When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:
I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me
I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me
I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull
I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death
I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed
I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes
I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados
I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers
The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn
Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung
WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE
The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated.” - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)
“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)
“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne
Sense of Achievement - Entitlement
We increase our level of proficiency and by osmosis achievements. This is a difficult transition as it can take us down a path. The path is the choice we make. The path is either a correct path or one that is not conducive to true spirit.
Martial artists who see the path and strive to pass goal posts along that highway to greater proficiency know that this includes such things as mentoring, training, practicing, and assumption of a leadership role. This is a great responsibility to you as a practitioner as well as to those whom you lead, guide and mentor along to finding their own path.
There are dojo practices and training; there are seminars with other leading practitioners; there are competitive encounters; there are actual threats and conflicts that must be traveled to reach a milestone post along that highway - the path. Our perceptive filters build, modify and expand as we travel this road. It has effects - psychological.
How we deal with both the physical and psychological can determine our leadership abilities. It involves an awareness of our ego's and our pride. The side I sometimes use the term coined in the writings of Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung - the monkey.
If we allow it to assume a controlling position then we may fall into that grievous state where we assume a "sense of entitlement." For leaders; for leadership - this is a dangerous and slippery slope.
Do you encounter emotional reactions when a sempai does not bow to you? Do you feel it when they don't address you with a title you have? Do you take homage when a practitioner does not practice the etiquette's you require? Do you assume everyone will come to you and pay homage to you at seminars or other martial gatherings? Do you assume that you should receive recognitions such as rank, titles, etc. because you believe you have earned them? Do you get emotionally stressed if your dojo or practitioners are overlooked for recognitions, promotions, and awards? Do you find that others tend to turn away or avoid eye contact when they see you coming? Are you guilty of assuming a false sense of entitlement?
A false sense of entitlement creates an egoistic prideful attitude that sends a clear signal to all who see's or hear's of it or witnesses it first hand. It is one of those things I would look for in a perspective dojo where I would simply turn around and walk out never to return. I fell pray to that sense of entitlement only to discover just how ridiculous I was being and how that projected that ridiculous false facade to others who simply ignored my presence and had a good laugh at over drinks.
A false sense of entitlement creates a persona that transmits the wrong message for those who follow your lead. How seniors of any martial system act, talk, and walk the walk transmit a great deal as to how one practices and acts both in and out of the dojo. It is a tempering process that also contributes greatly to the proper sense of application to those dangerous principles and techniques learned in - say - karate.
A very slippery slope we encounter in the world of martial arts. It is easy if we are not aware and diligent in our own path to enlightenment and it is a choice between either the dark side or the light side of that path. Assuming the mantel of senior, leader, mentor and a higher level of grade can subvert the way with ego, pride and the resulting sense of entitlement. "Choose your path wisely!"