Everyone has something to teach in martial arts

Everyone has something to teach in martial arts!  This probably applies to everyone you encounter in life, but it’s absolutely true in martial arts; understanding this and embracing it can improve your skills so much faster than when you allow ego to hold you back.  No competitive person likes to lose, but if we don’t discover where our weaknesses lie and learn ways to improve them, how will we ever progress?  At Elite, we have a structured learning environment that fosters cooperation among the students, with everyone supporting one another and helping each other progress by building fellow students and working together, not by simply dominating those who are weaker.  This is not the case at many schools!

Taking your ego out of the equation

If Elite is the only school where you have trained martial arts, you may not realize that many, if not most, martial arts schools are very insular.  Practitioners find one style or one school, and they vehemently defend that style or system or teacher and are stubbornly closed-minded, refusing to believe that anyone else has anything worthwhile to offer.  At Elite we are constantly bringing in top competitors and coaches and teachers to teach our students and instructors.  Wrestler Kenny Johnson was here yesterday, and top Women’s MMA fighter Claudia Gadelha is here this weekend.  While we may not structure our entire systems around these instructors, we definitely borrow from their knowledge to build the programs (Muay Thai kickboxing, MMA Mixed Martial Arts, BJJ Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Kali Silat) we already have.  By taking ego out of the equation, our students benefit from the most current and relevant information available.

The “everyone has something to teach in martial arts” concept applies not only to major schools and systems and teachers, but to everyday training partners as well.  You have the chance to learn something new every time you step on the mat with a new person.  If your partner is brand new, you learn by analyzing and helping them adjust their basic stance or strikes.  Working with a smaller person teaches you to have control.  Working with a larger person teaches you that reach and strength do matter and should be respected, and you learn that your technique/speed/timing must be better when you are out-sized!  Every training partner helps you learn to pick up on peoples’ habits- their body mechanics, their weaknesses, their strengths, their “tells,” all of which will eventually help you with sparring, fighting, and/or self defense.  And when you do begin to train at a sparring pace, it’s extra important to remember to stay calm and humble and keep a “student” mentality.  Tempers can flare and egos get challenged, but learning to overcome your weak spots is essential to improvement.  So take a step back.  If someone is better at something than you, then learn from him or her so that you can progress.  And also always remember that you have something to teach someone else.  In fact, teaching and working with your partner will not only improve his or her skill set but your own as well.

Everyone has something to teach in martial arts!  Don’t think that your lack of experience means that you have nothing to offer, and never believe that you are too experienced to learn something new…make an effort to put your ego aside and be open to new things.  After all, it’s not only how we grow on an individual level but also how our martial arts’ systems evolve over time!

~Katie Toney

Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 543-1600

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