PDA

View Full Version : Humility or inferiority complex?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


dapidmini
03-17-2012, 11:44 AM
I'm sorry if this is a rather harsh wake up call for some people, but I've had enough. why can't people ever be proud of their skills? whether it's in aikido or in other aspects of life. okay, I'm only a shodan but is it impossible for a shodan to be a good aikidoka? or is a shodan forbidden to be a good aikidoka?

but why is it that whenever I say something that even remotely hints that I think I'm a good Aikidoka, some (if not most) people thinks that I'm being arrogant? I've got a gift, and I've trained very hard to get to how I am today. so why can't I be proud of my efforts and gifts? I worked my ass off really hard for this. I was told that being proud have a lot of psychological benefits.

please people, find the difference between arrogant and proud. to me, sarcasm is not much better than bullying. and I believe that some of us started training in martial arts (especially Aikido) to get away from bullying, not to be able to bully other people.

just my 2 cents.

PS: if the admin thinks this post is too offensive or inappropriate, feel free to delete it or move it somewhere else. but please be true to yourself, and really think about what I just wrote.

kewms
03-17-2012, 11:54 AM
Well, I thought I was pretty good at math and science... then I went to MIT, where I was only average.

If, as a shodan, you think your aikido is pretty good, you probably need to find better people to train with.

Which is not saying that your aikido isn't good for your level, or that you shouldn't be proud of your accomplishments so far. 99% of the people who walk into a dojo never reach your level. Just that you might want to raise your standards a bit.

Katherine

Carsten Möllering
03-17-2012, 12:11 PM
but why is it that whenever I say something that even remotely hints that I think I'm a good Aikidoka, some (if not most) people thinks that I'm being arrogant?
Because they know from experience, that you will go on, you will develop, you will grow. You will learn a lot during your next years of practice. Your aikidō will improve. And it will change. Even if you don't want to. If you carry on learning, it will.
It is clear to people that what you will be able to do in an few years, will be much more advanced than what you are able to do now. And it will be different in a whole lot of details from how you do it now.
And I think people ask themselves how it comes that you yourself are not aware of this process.

Believe me: When you are sandan or yondan you will understand.
And you will see other shodan, talking of their aikidō. And you will wisely shake your head.

find the difference between arrogant and proud
We have a proverb in Germany, saying that to commend onself doesn't smell nice.
Being proud is ok. It is indeed very good to be proud and to know it, if one is good in something.
But I think talking about it, telling other people, commend oneself is - or at least can be - arrogant.

sakumeikan
03-17-2012, 12:25 PM
I'm sorry if this is a rather harsh wake up call for some people, but I've had enough. why can't people ever be proud of their skills? whether it's in aikido or in other aspects of life. okay, I'm only a shodan but is it impossible for a shodan to be a good aikidoka? or is a shodan forbidden to be a good aikidoka?

but why is it that whenever I say something that even remotely hints that I think I'm a good Aikidoka, some (if not most) people thinks that I'm being arrogant? I've got a gift, and I've trained very hard to get to how I am today. so why can't I be proud of my efforts and gifts? I worked my ass off really hard for this. I was told that being proud have a lot of psychological benefits.

please people, find the difference between arrogant and proud. to me, sarcasm is not much better than bullying. and I believe that some of us started training in martial arts (especially Aikido) to get away from bullying, not to be able to bully other people.

just my 2 cents.

PS: if the admin thinks this post is too offensive or inappropriate, feel free to delete it or move it somewhere else. but please be true to yourself, and really think about what I just wrote.
Dear David,
By all means be proud of your achievements.especially if you worked hard to reach your level.My only concern is that you feel your a good aikidoka.My friend Sho dan is just the first stage of learning aikido.You may well be AT YOUR OWN LEVEL a good aikdoka.Keep this in mind. There is a fine line between be pride in your achievements and being arrogant.If as you say quote 'you have a gift' there should be no need to tell people , the people will see this themselves.I think you may well be a little bit insecure here or your anxious to acquire status among your peers. Cheer Joe.

