Not all aspects of training at the academy were enjoyable. With the day broken in to sessions, Andrew found himself gravitating towards grappling, acrobatics and San da (Chinese boxing), while forms practice, sequencing a selection of movements together, felt of less value to him.
At times he found himself frustrated, disgruntled and asking himself, “What do I have to gain from this? How will this benefit me?”
The rat-race mindset, the need to achieve a future benefit from every task had plagued him for some time now, particularly when it came to personal development. Many told him, his Mother and sister in particular, to take life less seriously, to relax a little.
The need to relax even came through his athletic endeavours. During San da practice, the young Shifu reinforced this principle. He was too tense. “Let your power out”, the Shifu reiterated. Keeping the body loose is understated and allows one to unwind supreme explosiveness.
Forget “What’s in it for me?” Andrew thought, instead see the situation for what it is. You’re in China at a Kung Fu academy and have the opportunity to train Kung Fu all day. You are one of the select few who will have such an experience. It is your imperative to squeeze as much enjoyment as possible. The Shifu’s, staff and fellow students do not dictate your personal satisfaction, it is dictated by you.
Play a little.