I get asked a lot about my class format for both how I teach kungfu and how I teach qigong. After people ask about what it is, how it might help them, and what is taught the next question is whether or not it’s a drop-in class. I’m pretty adamant when I tell them absolutely not, which takes people by surprise. I admit, for how the vast majority of meditation and martial arts classes are taught here in St. Paul, my model is a bit of an outlier. Students are expected to be present throughout the entire course. But this is not because I insist on being a bugbear about it, but actually for a very good reason.
Well before I founded Shaolin Wahnam Twin Cities, I had received several invitations to teach locally in schools and gyms. But time and again I opted not to because of the drop-in format. With this model, students are able to show up and participate in class as their schedule permits. My requirements are different. Of course, I understand that people have pre-planned trips and things, but students are by and large expected to be present throughout the duration of my courses. The reason for this is simple. This format really encourages students to develop a daily practice. The benefits of qigong are cumulative and require a dedicated period of regular practice to give the best benefit. It always makes me sad to hear someone say about qigong, “oh yeah that. I do it once or twice a week.” So rather than allow for a loose and casual structure, mine is more rigid, simply because consistent practice offers more of the incredible benefits of qigong. After all, if you wanted to run a marathon, you wouldn’t train once a week, would you?
The same is equally true, if not more so, for kungfu. Shaolin Kungfu is beautiful and highly effective, and much of this is because students work so hard at the beginning developing a basic foundation. In this case, regular practice is absolutely necessary, and in fact for more time every day. Of course, the tradeoff for building these daily practices pays off in spades, but because consistent practice is needed to realize that, I don’t offer Shaolin Kungfu as a drop-in class. Actually, when people tell me that they’re interested in it, I make a point of talking about just how much training is required at the beginning, then let them think it over before deciding. I find when students understand the depth of what they’re getting into, not only do they appreciate it more, but they become better students because they’re more likely to develop consistent training habits around the material.
So there you have it. That’s why you’ll never hear of a drop-in class at Shaolin Wahnam Twin Cities, which is really more for the benefit of the student than me or anybody else. My desire is to help touch and improve lives, and I find that this is the best format in which to do it. If you’re looking for a change, or know someone else who is, drop us a line to find out more about our classes.