Hanna B
03-17-2012, 12:26 PM
In budo, we act like if we were semi-Japanese... and the Japanese hammer down a nail that sticks up.

philipsmith
03-17-2012, 01:14 PM
Just a couple of thoughts

Don't look for more honor than your learning merits. ~Jewish Proverb

It is always the secure who are humble. ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

But on the other hand:
Modesty is the gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it. ~Oliver Herford

Modesty: The art of encouraging people to find out for themselves how wonderful you are. ~Source Unknown

grondahl
03-17-2012, 01:28 PM
There is also the question What qualities define a good aikidoka?. In my book a good aikidoka is a person who works on developing and bettering their aikido, and that usually requires some sort of "beginners mind". Being proud of your own skills can actually hinder your development.

SteliosPapadakis
03-17-2012, 01:42 PM
Be proud of being humble, not the other way around.
:)

lars beyer
03-17-2012, 01:54 PM
Be proud of being humble, not the other way around.
:)

"The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
Groucho Marx

Janet Rosen
03-17-2012, 04:11 PM
Being bored teaching newbies is to me not a "good aikidoka" because frankly if you cannot learn something to improve your own abilities in EVERY interaction then you aren't delving deeply enough.
Teaching and working w/ newbies is an opportunity to reality test yourself, to find weaknesses in yourself, to have your assumptions challenged and, if you are uke a lot, to work on learning to lead a newbie by modeling ideal ukemi for them to follow. It is a chance to play with weighting, breathing, center and all the other subtle things that are best to work on once you have learned the basic gross movements of the techniques.
I'm not a black belt, but these things have been manifestly obvious to me for years.
It sounds to me like you have a lot of ego bound up in being on the mat being your time to do what you want. Sometimes "the training" is about learning to let go of that and dealing with What Is.

Hanna B
03-17-2012, 04:39 PM
Humility is something we can admire in others. But should we demand it of them?

I do not believe that it is the aikidoka's job to teach others to be humble. Rather, it is his job to explore his own humility; and leave others to explore the theirs, and lead by example rather than by brutality.

To do otherwise is to invite life to his us with a hammer.

Paraphrased from 24fightingchickens (http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2006/09/13/the-nail-that-sticks-up/)

Demetrio Cereijo
03-17-2012, 05:44 PM
David, Aikido people like to brag about how humble they are. Deal with it.

SeiserL
03-17-2012, 05:45 PM
Humility implies you have something to be humble about. Be proud of what you have accomplished, but don't make a big deal of it. Many people are arrogant in their humility. Inferiority complex may be a reality statement of fact.

sakumeikan
03-17-2012, 06:51 PM
"The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
Groucho Marx

Dear Lars,
Sounds like Groucho understood our politicians of ALL parties and in virtually every country.
Cheers, Joe

davider90
03-17-2012, 07:35 PM
Last time I graded and got another rank I was indeed very proud of myself. I had worked very hard for it and of course had a very big sensation of acomplishment when I found out that I had passed. My seinsei was also vey proud of me. And last time I brought up the subject of my skills improving, he even stated (being the very kind and humble person he is) that I obviously had a talent for Aikido. I was actually rather shocked of this statement, but was of course very happy for his kind words. Maybe I even agree with him. Maybe I do got a talent and maybe I have improved my skills by a very large amount.

There is a very thin line between being proud and being arrogant. For example, I believe that saying "Sensei, I think I'm on the right way of understanding *insert technique, exercise etc. here*. What do you think?" (Looking for someone to state their opinion to confirm your opinion about your skills improving) is okey. Saying "Sensei, I'm obviously becoming very good at *insert technique, exercise etc. here*. I think I'm much better than most others at my level in the dojo now!". Simply stating your opinion about your skills improving as a fact and saying that you are better than someone else, is blatantly arrogant.

Whetever I'm training Aikido, playing chess or playing the guitar, I always do one thing to try to keep myself humble. I compare myself to the best of the best in every hobby. If someone ask me if I'm good at Aikido, I say "no!". I've seen senseis throwing people across the dojo without even trying. I'm not even remotely close to that, so "no!" I'm not good at Aikido. But if someone asks me if I think my skills have improved over the last time of training i would say "yes!" and I would be damn proud of it as well.

