There’s One In Every Martial Arts Club


“And the devil did grin because his darling sin Is pride that apes humility”.  – Samuel Taylor Coleridge    

There’s always one in every group……………

The Dan grade that has been cutting classes and not doing enough practise – comes in to class and immediately starts correcting all the other grades.  The problem is that where they have been to all the recent classes, they actually know the technique better than him………..

But of course they are too polite to tell him that he is wrong and accept his mis – information politely and shake their heads behind his back.

He then goes to the side of the class and begins to go through his Kata.  Suddenly he ‘gets a blank’ and stops dead mid Kata with that void expression you get when you expect to remember something that you have done a thousand times before but it just escapes you………

To save face he goes back a few moves and pretends that he has stopped deliberately to practise that section whilst his mind is desperately trying to remember the next move…..  When he still can’t remember he goes off to give some more mis – information to some other poor unsuspecting Kyu grade.

Into the class comes a visiting Kyu grade from another Club and our insecure Dan grade is over there like a shot in his best ‘friendliest’ manner to impress visitor with his 15 years or so of lethargy and gives an excellent demonstration of how to let your mouth run in front of your brain.  The hapless visitor looks around for help.

No such luck.  The Dan grade wants to demonstrate our superior principles of pairs work to the visitors style and asks him to make an attack……….

THUD!  We all saw it coming from a mile away, the dark flash of the eyes and the set line of the jaw before the visitor’s fist lands squarely in the Dan grade’s chest with ‘SHUT UP’ written all over it and causing more than a little pain.  After just a little stagger and quickly masking the pain the Dan grade immediately set about correcting the visitors punch!

The problem with this kind of arrogance is that when left unchecked by its owner it knows no bounds.  They blame everyone and everything else for their problems, completely disregarding the real cause.  Underneath it all they know that they haven’t put in the effort, they know that they are not as good as the pretend to be, the trouble is that their ego just can’t accept it!

And then there’s the strange way that they cope with it by developing the ‘false’ humility, telling everyone that they are ‘only’ a black belt and ‘not really any good’ and ‘still learning’ but then not taking sufficient instruction, not doing sufficient training and always developing a ‘better’ version of everything that they are taught that just never works!

Often these pains in the backside train at other Dojo’s to be able to impress the people at each Dojo with the ‘knowledge’ that they have gained from the other.  Then every time they are taught anything they always compare it with what the others do and change it according to their ignorance in the subject and subsequently pronounce themselves broad minded

Anyway, back to our resident pain in the backside, after duly lecturing our guest on the niceties of the front punch he foolishly invites him to attack again.  THUD!  An excellent punch comparable to the splitting of the same arrow by Robin Hood, there would only be one fist size bruise on our hapless Dan grades chest resulting from both punches.

As Sensei was standing with his back to these events I thought that I had better inform him of what was going on “Yes I know”, he replied and carried on instructing another student……..

Then it came to free sparring, our Dan grade desperately tried to find any other partner than our visitor, but all the others turned their back on him because they wanted to fight and not be bored to death with his endless advice and silly spiteful technique.

It was like a lamb to the slaughter.  Our visiting Kyu grade was obviously an experienced fighter and he took our intellectual know – it – all Dan grade to pieces.  He spent 20 minutes polishing the Dojo floor with his backside and having to eat all of his unasked for advice in a knuckle sandwich.

It stopped him being so arrogant for at least a week………

To this day I’m not sure whether Sensei paid our visitor to come or not………..

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