The 6 Kung Fu characteristics that I learned were a big part of making the person I am today. Kung fu was the first martial art that I have taken during my teenage years. My parents decided to put me in it because of the unacceptable attitude I once had as a teenager.
I was a very cocky person too and thought I was better than everybody, which was a huge problem! The development of being arrogant and showing a bad attitude came from hanging out with an atrocious crowd back in my teenage years.
The attitude that I learned from these guys was something I took and made as a part of my character. My parents hated what I have become! So, to humble me, putting me in Kung Fu school was the right choice.
Once I joined, a complete change occurred in my personality. I went from being a terrible person to becoming a kind individual. It was a process, but it worked.
The process that I went through that changed me was learning the 6 Kung Fu characteristics. And they are:
For all 6 Kung Fu characteristics, I will be explaining my experiences with them with you all.
When I first started Kung Fu, one of the most important characteristics that I learned was respect. Before learning about this characteristic, I was in an environment where there was a lot of disrespect happening. The atrocious people I was around loved showing disrespect towards other individuals.
Why? It’s because they felt powerful for doing it. I remember feeling that way from when I was talking back to teachers back then. The atrocious people in the class found it funny. It was like disrespect became the new respect.
I liked the attention I was getting from them, but it blinded me from seeing what I did was wrong. When I got into Kung Fu, the progression of training and obeying rules has caused me to see the disrespectful type of person I was.
Kung Fu Rules of Respect
During training, I had to learn to follow a process:
- The first thing was how to bow. Bowing is a tradition in Kung Fu, and if no one follows it, it’s a sign of disrespect. It’s also a way of greeting my instructor from whenever practice starts as well.
- The second was to show respect towards the other students.
- The third is no fooling around, no drama, and no fighting.
If nobody follows this 3-step process, then someone will either receive discipline or punishment. After following this process, I learned that I should never disrespect anybody for fun to gain attention.
It was a humbling experience following the rules of respect from the Kung Fu program. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have realized that it is the key for people to become better citizens, workers, leaders, and an overall good human being in the gym and society.
Having discipline is another meaningful characteristic that a student must have when training in Kung Fu. This characteristic allows students to prepare themselves on how to obey rules and follow a code of behavior.
Based on my own experience, one of the things that I learned was never to interrupt my instructor. One day, there were some students that I was training with during kung fu class that was interrupting my instructor.
These guys were fooling around and talking while he was demonstrating a technique for the class. It was funny at first, but my instructor was getting furious about the way they were behaving.
Disciplinary Action to Those who Misbehave
So, what he did was made them do 100 push-ups & a 5-minute wall sit at the end of class. They hated every minute of the punishment they were going through!
After witnessing the discipline they received, I got scared! It made me not want to go through that sort of punishment.
Disciplinary Action When you are Late for Class
It’s unfortunate that I had to go through the punishment. What I did was not for misbehaving though. It was for was for being late for class. After that moment, I learned that I should never show up to class late again.
The discipline that I have witnessed and experienced from training has caused me to apply it to my daily life. If it weren’t for being disciplined, everything I do in life today would have been a misguidance for me.
Showing honor is another influential aspect that is a part of the kung fu program. It’s about showing:
You’re not only showing these 3 characteristics to the people around you, but also most importantly is towards yourself! Before joining kung fu, I wasn’t a very honorable person. During my time hanging around with the wrong crowd, I remember following what they did and causing trouble.
These guys found it fun getting in trouble and would give me high respect for doing it with them. But, taking kung fu has made me realized that there is no honor in that.
Realization of What Honor Truly is
How was I able to see this? It was from learning to obey the rules from the Kung Fu class. Following the rules has taught me that good behavior is what makes a person honorable.
The bad behavior is what makes someone look like a bad influence and an untrustworthy individual!
Back in my teenage years, I remember not doing anything in return for anybody. The reason why is because the people I followed never did. These guys believe that there is no honor of being kind in doing things in return for anybody.
They believe that doing things in return makes a person look weak. So, I imitated what they did because I thought it would make me feel like an alpha male. But, I eventually learned my lesson that following their advice was a huge mistake!
Kung Fu made me realize that the people I was around were negative. They weren’t alpha males; they were insecure individuals! They just talked tough to cover up their weak emotions.
What Witnessing Benevolence Makes You Realize
Comparing to people in the Kung Fu class, everyone is so positive and friendly. The students would help each other out whenever they are having trouble with a technique.
Ever since I witnessed that, that was the moment of where I realized that is what benevolence is all about. It was about giving back to people and helping them to better themselves.
When I found out what it means to be benevolent within the gym, I started to apply that towards life and society.
I wasn’t a very confident teenager either from back in the day. I always thought I was, but I was very insecure. I thought hanging out with an atrocious crowd would help bring confidence within me, but it didn’t.
Sure, I would mimic and talked tough just like they did, but Kung Fu has made me realized something. I was doing that to cover up my unconfident self! As I progressed in training, I came to realize that talking tough doesn’t mean anything.
The moment I began to see this was from when my instructor told me the most common quote most people have heard, which is “actions speak louder than words”. And he was right!
In training, I learned that the best way to show your confidence is by doing rather than talking.
Progression & Training Builds Confidence
The more I progressed in Kung Fu, the more I felt my confidence began to rise. The work of progression didn’t come from a big talk at all.
It was all done through hard work and action. The more I trained, the more I began to believe in myself that I am not insecure.
Being humble always during practice is considered the appropriate attitude to have in Kung Fu. All the other five characteristics that I talked about above were all things that lead me to become a humble individual.
About the arrogant personality, I once had. That characteristic was slowly in the progression of being eliminated as I kept training. The more I trained, the more I realized that there isn’t such a thing as being better than everyone.
Since there are levels in the Kung fu program, it made me realize it’s an ongoing process of people surpassing each other. Therefore, it is not about being better than everyone. It’s about proving to yourself if you can be a better you after every training session!
How Kung Fu Training Humbles you
Being a better you means are you humbler, and are you more honest to admit your own mistakes? Mistakes that I have made was something I used to complain a lot about back then.
I did it during sparring as well as during technique sessions. With the arrogance I once had, making a mistake while practicing hurt my ego. And that was what I needed! Getting my ego checked caused me to see that being good at Kung Fu wasn’t about being perfect or having a powerful identity!
It’s about learning and admitting my own mistakes that will help me to improve my skills and my overall character. Every training session I went through was nothing but a humbling experience.
If it weren’t for Kung Fu, I wouldn’t have been the humble individual I am today.
Learning all 6 Kung Fu characteristics has made a drastic change in my personality. If my parents didn’t put me into Kung Fu, I think that I would’ve been a terrible individual still until this day.
After going through a bad past, I believe that people who have gone through a similar experience should learn Kung Fu.
Learning this art gives them a chance to find themselves. Also, to discover what is morally right & wrong in society from learning the six characteristics.
If you have anymore questions about the characteristics in Kung Fu, please leave a comment or send a message.
Hi there! I’m Austin, editor & owner of the Mixed Martial Arts Life or Lifestyle (MMAL) blog. Martial Arts have been one of my biggest passions for years & I have spent most of my life learning different types of disciplines. To find out more about my adventures & passion for martial arts, read all about it here on my blog.