PREPARATION IS 95% OF SUCCESS
Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
There is a kungfu saying that learning constitutes only 5%, 95% of the time is involved in practice. In other words, to be successful in kungfu training, which also applies to chi kung training, you have to practice, practice and practice, not learn, learn and learn.
Practice here means right practice. If one practices wrongly, which unfortunately happens to most martial artists today, he will not be successful in his kungfu training. Why do I say that today most martial artists practice wrongly? An excellent way to access whether one’s practice is correct is to find out whether his result is the same as what the practice is meant to give. Most martial artists today do not have the effects of practicing their martial arts, which are good health and being able to defend themselves with their arts.
We can also say that preparation is 95% of success, only 5% is implementation. Many people are kind to say that my courses are very successful. My criterion for the success of my courses is how well students benefit from the courses. Teaching the courses is the implementation. All my training as a student, as well the benefits and the teaching methodology I intend the students to get from the courses, constitute the preparation. In other words, I do not just walk into a class to teach; I prepare myself well.
This is the same as our scholar-warrior concept. We do not engage in free sparring and hope to win. We have already won when we engage ourselves in free sparring. The free sparring is just to confirm our victory. To have such success, we must prepare ourselves well.
I used this strategy when I went out to ask people for free sparring to confirm my combat efficiency at a time when I was actually not very combat efficient. Not only I chose my opponents, I prepared myself very well, and I managed to remain undefeated. Later, when I had become combat efficient after learning from my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, I could spar on the spot without prior preparation. This didn’t mean my earlier preparation was not useful. I just reaped the benefits of my earlier preparation. I also had my preparation when learning from my sifu.
I can now walk into a class and teach, and produce good result. This does not mean preparation is not necessary. I had my preparation in my earlier teaching. I now reap the benefit.
Hence, if you want to be successful, you have to prepare well. One does not become a doctor, an engineer or a successful businessman straight away. He had years of preparation. If you are an instructor, you do have a big class straight away, you have to do your preparation. Renting a place and announcing your teaching is the implementation, you have to spend 95% of your time in preparation. A few of our instructors are successful. Kai, for example, has more than a hundred students, Leo has about a hundred, but most of our insttructors have very small classes.
There is no question about the high level of the arts we teach and about the number of potential students. You just have to bridge the gap between the arts and the students. How you are going to do this, I shall leave it to your initiative, but it is sufficient to say that if you put 95% of your time in preparation, you will certainly see your classes grow. Teaching our arts is a noble task. You are literally bringing health and happiness to people.
It is the same with all other endeavors. If you want to be successful, you have to put a lot of time into preparation.
Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
31st January 2017