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Handle your Victories and your Defeats!

Humility is a cornerstone of martial arts virtues. In order to become a successful student of martial arts, as well as anything in life, you must be teachable. Humility is defined as a lack of arrogance. Humility does not mean a lack of belief in yourself, your abilities, or even your training. Belief in your capabilities is paramount to performance in sports and most definitely in warfare. One of the aspects of humility is recognizing that there is always someone better than you at what you do. This truth does not make you a lesser person. Even if someone is not better at what you do, they still have something that they can teach you.

No one becomes a black belt on their own. Everyone has to be teachable to achieve excellence in life. On the journey to black belt you will find that you will have to depend on others to help bridge the gap on the difficulties you will encounter. You will learn that sometimes you have to depend on your training partners to be there to challenge you and assist in your skill development. Your training partners may not be as skilled as you, but they are still helping you develop the skills needed to become a black belt. Every teacher had someone that taught them. Every master was trained by another master.

In life you will find that you will have to depend on others to be fully successful as well. Being humble helps us recognize this fact and reach out to others when needed. It also helps us to take the defeats that life may throw at us. No one is immune to victory or defeat. How we deal with our losses is a reflection of our own sense of humility. All warriors need to understand that everyone loses eventually. This does not necessarily mean that the warrior is weak or inferior. It just means that the warrior is human. Excluding truly life or death situations, losses should be used to catapult the warrior to new levels instead of sinking into discouragement and depression. Many professional fighters have retired due to not being able to psychologically recover from their losses.

A warrior must prepare for both victories and losses viewed through the lens of humility. There have been many people ruined by their own success by not being ready for it. There are studies that show that most lottery winners wind up being much worse off than they were before, some of them even dying as a result of their horrible reaction to their own success. Humility empowers us to be successful while keeping our victories from defeating us as well. There have been martial arts students that have become untrainable after tournament successes. Their own success poisoned their hearts and minds and cut off their sources for growth in the martial arts. This problem is often compounded even further after having such successes because defeat eventually comes for all of us. When the ego is broken, discouragement sets in and the student often quits training altogether.

Learning humility and using it to temper your responses to victories and defeats is essential to your martial arts training. Humility keeps a person trainable and open to help from others. It does not inhibit belief in self, skills, training, etc. One must believe in themselves while recognizing that there is always something new to learn and improve on. The best martial artists are perpetual students. Keep learning. Keep growing. Don't let the losses discourage you along the way. Use humility as a tool to temper your emotions and actions when responding to both victories and defeats. Remember our own self and our own egos are our most dangerous adversaries.

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