Naming your blog is sort of like naming your child. It takes thought and consideration. After all, your blog is an extension and reflection on yourself…much like your child. I could have chosen to call this “Martial Arts for Women” or some variation on that name but I chose instead to use the words Kung Fu in the title for a reason.
You see Kung fu does not necessarily have to be associated with any marital art. Kung fu (also written as gung fu), according to Wikipedia, “alludes to any individual accomplishment or cultivated skill obtained by long and hard work”. My teacher will sometimes remind us of this when he senses people growing impatient to get to the next thing or level or frustrated at our current level.
So you see if I manage over time through hard work and effort to build a really good website, one that proves to be of some value to women in some way either in the form of some support and encouragement in their own martial arts practice or in their spriritual development, then THAT is good kung fu too.
To me kung fu represents perserverence (among other things) and I admire people who know how to perservere. In our society today, we are being trained to want everything that is quick, easy and convenient. I love that fact that my martial arts practice takes perserverance. I value it so much more because it isn’t easy. I have respect for an art that requires so much effort be poured into it. Sure, I get frustrated sometimes, I’m human. But I never seriously think of giving it up. I get too much out of it for that. So I keep trying knowing that, in time, I will get better at whatever it is I’m working on. That is really true of anything isn’t it? If we just don’t give up, eventually we will get better and have strengthened ourselves in the process.
So when I talk about Kung Fu for Women -this doesn’t have to mean I am talking about martial arts. Maybe your idea of good kung fu is learning to play the violin or writing a book or raising a family. Whatever your “kung fu” is, just do it with all your heart and soul. And when it gets difficult and frustrating, embrace it. That is part of the journey. That is life teaching you to deal with those emotions and move past them, triumph over them.
I like to write this stuff down so I can read it back to myself when I’m feeling that angst. It helps me to remember that anything worth having is worth working for. I have children who need to know this too. It is not enough though for me to sit here and type it and have them read it one day. They need to see me living it. There is no better way I can teach them. Maybe then, they too, will one day be doing their own good “kung fu”.
Originally published November 20, 2008