Martial arts and ego
Right from the get go, it must be said that we all have an ego. It is part of what makes us who we are. The ego is only one facet of the mind but it rules the roost when out of control. An ego is out of control when there is nothing to reign it in. This unfortunately is the source of human-kinds suffering. Now that is quite a statement. It is our thoughts and habitual habits that drive our actions. Thoughts about who we are, how important or wealthy we are, even thoughts about which diet we follow or which spiritual tradition we follow are all paths that create a strengthening of the ego as we live defending these labels as superior.
The strongest and the fastest.
My martial arts journey has taken me from wanting to be the strongest and fastest so I could pay back the bullies in my life once and for all. Back then martial arts and ego went hand in hand, and it seemed only natural. The better I got the bigger my head got. I spent years training and competing in competitions, winning and taking it personally when I lost. All this was not a bad thing, looking back now it was a vital part of my growth. I needed to build the castle before I could rip it down!
Striving for results.
When I had reached the end of my competition days, the striving for results continued. I still wanted to be the head guy and I sparred my students ferociously if they laid a hand on me. All this was martial arts and ego. But this story is not unique to me. All of us have a need to be recognized, understood and acknowledged, just some more than others. The problem is, as you get older you hope that there will be a knowing wisdom that comes from deep with in as we are respected as elders of our tribe. But sadly that is not the case. Unless there is some serious intervention we remain ignorant and just go on feeding the egos insatiable appetite.
Another type of sport.
In martial arts this translates to having to learn unimaginable numbers of new self defence techniques, constantly having to defend your style as the biggest and the best, going from one competition to the next, your martial arts grow into nothing more than another type of sport and you eventually end up retiring all because you have nowhere else to go. Martial arts has never been and never will be any more to you other than a physical form of self defence or sport. This is where it all now sits.
The most difficult path.
So, what next? Was it ever more than what we have now? There is a way forward, the last frontier, the most difficult path and it is fraught with danger, only the strongest will survive, the inward journey.
Stay tuned for “martial arts the inward journey” in my next blog.
Northstar Ju Jitsu is also taught by senior Black Belts at their own studios'.
These are independently run from the Headquarters .Andy Dickinson Sensei is the head of and founder of Northstar Ju Jitsu and oversees the teaching of his program.
All Black Belts are graded by Andy Dickinson Sensei.