Every so often I will see one of my clients sitting off on the side with their arm wrapped in an ice-pack, brace or support bandages. Other times it may be a black eye, sprained ankle, tweaked knee or damaged finger joint.
At times like these, I question what happened to them and why they sustained the injury?
Usually the culprit is ‘Ego’. The competitive streak that lies within us all. I have often heard the phrase, “leave your ego at the door” and over the years it has made more and more sense.
Without the ‘ego’ getting in the way I find that my training is more fun, my training partners also enjoy the learning process and everyone goes home with a big smile instead of their arms being bandaged or hobbling off.
Here are some anecdotes on this topic:
“The big white belt was completely exhausted by the end of the three minutes of rolling. I held him in mounted position for almost the whole time, stifling his every attempt at escape. Gee, won’t the black belts be impressed.”
“I tapped the dude out seven times in three minutes. Man, I’m awesome. Wait until I tell everyone”.
“The guy did not score a single point on me. Wow, am I getting good! I wonder who was watching. Where is the teacher when you need them?”
Unfortunately, there is one in every academy, dojo, kwoon, or training hall. A big ego has gotten in the way again. One result: many of their training partners will quit before they have had a chance to develop their skills, out of frustration and a feeling of failure. A crying shame, and not only that, they will tell everyone they know about the “cruddy school where they took martial arts”. Another result: no one will want to spar with “that guy” anymore, and he will not progress.
Saulo Ribeiro, one of the world’s top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experts, puts it best in his book, Jiu-Jitsu University; “I cannot have a top student take the Mount and expect a white or blue belt to escape. This is because the school’s blue, purple, and brown belts all know the same techniques. With everyone sharing the same knowledge, the upper belts can stifle the progression of new and white belts! How can a white belt progress? By feeling how a good student can put him in danger and then working the escape. That’s the only way for him to train escapes as a white belt. The upper belt benefits by fine-tuning his timing and sharpening his submissions.” (Source: http://karate-kids.com.au/how-to-be-a-great-martial-arts-training-partner/)