Fall Event Series 2009


Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Aristotle [384 BC – 322 BC]

2009 promises to be our biggest and best Fall Event Series yet with Sifu Klaus Brand, WingChun Grandmaster and IAW Founder.

We need each and every one of you to realize the personal value of this opportunity. Repeated instruction by and direct interaction with the highest embodiment of an art is the goal of all artists. And it’s something easily taken for granted, even though the opposite case is true. No one knows if the next chance is the last chance. So when you’re able to access an irreplaceable moment, willingness is the sole remaining step. In actuality, all instants are uniquely once in a lifetime because none ever repeats itself exactly again.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We can go further with modern media and claim a video is worth a thousand pictures. Finally, an experience is worth a thousand videos or, doing the math, a billion words. The most articulate collected volumes of scholarly text or deluxe high-definition DVD box sets of every known lecture on, for instance, Nature is still inescapably vicarious to one authentic contact with natural reality. The double filter – the output of an author’s mind as attempted communication and the input into the observer’s mind as alledged comprehension – of second-hand knowledge is never quite enough, always falling short.

So it is so with Self-Defense education. Through each of your senses you learn an aspect of the whole. But through all of them in simultaneous synergy, via the perceptive powers your entire human organism, you gain more than partial understanding. You can read explanations of Pak Sao (Slapping Arm). You can see photos of it. You can watch clips of it. These are decent but insufficient approximations that still leave you with persistent questions and permanent doubts. Then there is actually performing, really engaging, simply savoring a Pak Sao in motion. Until you thus subjectively do, act, and feel for yourself in the first person, objectivity is unconvincing.

Yet you can’t start merely with the decision to act, but a decisive action, which creates a defined behavior, which solidifies a determined habit. It only matters that – not how or why or when – you begin. Reach your next goal, become your better self. Your greatest chance to do so begins on October 16.

Summer Seminar Success

USHQSeminar26.07.09_500pxA super successful Summer Seminar Sunday. Thanks to all who participated and contributed their energy and enthusiasm. To those that didn’t attend, make sure to join in the fun next time. That’s in six weeks on September 6.

USHQSeminar26.07.09.1_500pxCongratulations to all who pursued and passed their Testing. These are our proud Student Level graduates this round:

Jesus Cisneros, SL 1
Will Ma, SL 3
Deidre Zafar, SL 4
Brian Watson, SL 4
Marty Patin, SL 4
Alex Johnson, SL 5
Ben Campbell, SL 5
Manish Bhatt, SL 5
Ian Johnson, SL 6

USHQSeminar26.07.09.2_500pxAlso a big thumbs up to those who attended just to train their Program. It says a lot about your dedication to put forth this effort towards consistent improvement. Remember, repetition leads to realization.

Training Gains

To say the least, these are interesting times. Many are inflamed with a nagging insecurity that lacks a clear diagnosis, let alone a definite cure. And it’s contagious! Without a strong defense, we are also soon infected. There are no easy fixes when fundamental change (in action, behavior, and habit) is necessary. Just like borrowing our way to wealth or dieting ourselves to health are temporary at best but ultimately fail. Poor basics always catch up to us. Hint, remember to review.

In Self-Defense, we have mere fractions of a second to perceive, decide, and react. So ignoring reality, perhaps in the form of a fast fist, quite hurts. Even, or especially, when we don’t want to directly deal with it. We learn that we can’t wait to do something. But rather than fight, instead we activate insight. How about shifting aside to attack the root of the problem? However you move, it must be swift and sure.

In the daily routine of the good old days, we forget that nothing is set. When in fact all is unpredictable flow. Yet no matter how difficult the situation, everything always began and ends with individual choices. That includes whether to sit and sigh or to stand and smile; whether to blame someone or to improve something; whether to be overwhelmed by or to overcome fear; whether to back down or step up; whether to avoid or confront the hard truth. Decisions, decisions.

If you suffer from chronic hesitation, indecision and procrastination then you need a consistent, effective and transformative remedy. Thus, we train to ingrain better tendencies. Obviously that refers to our Regular Classes, Special Events and Private Lessons where we use physical interaction to tease out and take out our common weaknesses. Be they manifest in body, heart or mind. But what is training actually? Simply:

Training = Repeating actions to create behaviors

Over time, these solidify into habits. Defined as such, you are always training! Consciously or unconsciously, for better or worse, like it or not. In WingChun, we choose the former course. That is, consciously developing better habits we like. By default, the latter occurs when we aren’t aware that we’re going in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, this zoned-out zombie state is all too common.

Again, repeated action becomes automatic. Thus, we undergo an ongoing process of conditioning. So the condition of your processing is imperative. Using WingChun, we integrate high quality programs and super practical methods that improve our responses to stressful stimuli. New pathways are laid down that reduce anxiety and reveal assurance. However, the first thing we typically give up when we conversely need it most is such personal practice, whatever this may be. For some, it’s volunteering, hiking, climbing, knitting, cooking, singing, meditating, painting, dancing, or journaling. For us, it happens to be WingChunning.

In short, because it evolves your perspective and elevates your skillfulness, WingChun can help you define a life worth defending. What that exactly is and how it’s done is up to you. But you’d be smart to apply the focus you get from Siu Nim Tau to run your errands, the power you get from Lat Sao to recharge your motivation, the speed you get from Puen Sao to reach your goals. Not to mention reinvesting the confidence, courage, and care we get from each other into your other duties and obligations. Use it or lose it! You won’t believe until your achieve, nor achieve until you believe. You can’t know how until you try now.

The relevance of WingChun is not just attacking each other’s arms. No doubt we excel at these technical displays of powerful movement. However, if you pay attention and think carefully, you’ll figure out how the Pak Sao (Slapping Hand), for instance, concept is useful for clearing all sorts of obstacles. But only if you train!