Monday, December 06, 2010

Instructor Series: Pencak Silat and Ego

Let go of your ego.
As you practice martial arts, and for those of us practicing pencak silat, there are several things you may end up seeing or doing yourself. Some of them are very subtle but they rear their heads regularly. I've seen them in myself from time to time and more obviously in people I've taught.

Things you might ask yourself or actually say:
1. "That doesn't feel comfortable to me. I think I'll do it this way." Yet, admittedly you are training with a teacher bc you have much to learn. And usually this is done shortly after you learn something for the first time—not after repetitive study.

2. "I wouldn't do that in the street..." Again, admittedly you are training with a teacher bc you have much to learn. Perhaps the take away isn't the technique, but the principle. Additionally, there aren't too many absolutes about what will and what won't work. It's all situational and all relational.

Things you might actually do:
3. When someone you are teaching brings up a great question you may not admit that you don't have all the answers and that you may have to ask someone else or even just explore solutions together.

4. If you get hit, instead of accepting the challenge to improve through training or asking what you could have done differently, you get angry or frustrated

5. Thinking: "This is really simple. I'm too advanced for this stuff." Or "Can't we do something other than this simple stuff?" 

6. Defend your training blindly when critiqued. Even critique that is done in a negative spirit can sometimes yield value. Be willing to just look.

7. If you ever stop putting yourself out there for others to evaluate, ask yourself "why?" It could be that you're trying to protect yourself.

8. Blame others, including your teachers for your lack of growth and development. That's pure crap. You need to own your path.

I'm sure there are others. Certainly there are more obvious ones than these, but I've seen these in myself and others over the past 20 or so years of training and they can be very subtle.

Just a quick note to think about.

Would love to expand this if you feel like contributing.

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