|Champions - every one!|
Wing Chun Do – Martial Art for the Common Man
“You have to get yourself a champion.” This is what a friend told me during a discussion about the secret of success as owner of a martial art school. “That’s how I did it.” His contention was that creating a successful tournament competitor, visible to all, is the key to popularizing a martial art school. This is expressly true if your particular martial art is most clearly expressed through tournament, a venue governed by rules and safeguards, where failure is a survivable option. However, in terms of self-defense on the street, where no rules are observed, the proof is found only in survival of those who have been victimized. In this context, failure is tragic and not an option. This interaction caused me to reflect on the meaning of success, winning and champions.
So, from a martial art standpoint, what is a champion? ...a winner, of course! More accurately, it is an individual who puts him/herself in simulated “harm’s way” in order to test and confirm his athleticism, skill and courage. This is a goal; a choice; a chosen commitment of time and lifestyle. This is the purview of an elite few – those who possess all the attributes necessary to make this very conscious decision. They choose when and where they will test their metal and how he will prepare for the contest.
But, how does this relate to the average person, suddenly and violently forced to defend his/her life and more importantly, that of her/his family? On the street, the opponent is not a competitor but a predator – a determined attacker with no conscience, mercy or remorse – bent on the destruction of its victim. In this situation, there is no choice, no warning and no time to prepare. For the object of such an attack, failure is not an option. In this context, championship means survival.
In point of fact, by this criterion, Wing Chun Do can boast many “champions”. But their victories are not high profile. There is no glory. They receive no trophy or championship belt. They are merely ordinary people, quietly going about their lives in the confidence that they are “champions,” “winners” or more accurately, survivors. Wing Chun Do is specifically suited to the task of creating survivors. As Wing Chun Do Instructors, we offer people the tools necessary for survival. In the final analysis, we help every individual who comes through our doors become a champion. How good does that feel?