So in the end. Don't state your epic skills as a fact to others or put yourself above others, that is arrogant! To be on the safe side you may enjoy the proudness yourself and don't talk so much about it to others. Be proud because you're much better now than you were back then! Not because you're "good" or better than anyone else. Remember that there's always someone better than you! Those who are equally good as you are your training partners and should be treated with respect. Those who are better than you are your teachers and should be treated with respect. Those who have yet to reach your level is a part of your responsibility, they should be treated with extreme respect and patience. You have a responseibility to help them reach the level you have.

There is nothing wrong with confidence, it may even help improve your technique. In the spirit of Aikido let other people feel the same by telling them how good they're doing instead of the other way around. That is what my sensei did. Sorry for the waaay to long reply :blush:

Kevin Leavitt
03-18-2012, 12:48 AM
For me, every black belt (or brown in the case of BJJ) that I received I felt that I was not ready or did not deserve it. I tried to refuse my BJJ brown belt. My instructor told me that well it is not your choice, and if you don't feel you deserve it, then you better get busy working harder cause everyone is going to expect more from you.

So, I have never really had the luxury of sitting back and saying "damn I'm good!".

The responsibilities of wearing the belt certainly present and continue to present a challenge to me as a leader.

Same has gone for all my promotion in the Military over the last 27 years. While I certainly met the criteria for promotion, looking forward at what I was expected to do as a leader kept me on my toes.

I graduated from U.S. Army Ranger School in 1996, probably one of my greatest accomplishments personally in my life. I can tell you that there were many better men that did not make it than me. I remember standing there on the field thinking, wow, I am glad I made it, but I am no one special and I now have a huge responsibility to live up to the Ranger Creed for the rest of my life.

So for me, looking backwards at what you have accomplished is something to take pride in. But looking forward, at the responsibilities of what we must now support, tends to keep me in check.

Michael Douglas
03-18-2012, 12:06 PM
Hi David.
I'm sorry if this is a rather harsh wake up call for some people, but I've had enough. why can't people ever be proud of their skills? whether it's in aikido or in other aspects of life. okay, I'm only a shodan but is it impossible for a shodan to be a good aikidoka? or is a shodan forbidden to be a good aikidoka?

but why is it that whenever I say something that even remotely hints that I think I'm a good Aikidoka, some (if not most) people thinks that I'm being arrogant? .

...
I just looked through a few of your previous posts, and I'm not seeing the reactions that you are railing against ... except those stirred up by this thread ...
Certainly the "they're making me teach the beginners" thread didn't make you seem arrogant, maybe there has been a certain reply somewhere else that's pushed you to make this thread?
I'm interested.

(On a completely different note, what exactly is a "good Aikidoka"? :) and where are the test parameters?"

lars beyer
03-18-2012, 04:41 PM
Dear Lars,
Sounds like Groucho understood our politicians of ALL parties and in virtually every country.
Cheers, Joe

Dear Joe

Q: What do you get when you cross an insomniac, an agnostic, and a dyslexic?
A: Someone who stays up all night wondering if there is a Dog."

Groucho Marx

Sorry.. had to share this with you.. please continue with the thread..! I´ll shut up now..!
Lars
:)

Lyle Laizure
03-18-2012, 04:48 PM
Perspective. My Aikido may be very good, exceptional even, but in the scheme of all things it is a speck of dust. To me it is about keeping things in perspective. Sure you should be proud that you have accomplished something but it isn't that big of a deal.

Shadowfax
03-18-2012, 09:23 PM
I don't recally any threads in which you remotely said you were good and anyone got after yu for it. I do recall seeing one thread at the beginning of the month where you said you had just passed shodan and been asked to start teaching and asked about how to trreat a student you thought was more talanted than most beginners..

I do recall a thread this week in which you essentially said that your sensei is taking advantage of you and you are teaching so much that you can't get any real training in in order to continue to advance.

