THE ZEST FOR LIFE
Firstly, I would agree with you that Shaolin is the most extensive martial art. But I think there may be a weakness. For instance, to be at least reasonably competent in kungfu, you need to dedicate most of your life to its study and practice. This is not very inspiring for persons who want to learn an effective art and still have a high paying job.
-- Seryozha, USA
It is not a weakness, it is a price. If you wish to obtain great benefits from a great art, you have to pay a great price. The great price in genuine Shaolin Kungfu is not just the time and effort in its practice, but also the time and effort in seeking a genuine Shaolin master willing to teach you.
It is good that you have raised this point. Many young people, especially in the West where they are used to instructors or facilitators eager to please them, dream of learning great kungfu but are unwilling to pay the price. Knowing this fact beforehand will help them avoid wasting time on sub-standard kungfu or being disappointed that they could not measure to the task involved.
But while much time and effort is needed, you should not spend most of your life to its study and practice. Shaolin Kungfu is meant to enrich your life, not to enslave you to it. Because of the training of energy and mind in genuine Shaolin Kungfu, you will find you actually have more time and zest for both your work and your daily life. Not only you will perform better in your high-paying job, but more likely you will want to work for yourself than for others.
These are not empty talks. Shaolin philosophy places importance on practical results. Right now, for example, two of my students, Darryl and Dan, resigned from their jobs to attend my Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course in April. One is a manager, and the other an international consultant. Although the immediate reason for their voluntary resignation is to attend the course, it is the Shaolin training that they have had that gives them the courage as well as vision to be their own boss after the course. I am very proud of them. Honestly, besides genuine kungfu (including Taijiquan) where the training of energy and mind is involved, I cannot think of any other martial arts that give such benefits — like courage, vision, confidence, abundant energy and clarity of mind..
Many people have expressed amazement how I could have so much time and energy to do so many things. I train regularly and devotedly, I teach throughout the year and help many people overcome so-called incurable diseases, I travel extensively covering Europe, North and South America and Africa, I answer hundreds of e-mails, I read a lot, I have four new books to be published this year, and, most important, I spend a lot of time with my wife and children. The reason for all the time, energy and zest for work and play, is that I practice genuine Shaolin Kungfu.
The above is taken from Question 1 of April 2002 Part 2 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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