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What Is The Right Term For A Wushu Practitioner? | Как правильно называть человека, занимающегося ушу?

Wushu is not a separate discipline that is to be "studied", it's a way of life. So the words like "athlete" of "fighter" that are OK for calling someone successful in, say, judo or kickboxing, seem to me a little bit wrong for calling a person who goes into I Liq Chuan.

Someone's religion is not detected by his beliefs (never mind how sincere they are) but by the ceremonies he holds and the praying house he visits. Exactly so the I Liq Chuan studying is detected not by which dojo do you use for punching a bag, but by which principles do you use in your life.

So two terms seem to me most appropriate: disciple and native user. Disciple is someone who studies hard, and scans any information aas regarding to his style. He tests every new discovery in his life and at last adapts it to himself and makes a constitutional part of his personality.

Native user is someone who has already adapted some style elements to himself and found a successful way to use it in his real life. He obeys the law of the style not because he found them to be better then other ones (or good at all). No - they are just natural and comfortable for him. So we are all native users of written speach skill, this or that language skill, bipedal locomotion, etc.

These properties - disciple and native user - can be presented both in the same person, or not. One person can be a student forever, always looking for some new sources of wisdom, being a miracle of understanding it, but... he would never implement anything into the reality of his life. An other person can understand everything very quickly but change it in his mind almost beyond recongition and use widely and extensively, but no other members of the group would consider him as one of them. I remember one of my fellow karate fighters who told sensei once: "Teacher! At last I've understood why we study such complicated movements with raising knees high! Yesterday I've seen a street brendy trader. I took a couple of brendy bottles from his table and left but he demanded money! I turned back to him, but my hands were busy with the bottles, and there still was his table between us! And then I understood why it is required to raise you knee at mae-geri..."

It's a goos example of an ideal native user for whom an instructor is ashamed with. But please don't think that it is wrong to be a native user without being a disciple. That's the way that many masters passed before creating their own style. Bruce Lee, Oyama Masutatsu are among them.

But let's avoid talking about good and bad. It's all passions and affections, that are to be avoided. It is pleasant to extend your frame of reference, but for being a good instructor one should just be good in transfering the style. And for having what to transfer you shouldn't stop being neither a disciple nor a native user. However confident you are in your skills and worldview there always should be a space for doubts and experiments, especially if you pay attention to wise people at this time.

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