How to Fight Other People’s Egos in The Martial Arts Dojo

If you choose your school well, you may not find any tension among the male and female students there. But chances are you will find egos. It has been said that Hollywood’s portrayal of martial artists as possessing superhuman strength and uncanny intuition has attracted to the martial arts individuals of both genders who have low self-esteem and large egos. These are the kinds of students who believe that after just a few lessons they are ready to take on the world. You would think that a couple of ill-timed blocks on these students’ parts would keep their egos from inflating. But that’s rarely the case.

Chances are good that there will be at least one student in your class with an ego. This student may be louder than the others and more critical in an unconstructive way, and may consistently put down other students (especially when those “other” students aren’t within earshot). From experience, I can tell you that they aren’t, as you would expect, outstanding students. In fact, they are usually just mediocre. The big ego isn’t there as a result of being especially blessed athletically; on the contrary, the ego is usually there as a shield, protecting its owner from admitting his or her inadequacies.

I’ve seen everything from students who spend more time staring at their hair in the mirrors that line the inside wall of a school than at their forms, to students who turn up their noses at low-ranking students, to students who strut their stuff around the floor as though they were somehow a cut above the mere mortals with whom they share the dojo. How do you deal with these students? They can’t be ignored, because eventually you’ll have to work with them. In my experience, I’ve found that treating them no differently from other students probably drives them crazier than if you were to confront them or try to ignore them.

If your teacher carries the biggest ego in the school, you’ve got a problem. Hopefully, however, you decided not to join that school. But there are several things inherent in martial arts schools that prevent egos from spinning out of control: the adherence to traditional values and to etiquette and manners. Requiring students to address one another politely, bow and thank one another goes a long way in keeping them humble. (Certainly, the erosion of manners in today’s society is one reason so many parents send their children to martial arts schools.)

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment


About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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