息。如果有一星期六太太要您帶家人出遊而不去練武，那麼就開心去玩一天。如果有好的海外商機，那麼就抱著雄心去打出一片天。如果您有一個良好的平衡生活，您一生應可持續不斷得練武。
The Endeavor and Balance in Martial Arts Learning
Shortly after I had started Wing Chun years ago, I began reading martial arts magazines monthly. I enjoy reading articles about Wing Chun and other traditional Chinese Kung Fu in the magazines. I also enjoy reading the latest trend in the world of martial arts, for example the biggest trends of late are the popularity of MMA and Reality-Based martial arts such as Krav Maga and Systema. However, recently an article really stood out on my mind was an editorial in “Blitz,” the #1 martial arts magazine from Australia, by Silvio Morelli. The title of the article is “Take the Middle Path.” This article makes some good points about effort and balance in learning martial arts, which I shall discuss here for the reference of friends in the martial arts world; especially for those who watched the movie “Ip Man” then started to or wanted to learn Wing Chun. As the saying goes “You will reap what you sow.” Many people want to be Yip Man or Bruce Lee. Yet, they really need to realize they will only gain how much they put into practice. They to have to pay with time, money, sweat and sometime blood to acquire the skill they want. It’s not going to be easy. I remember there is a scene in the movie “Matrix” after only few seconds of downloading a program the actor, Keanu Reeves, open his eyes and said “I know Kung Fu.” Many martial artists must get a kick out of watching that scene. The skill won’t come over night. In my case, I believe that I had paid my price to get my Kung fu. However, I am sure many martial artists made much bigger sacrifice to get their kung fu. For example, my Shaolin sifu spent over 10 years in the Shaolin Temple starting when he was only 6 and practicing 10-12 hours everyday. So did my Chen Taiji sifu who studied 10 years with the grandmaster Chen Xiao-Wang. He practiced Taiji all day long, except sleeping and eating,. Now they both are very accomplished martial artists and are very famous Sifu overseas. I believe that anything worthwhile to get you need to pay a price to get it, and when you get it you will cherish it more. What kind of price are you willing to pay to get your Kung Fu?
The other side of equation is balance. This part is probably more difficult for people who have been doing martial arts for sometimes, me included. Once people find joy in practicing Kung Fu, then it’s hard to not doing it. If we don’t practice Kung Fu for just one day, our body feels weird. Three days without training, then we feel very guilty. A week!? No way we will allow us sink to that low, right? However, this part is very important, if one wants to keep practicing Kung fu and perform a relatively good job at his or her other roles, such as a son/daughter, a husband/wife, or a father/mother. Additionally, other entertainments are fighting for our limited free time, such as TV and computer. Nowadays people have pressures coming from many different fronts – family, school or work. People who live in the places like warrior monks in the Shaolin Temple have it easy, because all they have to do is practice kung fu. The author’s advice is “the trick is to be flexible enough to move things around and allow them for other important areas of life, but stay focused enough that we don’t neglect our training. This requires an intimate knowledge of what’s important to you …and look within ourselves to discover what’s really important to us, and where martial arts rates in our long-term goals and the hierarchy of daily commitments.” One needs to have the wisdom to prioritize and to manage his or her life and fit practicing kung fu into the life. Practicing martial arts is not like a 100m sprint, but more like a marathon. Or perhaps like a cross-country race. One bound to run into to peaks and valleys and obstacles on the way. Plus, I think we also need to be grateful. We need to grateful that we’ve found martial arts that we enjoy doing. We need to be grateful to our teachers for leading us in this endeavor. And, we need to thank people who close to us for accepting and letting us pursue what we like to do. So, if schoolwork gets too heavy, then concentrate on your study first. If you don’t feel well, then just take a rest until you fully recover. If your wife wants you to skip a class on a nice Saturday, then happily take your family for an outing. If there are good business opportunities overseas, then go to fulfill your ambition. If you have a well-balanced life then I think you will be able to practice martial arts continuously for the rest of your life. Stay on the course and hopefully it would be a very rewarding journey for you.
Bon voyage on your kung fu journey!