Training Tip: Leave Your Ego at the Door

This past weekend, I was helping run a local scifi convention.  Among other things, my martial arts instructor and I ran a self-defense seminar.  It seems like every time you run one of these things, there are at least one of two types of guys that show up that let their egos get in the way of training.  We had both of them.

The first type is the Macho Guy.  The macho guy doesn’t seem to understand the fact that we practice things at half speed and not at full force for a very good reason, often for their safety.

The examples (there were 2) were doing their best to resist anything we demonstrated on them.  Since they came in late, they were right on time for wrist locks.  This pretty much means that, instead of being nice and gentle, I had to be a bit meaner and cause them more pain.

The second type is the Know-It-All.  This guy is the one that apparently already knows everything better than the instructor and tells people “well, I would do this instead…”  Basically, he tries to hijack the class.

We had one of these in our class.  He was an older gentleman that resembled George R.R. Martin and studied Akido sometime in the past.  I know, because he made sure to tell me a few times.  In particular, when we were teaching a way to escape a headlock, he said he would rather drop to a knee and send an uppercut to the balls.  While this is effective if it connects, it puts you in rather bad situation if you fail.  Add to that the fact that he, like most older folks with weight issues, had bad knees and had to struggle to stand back up, and I wouldn’t really recommend it.  Of course, he refused to see how that technique had some issues.

Remember that you’re there to learn.  There are probably reasons that the instructor is having you do things a certain way.  If you don’t know why, it’s perfectly ok to ask, but saying “this is stupid, I’d do this,” is not ok.  Also, remember that the instructor cares about your safety (or at least should), and that’s why they don’t start off with full force.  In my case, that’s to avoid broken bones, in a gun class it’s to avoid extra holes in people.  Recognize that this is a courtesy to you, and give them the same.

TLDR version: You can learn a lot more if you check you ego at the door.

2 comments to Training Tip: Leave Your Ego at the Door

  • A Leap at the Wheel

    So, just out of curiosity, which method of escape from a headlock did you demo?

    • oddball

      Ground yourself (lower your gravity), tuck you chin in, step behind your opponent, and push yourself out. Bonus if you can keep hold of their air and turn it into a chicken wing.

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