The word of the week is Humility but have you ever wondered what this actually means in the martial arts?
The Cambridge English dictionary defines humility as:
‘The quality of not being proud because you are aware of your bad qualities’
But what does this mean to you?
Humility can be seen as learning to realise the world does not revolve around you, no matter who you are. A leader needs humility to be seen humble by his students, and students need humility in order to learn.
Without humility you would never learn, the realisation that you aren’t the greatest at something gives you the opportunity to improve yourself and become a better person.
‘There is always someone who is faster, or stronger, or faster and stronger’
So this statement shows humility, and the belief that there is always someone better gives you something to aim for, and improving yourself as an individual.
When sparring in a sparring class humility is very important, without it constant winning will inflate your ego and no one will want to spar or even train with you. With humility you can improve both your own skill level and others skill levels, this means that their skill level will slowly catch up to your own therefore pushing you even further in your learning of the martial arts.
Without humility during sparring classes, each time you get hit or something doesn’t work, you will become angry very fast, tightening muscles which effects your punches, kicks, and other techniques, and also increases the risk of injury to both yourself and to your training partner. Also not being able to see your weaknesses and places for improvement.
“If I tell you I’m good, probably you will say I’m boasting. But if I tell you I’m not good, you know I’m lying.”
– Bruce Lee
If you are humble, then your skill level will shine through anyway and your skill will be known without the need to boast about it.
Does anyone ever like someone who thinks they are better than you at everything? That is how people see you if you have no humility, so being humble means people are more friendly with you, and generally you will be happier.
“If you are not humble in a fight game, you will be humbled”
A quote from a famous boxer, Mike Tyson. A great quote but from some of his actions in the ring it shows humility must be practised and not just said, which eventually led to him losing.
Another very important quality is honesty, and humility is just being completely honest with yourself, yes you have strengths but you also have weaknesses, and these weaknesses allow for improvement.