By Ray Hughes (background https://smacus.com/about-us/ )
This article, originally focused on martial arts but relevant to any group or field, was composed in the early 2000s and revised in 2023. It poses an important question for us to consider.
Martial Art Philosophy-Condescending Traits
We all know that there are individuals who act with arrogance and disrespect in the world. Unfortunately, even in the martial arts community, which promotes humility and the reduction of ego, such individuals are not uncommon-a contradiction to martial art philosophy.
Like many of you, I’m continuously striving to improve myself as a person and a leader. I do this by learning from admirable individuals and avoiding those with poor social and leadership skills. Surprisingly, the latter group teaches me valuable lessons on how not to behave, and they are the ones I closely observe.
Being part of various national and international martial arts organizations allows me to witness people in management of different levels of authority. Most of them are exceptional leaders, but there are a few who come across as arrogant and condescending.
As I observe these condescending individuals, I wonder if they are aware of their behavior. It’s difficult to believe that they deliberately act this way. Common sense suggests that such behaviors do not lead to effective leadership, the formation of friendships, or positive influence; instead, they have the opposite effect.
I firmly believe that most people are inherently good, with exceptions being rare. So, if most people are good and would not intentionally display arrogance and condescension, why do some exhibit these behaviors? Perhaps they are unaware of how negatively they come across. In this case, they may not realize what they are doing or saying to cause this issue; they would be oblivious.
After closely observing them, I think I may have an idea as to why they appear so off-putting. They seem to interact with others as if they were their students. Some teachers modify their communication style to fit the hierarchical relationship between teacher and student. Given that many of these individuals have been teachers for a long time, they might be in the habit of addressing people in the same way they address their students.
If you wish to discourage people, simply address them as if they were your students, whether intentionally or not. This comes across as arrogance and condescension.
The purpose of this article is not to criticize those who act arrogantly or condescending; they will face the consequences of their actions. Rather, the point is for us to ask if we might be making the same mistake. Since many of us are educators in one way or another, we should be cautious about addressing people as if we were lecturing. Regardless of the field, teachers must avoid this error. Having more knowledge on a subject doesn’t give us the right to lecture. It’s a common mistake that many of us witness regularly.
Martial Art Philosophy
This question warrants serious consideration, despite our egos telling us otherwise. Our minds can deceive us with justifications and a sense of power or authority. It takes a strong person to honestly assess themselves and ask challenging questions.
Until the next philosophical reflection…
for additional martial art philosophy, go to https://blackbeltwiki.com/martial-arts-philosophy