I have been thinking about this quite a bit, What is winning? Combat Sport has dominated much of my professional life. I have been obsessed with winning. If you are going to play a game, why play to do anything besides win? All Combat Sports are games like all other games that have ranking, champions, teams, scoring, fouls, winning, and losing. Martial Arts are something else.
What am I? A coach, a sensei, both….. What is winning to me as a coach, sensei, or this hybrid mix of leadership I have adopted…..?
Hard questions with even harder answers. At this point in my life I have to accept that I am both a coach and sensei. As a coach I have to be as responsible as a sensei for the long term welfare of my athletes and I have to make sure they are prepared to win. As a sensei, I have to translate my knowledge into a format that provides opportunities for not just martial proficiency, but opportunities to strengthen one so they have greater possibilities for success in every aspect of their lives. I believe sport can do what arts can do in terms of personal development but they conflict at times due to the nature of both. Sport can depend on ego at times where art is intended to strip it away.
The challenge for myself is to continue developing champions in sport while maintaining a sense of myself as a sensei. The opportunity that Killer B provides is for all of us to explore Combat Sports while being grounded in a Martial Arts tradition. We can fight to win while keeping our ego in check and expand our understanding of it all by accepting the challenges of sport and art equally.
Sport at its highest form is art and art at its lowest is sport. I choose to be a martial artist 1st and foremost that just happens to be a combat sport coach as well. My athletes will always be disciplined and grounded. My Martial Artists will always be tested and grounded.
See you on the mat!