Break the cycle

Everyone has had to do something with an individual who has struggled to get what needed to be done. Prime example is training in a group martial arts class. When you are drilling, the instructor calls out the techniques and you have to run thru them over and over with a partner. The skill level of the partner is always varied from lower, same, or higher level than yours. You also have personality, temperament, and speed of learning. This does not always make for the perfect round of drills.

A difficult partner is a teachable moment. We can stay selfish by hammering our way thru or simply walking away from it, or we can stop address the situation for what it is and show some empathy. The big thing that can easily be missed is that taking the time to address the situation makes it that much less likely to occur again. By taking the higher road, you elevate everyone involved and the next time will be that much better.

Everyone has been hammered by a bigger guy on the mat. In many cases the bigger guy doesn’t even know that they are hammering. They are big, so everything they do is heavy. Good technique, bad technique, it all hurts when outweighed by your partner. What do you do? Do you take it and shut up? Do you go super hard back so you can get yours? Or, do you step back a second and remind the guy that there's a big size difference, that relying on size is not helping anyone, and there is a good chance somebody is going to get hurt. Are you going to be the person who saves the next guy the pain you just had to endure, or are you going to stop the cycle by addressing it respectfully with logic?

The guy who drives me the most crazy is the change artist - the guy who won’t do what the drill has been explained to be and why. This person has to put their twist on it. 1st, I don’t know why these people even join a school, they need to go open one of they think they know better. This is a person I crush with experience and technique. You show me yours, now I am going to show you mine. I am the instructor for a reason which this person will now find out. Not addressing the reality that some people bring good things to the table that benefit mine too. This is for the guy who really knows nothing but is forcing the idea that they are somebody worth following.

I can keep going with all the differing challenges of group interaction. The point is to be empathetic to the problem. Most people are struggling with internal stuff that is being worked out thru interactions. Instead of waiting to switch and get away from the problem, we all need to step up and be the bigger person who takes the time and makes the effort to create some change in order to stop the cycle.

This does not apply simply in training, this is a life thing. We are faced with challenges all day. We don’t have to battle it out with everyone but we should do our best to be constructive instead of destructive when faced with these teachable moments. Every time we make the effort to stop a negative cycle, we are making things better for ourselves, the other people involved, and the next person we all interact with.

Be the bigger person and open your mouth instead of closing your fist.

Brian Wright