Rekindle the Flame

I attended a documentary at the Garneau theatre a couple weeks ago. In this documentary, a young man talks of his experience as a chef, cooking for a large group of people on a regular basis.  This young man was asked if he ever gets tired of his job. His reply was that when he runs out of new ideas of what to cook, it gets repetitive, and that leads to boredom. He becomes bored with his job as chef, until he comes up with new ideas of what he can cook.  Then he is no longer bored, and his responsibilities as chef become enjoyable again.

When I heard this, I immediately thought of my opportunity to teach Kung fu to kids.  When I run out of new ideas of how to teach, my classes become repetitive, and then I become bored. I don't look forward to teaching because I feel like I'm going in circles with ideas. Teaching the same small circle of ideas over and over again. When I research teaching kids Kung fu, I manage to come up with new ideas. Watching a video of classes, can give me even a small snippet of an idea, and I can take that and teach a number of classes. It's so exciting to bring a new idea of how and what to teach to class.  When this happens, I feel I am relaxed and able to teach my best classes. As I introduce a new idea, more new ideas often come to me right as I am teaching.  I think outside of the box, and it becomes spontaneous and exhilarating. These are my favourite classes to teach, and the kids always seem to enjoy them a lot too.

I also find this to be true as I train. If  I train the same way over and over again, it becomes so repetitive and boring. That leads to a decline in wanting to train. But, if I can think of new ways to work on the same form or technique over and over again, it becomes challenging and suddenly rekindles my desire to improve, and train harder. This drives me further on, and plays a huge role in my quest to become closer to mastery.

I felt that today. I have been working constantly to finish my new weapon form. I managed to get to the end, learning the last move a mere few days ago. I have been going through it from start to finish, so I can get the sequence memorized. Today I video taped it, and saw many errors of my ways.  As much as it kind of sucks to see how much work I need to do to improve my form, it's exciting to pick apart pieces of the form and work on those certain pieces only.  It definitely takes away the boredom of doing the form over and over again from start to finish.  As I improve on the small bits and pieces of the form, it improves the form in it's entirety.  

Brenda Stoddart