In its truest form, there is no denying that traditional kung fu is an art. It may seem obvious, given that we call kung fu a “Martial Art”, but often times the concepts that give this art its form are lost on its practitioners.
We learn the techniques, the drills, the combinations and all the necessary tools to make us decent kung fu artists. For many, decent is plenty, for it is their hobby and success is measure by quantity more so than quality. But there is a path beyond decent, beyond good; a path that takes excellence to extraordinary levels of skill. That path requires passion; for only those with a passion for the art will seek out the subtleties that define the art.
Consider the painter and the pianist. A painter may learn many ways to stoke a brush and combinations of brush strokes necessary to create. And the pianist learns the keys, cords and how to string them together. However, what separates them from the skill Da Vinci or Mozart is the subtleties. And those subtleties are only explored by those who have a passion for their art.
Keep this in mind as you focus on your training. If you desire to have incredible kung fu skill and knowledge, then you need to ask yourself whether or not you are truly passionate about learning. Sacrifice often accompanies passion, so the real question becomes: “What are you willing to sacrifice?”
Of course, having passion is just the first step. Guidance, open mindedness, and self-cultivation are necessary to understand and explore the subtleties of kung fu… but those shall be discussed another time.