Sifu Says...???

WingChunIsNoSport

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So I'm currently learning from a Sifu, started with him and stuck with him for a little while now yet I been feeling like I am being held back for some reason. He advances other students who make bad mistakes with poor form and barely gives me time these days.

I don't know what changed or when but I just noticed I started getting much less attention. Then I realized about a month ago I mentioned I was going away overseas for a month.

Today was my last class before leaving and I asked Sifu "what should I work on, practice, focus on while I'm away" and his reply was..."nothing. Just do nothing, take a break and do nothing". Not even work on the forms. Just...nothing.

I was shocked, I just said thanks and walked away. What do you make of this and what would you do in my position?

I feel extremely disappointed and even sad.
 

wckf92

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So I'm currently learning from a Sifu, started with him and stuck with him for a little while now yet I been feeling like I am being held back for some reason. He advances other students who make bad mistakes with poor form and barely gives me time these days.

I don't know what changed or when but I just noticed I started getting much less attention. Then I realized about a month ago I mentioned I was going away overseas for a month.

Today was my last class before leaving and I asked Sifu "what should I work on, practice, focus on while I'm away" and his reply was..."nothing. Just do nothing, take a break and do nothing". Not even work on the forms. Just...nothing.

I was shocked, I just said thanks and walked away. What do you make of this and what would you do in my position?

I feel extremely disappointed and even sad.

Hard to say without seeing your behavior and performance in an actual class... But, just taking your post "as is", it leads me to believe that you are not in good standing with your Sifu. Example: if, in class, you do not listen carefully, pay attention to details, act like you "know it all already", train half-heartedly, etc...then your Sifu may have written you off as a waste of his time. Just my 2 cents.
I've seen this sort of thing happen before when I was training, and I saw it again years later when I was instructing.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I can think of about 5 different things off the top of my head that could all explain the behavior, each of them equally plausible. I think the only way you'll know is with actual communication-ask him, not us, why his behavior's changed, and why he thinks you need a break.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I can think of about 5 different things off the top of my head that could all explain the behavior, each of them equally plausible. I think the only way you'll know is with actual communication-ask him, not us, why his behavior's changed, and why he thinks you need a break.
This. ^^^

I know that some people are given less attention because they don't listen or make corrections. After a long enough period of time, Sensei turns to students who listen and attempt to apply what they are taught. Note that it's not about being bad or good at martial arts; it's about the perception that they either don't care enough to listen or don't care enough to try to fix mistakes when they're told about them.

I don't want to claim to know anything at all about the original poster or their issues, but I do know that most often, the student is a poor judge of how advanced or skilled their fellow students are. A qualified instructor sees what the student does not. This could give a perception of others being promoted before oneself.

I also agree with Monkey Turned Wolf that communication should be direct and between the student and teacher. Ask for some of his or her time, explain your concerns. It's not impossible that you're right and the instructor just doesn't value you for whatever reason. A direct and frank conversation should bring this to light if it is true.

And if I may, please consider that the pursuit of rank is not the best reason to continue training. Regardless of why you train, you are exactly the same martial artist no matter what belt you are wearing. Getting a new belt confers no new abilities.
 
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WingChunIsNoSport

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Hard to say without seeing your behavior and performance in an actual class... But, just taking your post "as is", it leads me to believe that you are not in good standing with your Sifu. Example: if, in class, you do not listen carefully, pay attention to details, act like you "know it all already", train half-heartedly, etc...then your Sifu may have written you off as a waste of his time. Just my 2 cents.
I've seen this sort of thing happen before when I was training, and I saw it again years later when I was instructing.
Well I can say (and yes, anyone can say it) but my work ethic is top class. Sifu tells me to work on something i do it continuously, to the best of my ability and without a break (unless it's bathroom or blowing my nose or something) until he tells me to switch t something else. Don't goof off and always utmost respect. So work ethic is definitely not the issue, I don't even bring or drink water.

Is it plausible that me having to go overseas for a month may have somehow created or caused this and then I became a waste of time since I wouldn't be around for numerous classes?

I mean you would think any Sifu would at least, VERY least said "work on Siu Lim Tao, try to focus and breathe and relax more extend the time it takes you...work on the other forms, shifting etc."

And if for whatever reason he sees me as a waste of time then why not just tell me instead of taking my money until I have to leave?
 
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WingChunIsNoSport

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I can think of about 5 different things off the top of my head that could all explain the behavior, each of them equally plausible. I think the only way you'll know is with actual communication-ask him, not us, why his behavior's changed, and why he thinks you need a break.
I could but the thing is, isn't it the teacher's duty to guide and inform or advise the student?

The vibe I got was that once I said I would be going away about a month ago is when all this seems to have started and I should be much further than I am now looking at other students.

(I mean he teaches biu jee to a guy who has such poor chum kiu with really basic mistakes, such as adding an extra (4th) step bong and tan, then chung kuen from tan instead of bong, steps are very poor form etc. I'm looking at that and saying "wth! This guy is learning biu jee but still doesn't even do chum kiu properly")

IDK. Maybe time to check out another Sifu and get his opinion.
 
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WingChunIsNoSport

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I would do MMA.
Honestly, I'm not gonna lie I looked up another Wing Chun school that is 5mins from my home and the Sifu learned under GM Chu Shong Tin. Might do a trial class.

