Chinese Martial Arts Celebration
One tradition that is rarely taught in the UK is that of the Martial Arts as a form of celebration. While many know that the flamboyant Chinese Lion Dances are performed by the local Martial Artists, few know what they are celebrating. A Martial Art is traditionally a celebration of health and wealth. Health because you need to be healthy to be able to do it and wealth because, as with nowadays, learning a Martial Art cost money. Traditionally you would pay a Master to teach your child about life. It was always much more than learning self-defense. Students learned about giving and receiving, healing and were taught to be confident, dignified and respected. They were given the wisdom of an understanding of life. This is also connected to the Chinese notion of wealth, which goes further that having lots of money. Wealth is related to happiness and fortune (as in ‘luck’). So the Master would also teach how to search for happiness in life. This included how to attract the right people during your life journey. The influence from the wrong sort of people can get us into trouble and make our journey difficult. Equally, a person would be considered ‘fortunate’ if he prospers from meeting the right people at the right time.
Simon Lau Centre Standard
One thing that must improve in the new current situation of society is the level of professionalism within Martial Arts teaching. One day the public will insist on better qualified, better educated instructors, but why not beat them to it? At the Simon Lau Centre the process of becoming an instructor involves more than just Martial Arts training. All potential instructors are hand-picked by Master Lau before undergoing a 12 week internal instructor course. Each student has to produce a written paper on each of the topics covered in the course and is assessed according to the quality and punctuality of this work. The next phase involves putting the theory into practice. Each of the students has to prepare a speech on one of the topics and then present it to the other students. In addition, each student has undergo the task of taking a beginner’s class under Master Lau.
Inspiration in Chinese Martial Arts
The challenge all our instructors face is that of inspiring their students. There are three key requirements before this is possible and Martial Arts teachers need all three. The first is to be inspired yourself. If you don’t find the subject fascinating and rewarding, your students never will. The second is to lead by example. People are inspired by seeing people do things they can’t do. In other words our skill has to amaze our students. Like it or not, we are the standard by which our styles are judged. Therefore we have to accept the responsibility of maintaining a high level of skill through our personal training. Becoming a teacher is no time to case off with our own training. The third key to inspiring students is having a deep and secure knowledge of the subject. Tell someone to brush their teeth twice a day and they won’t do it. Explain why they should do it and get them to understand the benefit of doing so and they will. We need to explain the benefits of what we’re doing and what our students will gain from it. This way will inspire them towards self-discipline. Which means they aren’t training to please their teacher or to punish themselves. They’re doing it for their own personal development. They understand what they do, enjoy what they do and are respected for it.
Master Simon Lau as Ambassador for Martial Arts in England
Master Lau continues to be an outstanding ambassador for the Martial Arts and the Chinese culture. He has always demanded the highest standards of himself and will continue to do the same for his organisation. It is pride such as this that helps maintain such high standards. Dedicated Martial Artists have much to be proud of. Integrity, respect and discipline lie at the heart of a traditional martial art and these are qualities that many people feel are badly needed in today’s society. In light of this, rather than becoming out of date as we go into the new trends of society, traditional Martial Arts have never been more relevant.