What do you consider learning?

Do you only feel like you are learning when being shown new techniques?

Where do your place instruction and practice on the refinement of kung fu techniques, basics and movements that you have already been shown before?

Training in Kung Fu provides and exciting pathway of learning because of a graded syllabus and a constant stream of “new” things to learn.

The problem is that, with this stream of ever developing techniques a student can become complacent at refining the Kung Fu they have already learned. Instead focusing on always adding to the pile of kung fu forms or martial art techniques they have. The student is then engaged in what I would call kung fu collecting.

When this happens the student has stopped focusing on the goal of being good at kung fu, and has replaced it with the goal of merely collecting sashes or forms as some sort of arbitrary gauge of their martial art ability.

Rather than, the gauge of their level actually being their ability.

Simply knowing a technique does not mean that it is being executed with a level of proficiency or that it has been practiced to a level where a student could actually use the technique in a self defense situation. Knowing and understanding are two completely different things.

As an instructor I see correction and refinement of technique as a much higher level of training and instructing. For me in class, giving a student a correction or refinement on something they already know is what I am there for. Yes as a student you are always going to learn new things. But the difference between learning kung fu from a dvd or off some internet expert is the fact that you are getting personalised correction and feedback on the way you are executing your kung fu techniques. Every student comes to us with a unique personality, body type and ability and it is our instructors and my ability to help you achieve the very best level of technique that serves you in your martial arts journey from a beginner to mastery.

Jow Gar Kung Fu is a very big system of martial art knowledge. In our syllabus there are over 50 traditional kung fu forms. So continual learning of new techniques should be tempered with gradual progression and refinement of forms and techniques that you already know. “You do not get better at kung fu by learning new stuff, you get better at kung fu by practicing your old stuff” is something that students would have heard me say in class.

So if you feel disappointed when you are given corrections rather than taught something new. You are missing the point of having excellent instructors at your disposal. Anyone can do bad kung fu, can you apply yourself to do good kung fu?

Motivation and Martial Arts Training!

In my Kung Fu training, and in observance of you the student, I have come to realise that the different levels we progress through when learning technical motor skills, such as Jowgar Kung Fu, pose different motivational issues and challenges for all practitioners of martial arts and Kung Fu alike. Whether child or adult, we are all motivated by a feeling of progress and achievement in the activities that we pursue. It is the changes in the type and amount of progress that we achieve which I would like to address mainly in this article. As we move through the process of learning complex movements in martial arts we transition through some very distinct levels.


A novice is all about following rules – specific rules, without context or modification.


You start to see patterns and principles (or aspects) rather than a discrete set of rules – rules become “rules of thumb”.


At this point you are not solving problems or making conscious decisions about things, you just “do” and it works. “Optimal performance becomes second nature.”


Mastery is mostly about style. Sometimes you may have witnessed someone or spent time with someone who is so good at something and gets so caught up in doing it, that you can’t help but feel that you are watching a genius at work.

A Master is an Expert who can look back and put themselves in a Novice’s shoes and create the rules,    and do the monitoring/mentoring necessary to help them move forward. This progression is viewed as a gradual transition from rigid adherence to rules to intuitive movement that relies heavily on deep understanding.

What does all this mean for your motivation while learning Martial Arts?


Jowgar Kung Fu