Also looked up local Muai Thai classes too.

I wish I knew whatever the issue is but I'm not going to beg to be taught or progress.
 
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WingChunIsNoSport

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I said F it and just called him and now I kinda feel like a douche.

He actually said that I totally got the wrong message and what he was implying was that I am actually trying too hard, pushing too hard and giving too much effort.

He told me sometimes it is good to take a little break but he said he knows I won't anyways so he just said focus on the forms and do everything very slowly. Less effort, less pushing hard, just slow it down and though this may seem contrary to logic he said it will help me in the end as it will smooth everything out if I slow it down. So basically STOP trying too hard.

Yeah, I'm gonna need a shower now lol.
 

_Simon_

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I said F it and just called him and now I kinda feel like a douche.

He actually said that I totally got the wrong message and what he was implying was that I am actually trying too hard, pushing too hard and giving too much effort.

He told me sometimes it is good to take a little break but he said he knows I won't anyways so he just said focus on the forms and do everything very slowly. Less effort, less pushing hard, just slow it down and though this may seem contrary to logic he said it will help me in the end as it will smooth everything out if I slow it down. So basically STOP trying too hard.

Yeah, I'm gonna need a shower now lol.
That's a fantastic outcome, good on you for actually reaching out and asking. I was actually thinking it was something along those lines to be honest, you seem very committed, diligent and studious (which is wonderful, but can be a hindrance in certain ways), and it takes a good teacher to be able to tell one student to train more, and another to slow down your wheels and ease back the pressure a bit.

Nothing like good honest communication to sort out and clarify any misinterpretations :). You must feel very relieved.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I don't even bring or drink water.

I said F it and just called him and now I kinda feel like a douche.

He actually said that I totally got the wrong message and what he was implying was that I am actually trying too hard, pushing too hard and giving too much effort.

He told me sometimes it is good to take a little break but he said he knows I won't anyways so he just said focus on the forms and do everything very slowly. Less effort, less pushing hard, just slow it down and though this may seem contrary to logic he said it will help me in the end as it will smooth everything out if I slow it down. So basically STOP trying too hard.

Yeah, I'm gonna need a shower now lol.
I'm glad you got clarification from your instructor and it was a good message. I just wanted to bring your attention to the first quote above.

Not drinking water during a workout may feel like you're being more hardcore - but it doesn't help you develop physically or technically. If you're working out hard and getting dehydrated, you may be creating the risk of injury without any corresponding gain. This might be the sort of thing that your instructor is seeing when he suggests that you dial it back a little bit.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Honestly, I'm not gonna lie I looked up another Wing Chun school that is 5mins from my home and the Sifu learned under GM Chu Shong Tin. Might do a trial class.

Also looked up local Muai Thai classes too.

I wish I knew whatever the issue is but I'm not going to beg to be taught or progress.
My advice is to be patient. If I feel a student has the whats next disease, I may slow them down. Its not just about collecting techniques, or even polishing them. Its a certain overall mental state and approach to learning that I look for as much as anything else.
 

punisher73

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My instructor slowed me down and delayed a couple of my promotions. At the time, I was upset, but hindsight I am glad that he did. At the time, I picked up physical movements very quickly and could learn a form in a night for example and retain it. I practiced at home at least an hour everyday in addition to the 3 classes a week (I would still practice the hour even on class days).

I was starting to get a very wide base in my art, but a very shallow depth. The "delay" allowed me to deepen my understanding of things.
 

mograph

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I was going to say that your sifu might have been giving you good advice, in that if you do nothing during this time off, you might "empty your cup" and essentially do a hard reboot by staying away. Maybe he thinks that would be best for your practice when you return: new paradigm, more of a beginner's mind, maybe.

But you got the answer anyway -- good on ya for reaching out.
 
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WingChunIsNoSport

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I'm glad you got clarification from your instructor and it was a good message. I just wanted to bring your attention to the first quote above.

Not drinking water during a workout may feel like you're being more hardcore - but it doesn't help you develop physically or technically. If you're working out hard and getting dehydrated, you may be creating the risk of injury without any corresponding gain. This might be the sort of thing that your instructor
 
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WingChunIsNoSport

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I'm glad you got clarification from your instructor and it was a good message. I just wanted to bring your attention to the first quote above.

Not drinking water during a workout may feel like you're being more hardcore - but it doesn't help you develop physically or technically. If you're working out hard and getting dehydrated, you may be creating the risk of injury without any corresponding gain. This might be the sort of thing that your instructor is seeing when he suggests that you dial it back a little bit.
Thank you kindly.

I also just wanted to mention that as for me not drinking water, it isn't to force myself or be more hardcore, it is just knowing my body and listening to my body.

About a year ago would have been totally different but I have worked my conditioning back to the point where I do my weight training like cardio, without a break between sets, one muscle to another opposite muscle then back etc. (saves a lot of time having to wait between sets lol) and with a bag on and if I do take a small break it is to hydrate as I must have fluids to do this, but then after I do a minimum 30min jog (still with the bag on), without needing a drop and hydrate after, and I'm fine.

Could be different once the summer hits full force though. And definitely appreciate the concern.
 
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