A secular tradition

Wing Chun / training resolutions for 2015

As the New Year is almost upon us, do you have any New Year’s resolutions for your Wing Chun training this coming year? Before you answer this please read the following:

According to wikipedia a 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning.

Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.

That being said, and the fact that the New Year is upon us, do you have any New Year’s resolutions for your Wing Chun training this coming year? If so, what can help you to not only achieve these goals but stick to them and dare I say surpass your expectations?

Micro management

If you have ever wanted to set any goal in the past, not just related to Wing Chun, or even considering one or two for this New Year, the process of goal setting does not have to be micro management operation that will consume every waking hour of your life from the time you set the “goal” until you have achieved your outcome. If this is how you think of goal setting at the moment you are not alone, this very process is the major factor behind why so many people “fail” to achieve their outcome.

You are thinking too much!

Any goal you want to achieve will have specific and detailed parts that make up its overall outcome, the process of getting to the goal, this is true, but, because the average human mind is only capable of holding 7 plus or minus 2 pieces of information at any one time (George Miller) setting a goal that has many smaller components will instantly overwhelm you and immediately set yourself up for failure.

A little bit of chunking on your mind

As an example, say you set the goal of wanting to lean the 3 empty hand forms forms within the Wing Chun system: Siu Nim Tao, Chum Kiu and Bui Tze within 12 months have private lessons and work on the wooden dummy form, your thought process might go a little something like this:

“Siu Nim Tao, hmm, right, there are 108 moves in this form, and I need to start with the following, find your proper posture, keep your legs and torso in position throughout the form. Only your arms move in Siu Nim Tao. Start by standing straight with your head up, feet together, toes pointing forward, and hands at your sides. Raise your arms forward, keeping them straight, until they are at shoulder level. Form your hands into loose fists. Bring your hands back to the “rest” position, with your fists alongside your chest and almost up to your armpits. The elbows are pointing straight back and the forearms are level with the ground. Keep your torso upright throughout. While you are moving your arms back, get your legs into stance. Bend your knees. Point your toes out, then swing your heels out. Your feet should be shoulder width apart when you are done, with the toes pointing inward. When you are in stance, your weight is evenly balanced left and right and forward and back. Your knees are slightly together……”

I will not continue, but I hope you see my point, total overwhelm, and this was just thinking about the first form.

Chunk up and set the goal

The above would have been better thought of as “learn” the first form or “do the thing, get the results”

This approach might sound really simplistic and that is the point, think about how many things you do not do because of the exact same process above, say, something like booking a holiday, how many people do you know that will not take a holiday this year because of how many processes they come up with to get the holiday booked, (talk with the wife, get the brochures, decide where we want to go, look on the internet to see if we can get a better price, go to the travel agents, pay the money, get the passports, think about the entertainment, will it rain, can I get time of work, who will take us t the airport, what if the pilot is a woman …..) thinking like this, booking a holiday would become so painful that you would rather say at home!

Do the thing get the results

So whatever goals or aspirations you may have for the coming year Wing Chun related or not, aim high, chunk up (do the thing get the result) and do small steps little and often.

 

Sifu Alan Bagley

If anyone would like more information on the best process of setting goals please contact me or chat with me in class.