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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Losing to win

(Dictated by Sifu Lawrence Hill)

"A lot of people will feel really bad when they perform poorly, especially if in a fighting situation. They will get frustrated or upset if they get beat and bloodied up.  But I've taken a different view: you have to lose to actually win.  In order to improve you need experience and there is no experience like losing.

"I remember my first time really dealing with the concept of losing in the Wing Chung school.  I was fighting a guy who had a lot more experience than me and he may have been going for his black belt at the time. I got hit in the nose, eye and he knocked the wind out of me because he was using a technique I didn't know how to deal with at the time.  After the fight I was drinking from the water fountain, washing the blood out of my mouth, when my friend Greg walks up behind me.  (Greg is mentioned in my other post about how I began the arts)  He patted me on the back and said "Don't worry, you'll do better next time". 

"Here I was, this young kid having an epiphany. Instead of being depressed about losing, I chose to learn from it. I've always been able to view things in my head, like there is a big screen in my mind where I can watch scenes. I replayed this fight in my mind a lot until I could really dissect how this guy's hits were coming out and how I could deal with them. I did this quite a bit. 

"A few months later my school was doing a demonstration in front of 200 people. My crazy teacher thought it'd be pretty fun for me to fight this guy again, expecting me to get my butt kicked again. I was now able to see if what I was viewing in my head would work in reality. He came at the me the same way but because I gained enough experience to deal with it, he couldn't get past my defenses like before. I ended up beating him pretty easily.  I think that is when I really started developing my "losing to win" philosophy. In the end, it comes down to taking a disadvantage and making it an advantage.

"So if you find yourself in a similar situation, don't get frustrated or angry. Try to change your perception and really try to learn from the experience.

-Sifu Lawrence Hill

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