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Wu Yuxiang Style Tai Chi Chuan
Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan
Wing-Chun Chuan
Xingyi Chuan

Chinese Learning


A: Why does it feel so GOOD to get praised by your instructor? I've worked very hard over the past year and you might recall that I posted a question a couple of months ago about my instructor who never gives anyone in class an indication of their progress, whether good or bad. Now, after a year, although he is tougher on us and expecting more, it feels as if something has changed, his attitude towards us. He actually singled me out the other night and praised me for the efforts I'm making. Since then I've been almost on a high and after that I went out of my way to push myself even harder. How is it that a few simple words can affect you so much?

I also want to ask whether you guys are tempted to quit every now and then? I sometimes feel that the art is too big for me and that my body and mind will never make it, but then I force myself to continue and I feel great again. I really enjoy the training, but sometimes I just wonder why I am putting myself through it, especially when I struggle.

B: Great question. I know that I longed for my instructors to tell me and other students that we were doing well. We all looked up to our instructor/s. As I got older and began teaching students of my own, I did not consider this issue at first. I became the old school stone faced instructor that drove my students hard, saying little to them. Several major things happened in my own life that made me step back and take a good look at things. After that I changed greatly what I taught, how I taught it, and how I treated the students. Now I make sure that I complement them on their progress. Now I understand just how important it is to them. And now I understand how much better it makes me feel to see the way they light up when complemented. If I could change my younger years, the only change would be that I would have done this sooner. We only have one chance in life to do the right thing. We can be selfish and try to act the all knowing emotionless tough guy. Or we can be human and treat others as we would like to be treated. We can learn to not be afraid to let others see that we are not perfect. The power of a kind word, a smile, a laugh can help someone more than anything else we can offer sometimes.
Your post makes me think that your Sensei has matured in his own way and come to the same realization.

Just my thoughts.

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