By Heather McLean, Instructor, Southern Crane Kungfu

Welcome to the year of the Dragon! The Dragon, one of the 12 creatures in the Chinese astrological cycle and the only mythological member, spells a year of good luck and prosperity for people willing to work hard and take risks.

The Dragon epitomises character traits including dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven and unafraid of challenges.

However, what many people do not know is each animal also cycles through the five Chinese elements. This year is the year of the Water Dragon. Water calms the fire of the Dragon, enabling Dragons born in this year to see things from the point of view of others and helping them to work well in teams.

For non-Dragon people, this year embodies the idea that hard work will bring you luck and success. In your kungfu, that means apply yourself, and you will grow and achieve.

Sometimes junior students can feel overwhelmed when they see seniors performing their patterns; they think ‘how on earth will I ever get to that level?’, and then they decide it isn’t possible at all. It’s like the company new kid, the assistant to the assistant, looking at the CEO and thinking to themselves, ‘I’d like that job, but there’s no way I could ever do something like that – I could never get there, it’s impossible, I’m only the assistant to the assistant!’.

That is the sense of impossibility. Ignore it. Think instead in small steps; move from your first pattern to your second, then to your third, and so on. Keep working, one step at a time, seize the dragon zeitgeist of 2012, and you will get to where you want to be.


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