Saturday, May 1, 2010


Ego is one of the biggest problems in the martial arts today. The minute we start thinking that our style is the best or that we're better than others, we stop learning. This is not to say that we shouldn't be proud of our accomplishments, but we always need to keep an open mind.

We can, and should, learn from every person we meet. It doesn't matter what style they study. And it doesn't matter how long they've been doing it.

One time I was working with a brand new student. We were doing a technique where he was attacking and I was defending. His attack got through and I missed with the defense. I remember thinking, "He attacked wrong." Attacked wrong? What does that mean?!?

Whether or not it was ego, I had to check myself. He didn't do anything wrong. He attacked me in an unexpected way, not in the way I would do it, and it worked. I learned from the experience and even experimented with what he did when I was attacking.

We can all learn from everyone we meet, regardless of style or experience.

It is only when we let go of ego that we improve.


  1. being so self-aware as you are is a rare quality in people and shows you are a constant student of the game. hope to see another post on the ego, since it's such an important topic.

  2. Ego seems to be all through the martial arts these days. It's can be the enemy of progress and enlightened learning. Thanks for the compliment, I try to have the beginners mind every time I train.