Learn to Respect other Martial Arts
One of the most common mistakes among martial artists is holding onto the "my style is better than your style" mentality. Modern martial artists often spend way too much time criticizing other martial arts that they have never even trained in instead of working on their own obstacles. There are several reasons why martial artists should be wary of this mentality and strive to overcome it.
1. Being overly critical of others will cause you to lose the respect of your peers.
When one spends their time criticizing others it sends a clear message to those around them. Being overly critical is regarded by most people as a sign of weakness. People who are confident in themselves generally do not waste their time criticizing thoughts or philosophies that differ from their own. A person who spends time tearing down other ideas and philosophies are telling the world that they are not truly confident in their own. Usually when a martial artist is being judgemental to other arts, they are broadcasting to the world that they feel inferior and want to tear others down to build themselves up. Confident people lift others up instead of tearing others down around them.
2. Being overly critical of others will blind you to their strengths.
As human beings, we can only perceive what we are focusing on. When seeing other arts, if all you can see are weaknesses, then you are blinding yourself to the whole picture. You will also be missing out on their strengths. Every technique, philosophy, and even every practitioner has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Not having a healthy respect for other ways of thinking will keep you from seeing their strengths thus making you vulnerable. If you get to the root of any confrontation you will see that the winner is usually the one able to take advantage of another's weaknesses while also being aware of their own. Ignoring the strengths of others inherently provides the method for your own weaknesses to be taken advantage of.
3. Being overly critical of others can make you closed-minded.
The "my way is best" mentality can choke off many avenues of personal growth and development. Being overly critical of others also includes being convinced your way is better than theirs. Why would you ever change or adapt if you believe that your way is the best? It is much more productive to be honest with yourself and acknowledge your own shortcomings before searching for the shortcomings of others. Trying to change other's way of doing things is usually an exercise in futility anyway.
4. Being overly critical of others causes you to be disliked by others.
Some would say that they don't care what others think about them. Although sometimes it is good not to care what others think about you, being a jerk is not only rude, but will isolate you from your peers. Everyone needs help from others at some point. It is far more productive to be a help to others instead of being an obstacle. The good deeds we do in life tend to come back to us when we need it most.
In conclusion, the "my style is better than your style" mentality has only served to divide the martial arts community and also make us look petty. A martial artist is supposed to strive to be the ideal warrior. Non-martial artists often look up to martial artists and are inspired by them. Martial artists have an amazing opportunity to inspire others to be better than before. People need to see martial artists striving against their own flawed human natures. More importantly, they need to see when martial artists succeed in conquering their own flaws and unique challenges. Instead of wasting time tearing others down and criticizing them, it is time we all learn to be better and to inspire peace and respect in everyone around us!