There’s not much info on the episodes of Artisans Reboot except here. But if its anything like the previous series Kung Fu Kitchen there would be things that we can learn from.
My student asked me about Pok Khek Kuen this week. He thought that a training sequence I taught him previously was PKK. I said I created this sequence so that students can have a reference to learn about striking. If I were to teach PKK the learning may not be as straightforward.
PKK is very easy to learn in that I can teach all the techniques in one hour. However, to gain basic competency at least to the level where one can enter a tournament would require 6-12 months of daily training.
But if one wants to use PKK in the manner that my teacher showed me then one can expect to put in a few years training. This sounds like an exaggeration so I showed my student the first basic moving stance that we learned. I said that my teacher had to spend 3 months to practice it before being allowed to learn how to punch.
The stance didn’t look like much. It can be easily imitated.
But trying moving in a simple, efficient and precise manner whilst being able to move through the array of techniques with speed and power and it would be obvious why this stance is easy to learn but not as easy to master.
To learn traditional martial arts properly one must adopt an artisan mindset. What does this mean? The film Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a good illustration of what being an artisan means.
Artisans Reboot is a good series to reminds us of the meaning of kung fu especially in today’s world where everyone wants instant satisfaction and fulfillment. If you want to learn Taiji properly you can’t rush the learning. Every step has its place. Even in a style as simple as PKK it is only after more than a decade that I start to understand and appreciate better how the different parts of the art come together.