But I Don’t Have an Ego
Are You Standing In Your Own Way?
A few months back, I was rolling with a much lower ranked teammate. Starting in my guard, he easily went to my side. Before I knew it, he had my back and I found myself defending my neck from his lanky arms. After a few terribly failed attempts at escapes, they sunk in a very tight rear naked choke. A choke I’ve learned to execute and defend since my first week on the mats. I tapped. After resetting, we slapped hands and started all over. A minute later, the same exact thing happened. This embarrassed and irritated me immensely. How could this young kid who has only been training for a few months do this to me?
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A few days later, after discussing my struggles on the mats with a higher ranked teammate, I realized we had identical problems. Some people are giving us issues. The difference between him and I was our reactions. While I was embarrassed, upset, and ready to quit, he had a simple response: “I love rolling with these new guys, they’re killers.” Then it hit me. How selfish was I? I’m mad because someone was doing better than me!
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We talk a lot about leaving our egos at the door when we step into the gym. This is something that can be harder to realize for some. I always thought I was humble and had no ego, but clearly I was wrong. Recently, Professor Tom Deblass took to social media to talk about being tapped by a purple belt at his academy. He wasn’t embarrassed, he wasn’t bent out of shape. He stated that training is where we improve and that some days you just have bad training. And this holds true for a lot of reasons.
In summary, learn what it means to leave your ego at the door. Let those new guys know how great they are doing and tell them to keep up the hard work. As we improve we should also help others improve and encourage them on the way. We were all one of the new guys at some point and we need those new people to keep us on our toes. Just keep showing up and influence them to do the same.