Friday, April 12, 2013

6 Ways Ego Can Hinder Your Progress as Student and Instructor

"You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit." 
-Harry S. Truman

“Bravado may stir the crowd, but courage needs no audience.” 
― T.F. HodgeFrom Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence"

It is important that as Krav Maga students and instructors we have a sense of pride and accomplishment about what we do.  Over the years, however, I have seen some instances where "ego" has hindered the development of students and instructors.

The crux of the problem is a preoccupation with the perceptions and behaviours of others and a need to promote the self.  Often, it stems from poor self confidence.

Here are some "ego-induced" pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Comparing Your Progress with Others:  Inevitably, it seems, people will aim their criticism at someone who is readily climbing the grading ranks.  Jealousy?  An abstract sense of injustice?  Whatever the motivation it distracts from your progress.  Focus on what you need to do to improve.
  2. Seeking Recognition:  If you are good your skills will speak for themselves.  Promoting yourself  comes across as insecure.  
  3. You are Not Listening!:  If you are perpetually sharing your wisdom with the world you are not listening.  There are some insightful people out there.  For the love of Pete shut up for a second and listen.  
  4. No Shortcuts:  Some people want to fast-track through the rankings.  Others want to focus on gun defenses before they know how to punch, escape a wrist release, or spell Krav Maga.  Develop your fundamentals, be patient, and donate your Steven Seagal DVD collection.  
  5. Politics:  Don't get me started!  Every organization has political issues.  You need to be assertive but you also need to focus on why you are there: to teach/ learn how to survive real life situations.  If you are preoccupied by various political issues you will be distracted from your goals.  
  6. Forgetting Your Limits.  Krav Maga does give you the tools to better protect yourself.  Don't forget, however, that as resilient as we can be we are all vulnerable.  Under the right circumstances (luck, surprise, mental mistake etc) even the most skilled Krav Maga trainer can fall to an untrained assailant (e.g. think surprise knife assault).
One of the lasting images I have of our Director, Avi Moyal, goes back to our CIC instructor training years ago.  It is the image of Avi listening to a group of instructor candidates relaying their experiences as law enforcement officers and offering their ideas about what they found effective.

Avi simply asked questions and listened.

A great example for instructors and students alike.

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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