An unlikely way to excel in sports and in life- putting on Humility


Put on humility and reach greater heights

Following my previous post, today, I would like to talk about humility. Humility is one character that seldom comes to mind when we talk about losing weight or excelling in a sport such as martial arts. When talking about improving ourselves, most adore hard work, perseverance and determination. So what’s so important about humility?

Humility is essential to help us admit our mistakes and learn from others. As someone who has practiced martial arts for so many years, I can say that being proud is one sure way to make sure you suck at it. Bad. So how is this pride manifested in the dojo? Insisting on doing techniques wrongly. To be very honest, martial arts isn’t a sport for everyone. It requires some psycho-motor skills. It doesn’t matter if you can run 2.4 in 8mins or do 24 pull ups in one go. Once a technique is not practiced correctly, your technique will be slow, weak and you can even hurt yourself. Yet, I have seen people insisting to training the techniques wrong because they refuse to admit their mistakes when they are corrected by people whom they saw as ‘not as fit’, ‘of a junior level’ or even because the person correcting them is a woman/girl.

While it is admirable that you have been kicking or punching the punching bag 100000000 times, if all those kicks and punches that you do are of wrong technique, it amounts to nothing. It does not matter at all if you have put in hard work or how persevering and determined you are, because if your technique is wrong, it is pointless.  Worse, because you have been practicing the wrong technique all this while, it becomes a habit. It will be difficult to change in the future. This is why even though there are many black belts in the martial arts scene, there are still some who cannot do a simple punch or a simple kick. If they can put on humility and accept the correction, it is certain that their martial arts would have gone to a higher level!

This is what happens when you the technique wrongly. Ouch!

Is this not the same a lot of times when someone confronts us with our sins/shortcomings? A lot of times in our pride we do not want to accept the criticism of others because ‘he is not as good as me’, ‘he is junior than me’, ‘he also has this shortcoming’, etc. Before we know it, this sin/shortcoming has become an integral part of us because we did not address it with humility in the beginning. When we want to get rid of it, it becomes extremely difficulty as it has latched itself on us and became our habit.

However hard it may be, thanks be to God that He”is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Cor 10:13. It is not too late to have the humility to admit your sin/shortcomings and let the restoration work begin! It will certainly require some handwork but I guess the beginning of transformation starts with the acknowledgement of the problem with humility.

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