I still remember like it was yesterday, standing outside the door of the Ving Tsun Kung Fu Studio in Hatboro, PA. I had recently moved to the area to complete my formal training under Sr. Master Jay Hitchman and this was my first visit. Even though I had about six years of training under my belt at this point, I still couldn’t help but wonder what might lie on the other side of the door.
I don’t know why I felt a sense of anxiety about entering what would soon feel like my second home. I don’t know why I was slightly intimidated. I don’t know why there was a piece of me that really felt like I might just be better off turning around and working on my already established basic level skill. Maybe it was because most of my training was done in my first teacher’s home and when we finally established a school, I helped build it, so I never really had to deal with entering a martial arts school where I didn’t already know everyone. Maybe it was because under my first teacher, SIfu Dino, I was a senior student and now I was switching gears to become a junior student, even to those with much less experience than. I could keep guessing, but the truth is I really don’t know why, even to this day.
Reflecting back upon this experience it almost seems absurd that I had such a sense of hesitation. Afterall, in short order I met many of my new training partners, and my new teacher. All of the people I met were incredibly nice, respectful and welcoming to me. But as I reflect upon this experience, I am forced to realize that many people interested in learning Ving Tsun at our school in the Greater Pittsburgh Area might feel exactly the same way.
I realize that coming into a new environment can introduce a certain amount of stress and uncertainty- especially when you are entering an environment where you expect to be hit, kicked, and punched as a matter of normal experience. But before you let that scare you off, keep in mind there are levels to your training and there is actually very little threat.
At our school we remove the “Tough Guy” image and focus on developing strong people. When you first come to visit our school there will be no expectations set upon you, other than you have come to learn and train in this extraordinary martial art called Ving Tsun, also spelled Wing Chung. In fact we tell new students all of the time “the great part of being new is that you haven’t earned the right to make a mistake yet.” In other words, do not be afraid of trying things and taking risks and evaluate what works and what doesn’t. In time you will develop some amazing relationships with amazing and skillful martial arts training partners.
Your first journey through our front door is your first, and quite possibly your most challenging test. To have the courage to try something new will make you better at developing your confidence in all areas of your life.
So if you are standing at the door of the Mokwoon (kung fu school) and feel that slight bit of apprehension try not to let it bother you too bad and walk right through. Realize that you are in good company when it comes to crossing that first barrier with hesitation. However, what lies beyond that barrier may have the power to change your life for the better forever.
If you are ready to get started on your kung fu journey and find yourself ready to enter the door, sign up for your first trial lesson for free online at iLoveWingChun.com. Sifu Dale and our many students will be there to welcome you and help you get started with plenty of support in a family like atmosphere.