Get a new plan, Stan.

Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005, 23:27 PM by Tracy

A couple months ago I had a crisis of confidence (mostly in reaction to having a crappy time at kung fu camp). I said I wanted to “go on hiatus” ... because I didn’t have the guts to admit I wanted to quit.

I had a ♥2♥ with Sifu Patty. She convinced me to stick with it. She really hit the nail on the head when she said I had gotten this far along without committing to being “serious”. If I stuck with it, I’d have to face being “serious” about training. 9 years and I’m not serious about it? Could fool some people. Certainly have been fooling myself.

So today in class Sifu Chris calls me over to ask about how’s that going. What do I need to do to get serious about training? I rattled off several items (write brown-black paper, improve my cardio condition, focus in class and so forth).

That’s a great big ball of stuff, says he. Monkey line it. (Monkey line, as a principle of fighting, is simply fighting one opponent at a time.) Make a plan. Do one thing at a time.

Why didn’t I think of that before? I’m great at making plans. I always think I’ve got to do everything at once, but eventually I get overhwelmed. Then I break it down and make a plan and tackle it one task at a time.

Apply my existing organizational and project management skills to kung fu and getting to black belt? A revolutionary concept.

That’s why he’s the sifu.


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About Mo Duk Pai

Mo Duk Pai kung fu is a modern American eclectic system of martial arts, combining hard- and soft-style techniques Mo Duk Pai, which translates to “Martial Ethical Way”, was founded by Professor Frederick D. King. For more information, to see photos or inquire about training, visit the Mo Duk Pai web site, which I also maintain. I have been training since 1996 and currently hold the rank of brown-black sash.


Sifu (pr. see-foo [Cantonese] or shur-foo [Mandarin]) is a Chinese term for Teacher. It also carries the connotation of Father (teacher-father), referring to a tradition of teaching martial arts within the family, as well as being a title of respect. In America the title sifu is given to both men and women. In Mo Duk Pai the title is awarded to 2nd degree black belts at their teacher’s discretion.


Qigong (pr. chee-gung) is the practice of Chinese exercises incorporating movement and posture, breathing and visualization. Qigong exercises focus on maintaining health by energizing and balancing one’s qi, or energy.