The EGO and competitive fighting

Recently I had a conversation with a student who wished to enter into a tournament. I inquired as to his reasons for wanting to fight in a tournament and his response was he wanted to “test” his skills and he also wanted to quiet the voice of uncertainty or anxiety about his skills and whether he was any good.

My response was as follows. The Ego wants to know how good we are. The Ego wants to beat people and feel better than them, because that makes the Ego feel good and it justifies the Ego. If we lose we then get “motivation” because the Ego is bruised and we must train harder to win next time.

Unfortunately the reality is that there is always someone faster, tougher, stronger and better. It may not be the person you fight today, but sooner or later you will meet that person.

Say you wanted to compete in a fight tournament….

Let’s have a look at some scenarios

You win – What does that tell you? On that day you managed to beat the opponents you faced. Was all the training and years you have put into your martial arts training only vindicated and worth something after you have won.

You lose – Does this mean that you are worthless, and all the training you have done is for nothing? Do you quit or do you train harder, vowing to win next time?

Imagine you won 10 fights in a row how good would that make you feel.

Imagine you got knocked out in the 11th fight you had.

How would you handle this? Do you plunge into depression because the Ego has trapped you into believing that you are your achievements, and without them you are nothing?

Your training in Martial Arts should enable you to defend yourself and you should train hard in case one day your life depends on it. But winning or losing “games” should never be how we measure our training, or self worth. We should measure our training by how it improves us as human beings.