Famous entrepreneur, Jim Rohn once said, “Success is something you attract by the person you become.” That statement , which is typically heard in the business world, has never been more true than in the realm of martial arts. When it comes to training, significant focus is devoted to the development of technique, skill, speed, but the development of who the person is cannot be overlooked. Going from the Wing Chun white sash to black sash (the equivalent of a black belt in other forms) takes time, commitment, and a lot of self-control.
THE Wing Chun White Sash to Black Sash Journey
The journey from the Wing Chun white sash to black sash is typically a long one. At Sifu Och Wing Chun, a practitioner training diligently every week may take anywhere from 8-10 years to finish the system in its entirety. But for those who do finish the system, the transformation from the beginner to master is beautiful. The title of “Sifu” (literally “teacher”), when attained, carries with it the essence of not only instructor, but of mentor, discipler, and leader. The evolution into a Sifu comes only through perseverance in the face of opposition, frustration, and pain.
Where, however, does the struggle originate? Is there opposition within a school? There can be. Is there frustration with an instructor’s method? Potentially. Is there pain at the end of a sparring partner’s strike? Without a doubt. The inward struggle, however, is much more vital to the success of a martial artist. To reach the next level in Wing Chun classes, one must face his or her own flaws and take them head-on. You face opposition with your own work ethic—to train or not to train. Someone dealing with self-doubt will struggle to have the confidence that new abilities can be learned resulting in frustration. And pain, pain from failure, can lead to great personal disappointment. All of these adversities are examples of things which direct each person to one of two ends: failure or success.
From White to Black
To succeed in moving from the Wing Chun white sash to black sash, one must actively work on him or herself. And that, is the exact moment where the title of “Sifu” comes full circle. The Master has overcome those very same struggles in his or her walk. He can now guide and teach the student in the journey before them. And that is the key to Sifu Och’s success, reaching into each individual’s lives and pulling out the very best in his students. That is how success is attained. That is how the Black sash is earned. This is the journey from the Wing Chun white sash to slack sash.