Martial Arts and Ego Wars

Martial Arts and Ego Wars

Martial arts has such a rich and diverse history. From being used as a means of defending oneself, to being part of military training, a form of entertainment, There are various kinds of martial arts and each kind has branched out into different styles and substyles.

Hollywood has only increased to serve the popularity of martial arts not only among adults but most especially in children. From movies such as Kung Fu Panda, Karate Kid, Kung Fu Hustle, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, you’ve probably been living under a rock if you’ve never heard of these films. If you take a look at how martial arts is portrayed in various films – you’ll find one thing in common when it comes to the characters. EGO! Yes- martial artists in movies and TV shows are usually portrayed as having too much ego. With that said, I can’t say I blame them. After all, it rings true for most of us.


In real life, martial artists can be egoistic. The world sees it and we all know it. We've been the butt of jokes and punchlines in sitcoms and TV shows. The question is – what do we do about it?

Having too much of an ego is never okay. I really don’t get why we have to compare ourselves to other martial artists all the time. I don’t get the point in squabbling over which style is better or which division is the best.  I don’t like seeing martial artists tear each other apart over something as simple as a particular technique. It baffles me why some martial artists get upset when someone offers a suggestion on how they can do something better.

Martial arts should be and has always been about developing discipline and respect. As such, martial artists would do well to remember that. It doesn’t do any good to fight amongst ourselves, trying to determine who’s the biggest and baddest of them all. It’s not and shouldn’t be about you.

You might think your way is the best way and everyone who says otherwise can go suck it up but that’s just your ego talking. We are all students and we are all continuously learning from one another. If you try don’t learn how to listen and you shut down other people’s opinions or suggestions, you can end up losing an opportunity to improve on your craft and you don’t want that.


Instead of fighting over which style is better, why not take time to appreciate the differences in each style? If someone comments on what you can change with your current style, say thank you instead of responding huffily. If someone from another school has suggestions on how you can improve your teaching, take it in good stride and see how you can tweak what you’re currently doing.

We can all learn something from someone else and it doesn’t have to be a competition all the time. At the end of the day, it’s not about you or me as individuals. It’s about martial arts in its entirety and how it can help improve the lives of other people.

It’s about teaching our students the right values and attitude so that they can pass it on to the future generation. So I’m asking you, please, let go of the bad stuff and focus on what’s good. Let go of your ego and let’s all watch martial arts grow and develop all over the world with martial artists supporting one another and treating each other with respect as it should be.


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