It is a common feeling to find that you have reached a plateau in your Wing Chun training. When you first start everything is new and exciting, but after a while you find that that this passes and you come to a point where you feel that you are no longer improving. Students will sometimes tell me they feel like this, though the conversation usually starts, “Sifu do you think I am improving because I think I have reach a plateau…”
I am sure that everyone who has dedicated any amount of time to training will have felt like this as it is actually part of the process of developing your skill. Learning more things is great, but you also have to develop what you have already learnt. It is like planting a seed in the ground. Once you have planted it, you have to water it and wait. On the surface it can look like nothing is happening, but we all understand that actually a lot is going on underground. Only when the time is right will the young plant break the surface of the soil and then you have to wait even longer for it to bear any flowers or fruit. This is natures way and we all accept it. However we should also realise we are the same.
Knowledge is not a skill. If it were then you could simply read a book on any subject whether it is Wing Chun or brain surgery and then go out and do it. Of course we all know (at least I hope we do) that things are not so simple. So knowledge, together with guidance and a lot of practise will allow you to develop the skill. When we learn something we have to work on it. On the surface it may feel like we are not getting anywhere, but this like the seed growing, there is actually a lot going on underneath. When the time is right the skill will break the surface and now more knowledge can be built on the skill you have developed. So you see you are ready to move up a level and step off your “plateau”.
Learning Wing Chun is not just about learning new things, it is also about knowing or understanding more about the things you have learnt, only then can you say you truly “know” something.