On first wushu lesson a student doesn’t really know what wushu is, having seen some movies and books. A student often comes driven by curiosity or desire to be strong and know good fight tricks. Later s/he can understand different aspects of various styles, comprehend “internal” work, and become more professional. Trainings will help in self-developing. But the very first step is always important. Here are some recommendations for new students.
Before beginning to search for a teacher or style, ask yourself why you want to learn. What are your main goals? And the question is relevant taking into account an amount of so-called wushu schools. Any way, starting trainings make sure that you are in the group with your age, health, physical abilities, gender, etc. "Soft" styles with their “internal work” are recommended for adult men and women. And on the contrary, for young people, physically healthy and active it is better to be skilled in powerful and rigid styles. On the other hand, ancient masters always emphasized, "there are no bad or good styles, strong or weak - there are bad and good students".
All the true wushu schools, no less than good families, are similar to each other, so they say in China. And it is the truth. Despite different external demonstration and character of movements coming from different schools, masters could always find the core: cosmogonic laws, principles of "yin" - "yan" interconversion and control over Qi and Quin energy.
Everyone can choose her/his own way and follow it. However, Tongbei style (Ma Menta’s family school) is good for any person despite of age, gender or trade. Specially developed technique gives an opportunity to study secrets of real combat, to improve health, etc.
How to find an appropriate style or club?
First of all, define your goal. People practice for health and self-defense. Also they practice to reduce stress, for meditation, relaxation or physical exercise. For sport branches age is important. You can go in for sport wushu, karate, taekwondo being 6 or 7 years old, judo and sambo – 9-10 years. After you are 20 you need to be in a good shape to become a champion. If the only you want is to fight, then boxing or sanshou. It will be good for you. If you don’t feel like to beat or be beaten – boxing or kickboxing isn’t for you. If you don’t like traditional school attributes, bows or things like that, then cross out aikido from your list, etc. Yoga, Qigong, Taibo or shaping is perfect for health and good shape. Make a list and cross out styles you don’t need gathering information you have.
Ancient traditions say that the best martial arts teachers are those from 50 to 70 years old. Though many newcomers like being taught by instructors who still remember how they were taught.
And the last, whether you want to have self-defense trainings and sport combats or merely to become healthier and find good friends, follow the recommendation. Ask older students or instructors about technique, whether or not is it considered a martial art, can it hold boxer’s strike. It is clear that only martial technique of wushu improved through generations can be useful and effective. A skilful instructor has to be able to demonstrate the meaning of every taolu element or every other movement despite the style he teaches. If it is the way we recommend, then, don’t loose your time – start trainings!