Hey there, long time no martial arts post, about time for a new one. And today I am writing about a topic which I have to really work on myself.

How not to become overconfident as a martial artist.

It’s an issue we all have to deal with when practicing martial arts. The better you become, the more confident you become, until at some point you are literally just bursting with confidence and you start underestimating everybody else, because who could possibly harm you?

Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be confident in once skill, you need to be confident to win a fight…but as soon as you start seeing others as beginners or less skilled because they maybe are not practicing a martial art, just started, are skinnier, look clumsily you could be in for a surprise.

Just today I went into the park next to my university and as usual in China, most people where doing Tai Chi and some even practice external martial art styles.

One guy looked particularly clumsy. All his movements where abrupt and it took him a long time to move to the next one, like he literally was stuck.

So I looked down on him…Just in my head I thought: Whatever that is, it can’t be martial arts…

And that’s when it hit me!

When did I start looking down on others so much? I am not even a good martial artist.

Instead of applauding him that he takes the time and goes to the park to train and stay healthy and that he at least tries, I was making fun of him.

I didn’t show my thoughts, but still they where here. I forgot the most important lesson. Never underestimate anybody.

I have seen black belts being knocked down by white belts. Some may call it lucky, I would rather say either the white belt has some serious skills or the black belt simply underestimated the opponent, not taking in account that a white belt will be far less predictable than any other opponent in the dojo, simply because they are not trained yet.It is impossible to know what and how he will attack…

As soon as you just judge  because of the obvious, beginner, less muscle and for sure slower, the bad surprise might be coming.Never judge a persons on the obvious facts.Muscles and Belts in Martial Arts, tell you nothing about their skill level ! Click To Tweet

So that clumsy guy in the park today, maybe is able to knock me out with his punch. Who knows maybe he is combining it with his Chi and it will destroy my organs…

If I would train with him and he would hit me, it could end badly. I can’t know what kind of skill level he has, until I see him in combat.

And even if he is not very skilled,he still gets up every morning to train. How many of us can say that about ourselves???

It is also important to take in account that everybody has a certain set of skills and everybody, if trained or not, can win a fight or a competition, simply because they want to.

In the end it isn’t your training or muscles that bring you victory, they just prepare you and help you to improve yourself...It is your will and to be prepared for surprises of any kind, that will make you a winner.

Far to often when I look through the internet I see MMA and Kickboxing students (sorry for being judgmental but it really is mostly them) boosting how big their muscles are and how much power they have.

Lovely comments from them are mostly found under Wushu Videos on YouTube.

“Ohh look on how skinny they are, can they even throw a punch? I mean I could just knock them over”

Well yeah you might, but before your fist is even close, they will be already standing behind you.

Also most Wushu students really are rather skinny…but you would be too if training 7 hours daily, with loads of endurance training. Because if he just keeps getting out of your way, how soon do you think you will be tired out?

And don’t be fooled by the size of their muscles, they do 200-300 squats with another person sitting on their back and they lift weights as you do too…They just know that big muscles slow you down, you don’t want to be bulky, you will lose
flexibility, jump power and speed.

But these are all ingredients of a good fighter, why do you think Bruce Lee was so amazing???

So to all you wannabe, kick ass fighters, shut your trap and observe.

I saw skinny people kick ass. I saw a tiny, old chinese guy with 1,6m height, throw a 1,9m man to the ground with a simple and small movement. He was so fast, he had to show it to us in slow motion again. He was always going for walks with his cane and looked like a normal grandpa, but he was absolutely deadly.

Did he look like it? No. Did most beginner students underestimate him? Yes. Did he kick their asses? Yes!

Martial Arts teach you confidence and it is good to be confident. It will help you in any aspect of your life. You just never ever should let it get too far.

As soon as you underestimate others and are not giving your absolute Best (I am not saying to cripple the beginner in training-.-, I am saying to be prepared for about anything and fully concentrated) you won’t be a martial artist anymore.

Don’t be an overconfident martial art idiot thinking too highly of himself. Maybe it will all end good for you, maybe it won’t…but it won’t get you any further with your martial arts.

It won’t sharpen your knife, it will make it blunt and rusty.

Remember this, no matter how good you are, there is always somebody better than you. You should strive to be the best possible you and not compare yourself to others.

It isn’t relevant how skilled somebody else is, the only thing really relevant is on how you treat them and that you put your heart and your will into every training and every fight, so that your skills become as sharp as a Katana and not as blunt as a butter knife.Respect your opponents, so that your skills become as sharp as a Katana, not as blunt as a butter knife! Click To Tweet

I have to work on this two, everyday, to be humble, to focus on me and not the level of the people around me.

Never to underestimate anybody or lose focus.

It is something every martial artist has to practice, if he wants to be good. There is a reason, why the greatest martial artists are the most humble and also why they never lose their calm.

They don’t need to show of, because they know their skill.

Be humble, be patient and be prepared.

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