I've studied various forms and styles of kung fu along with other martial arts since I was a child. Over the years my view and understanding of what kung fu really is and its true purpose has grown and come very far from where I started.
When I was a boy and I had first started studying, I thought that kung fu was a style of fighting that I could use to assert my power in a world where previous to training, I was considered amongst the weak and disabled. This theory was formed alongside some internal struggles and conflicts that I was going through at the time.
As I continued in this line of thought, I learned quickly (though not as quickly as I should have) that there is always going to be someone stronger than you and someone who will always be over you in some capacity. Realizing this I came to the conclusion that in studying martial arts, one must be content with his/herself in order to progress within. Allowing for internal progression would have external results I had thought. Channeling the emotions I had at the time about myself into each strike, each movement would allow me to progress.
Continuing on that path I found that my strength can only take me so far. I had to accept that there were limits that everyone had regardless of physical ability. Why though? I kept asking myself this question as I moved between different schools trying to find my answers.
As I grew older I began to see the responsibilities that came with what I was learning. There had to be a strength of mind, strength of character alongside the physical in order to truly progress in my training. Many trails and tests came after as I sought to grow and train my spirit and mind as well as my body. It is only recently that I have come to the conclusion that kung fu, true kung fu, is a lifestyle. Not a means of fighting only. Its something that you commit to and study and train for your entire life. Its amazing how two completely different countries can create a martial art for completely different purposes and still have similar concepts and techniques. That proves to me that the "basics" aren't all that simple. There is far more to what we study than we realize and there are far more implications and results from what we learn then we can imagine. You never stop learning no matter how many techniques you master. I am still learning and I look forward to learning with you all. growing as a family and teaching just as much as I learn from all of you.