I did see a lot of people offer you another point of view and ideas on how you can approach it in a more positive way rather than just saying aww you poor abused baby.

It is not bullying when someone says something to you other than what you had hoped to hear. I am sure everyone here would like you to learn and grow and succeed as an aikidoka and as a teacher. Try to look at things in that light instead of getting hurt feelings because people offer a different opinion than you had hoped to hear. In the end if you don't like the advice you are given then just don't take it.

bob_stra
03-19-2012, 02:20 AM
David, Aikido people like to brag about how humble they are. Deal with it.

Kinda like this? (http://www.bikramyoga.com/press/press1a.htm)

PeterR
03-19-2012, 03:06 AM
Not sure which is more annoying - chest pounding hubris or teeth gnashing humility. Both feel put on and false - and both seem to place more importance on what other people think of you rather than reality.

I would even say both get in the way of getting down to business and working on your Aikido.

Alec Corper
03-19-2012, 03:27 AM
If this were about many other martial arts I would say, "young man, it is good you feel proud of your skills. Now go abroad and visit other dojos and invite all to meet you in a serious test of skills. When, and if you return, you will have either learned humility through failure, or you will have matured to the degree that all will be forced to see you as you see yourself!" Nowadays however I would say, "get over it and get on with it, you've hardly even begun."

sakumeikan
03-19-2012, 03:57 AM
Not sure which is more annoying - chest pounding hubris or teeth gnashing humility. Both feel put on and false - and both seem to place more importance on what other people think of you rather than reality.

I would even say both get in the way of getting down to business and working on your Aikido.

Dear Peter,
Very well said. Cheers, Joe.

crbateman
03-19-2012, 07:29 AM
but why is it that whenever I say something that even remotely hints that I think I'm a good Aikidoka, some (if not most) people thinks that I'm being arrogant?
My suggestion to you is that you train hard for the next 10 years, and then look back on yourself as you are now and ask yourself this same question. I can say with conviction that some of the very best aikidoka I have met have also been the most humble. It would seem that the two go hand-in-hand.

chillzATL
03-19-2012, 07:41 AM
Nothing wrong with being proud of what you've done for YOU, but if you make a habit of letting others know how proud you are of yourself then be prepared to have someone, eventually, check you on it.

phitruong
03-19-2012, 08:14 AM
first i thought the thread was something about humility or inferiority complex, but as i read through, i had a different thought. where is the whiny complex?

Keith Larman
03-19-2012, 09:37 AM
first i thought the thread was something about humility or inferiority complex, but as i read through, i had a different thought. where is the whiny complex?

+1...

mathewjgano
03-19-2012, 02:36 PM
I think it's about balance. Trying to be humble is a good thing. Trying to be proud of yourself is also a good thing. I think people tend to favor efforts at humility more than efforts at pride because it's usually more pleasant to be around. For lack of a better description, "prideful" people tend to act better than other people and that gets annoying as soon as their own brand of personal faults start shining through...as they invariably do over time. I personally favor a humble attitude because you usually don't have to deal with someone acting like they're more than they actually are. I tend to worry less about humble people making mistakes than prideful people. If I have a general worry about humble people it's that they will shy away from being their best or otherwise withdraw from situations they might be quite helpful in.
I know in my own case there have been times where I held myself back because I was afraid I was getting a little too proud. This wasn't an inferiority complex though since I didn't believe anyone was necessarily better than me. I have a lot of pride for being such a humble man...and of course, being humble is one of the best things about me...that and undiluted awesomeness. :straightf
:p :D
Cheers!

phitruong
03-19-2012, 03:56 PM
..that and undiluted awesomeness. :straightf
:p :D
Cheers!

do you charge for awesomeness? personally, being an Asian, i am automatically more meek and humble than you are. and my awesomeness is free of charge! :D

morph4me
03-19-2012, 04:13 PM
do you charge for awesomeness? personally, being an Asian, i am automatically more meek and humble than you are. and my awesomeness is free of charge! :D

I don't know if your being Asian has anything to do with it, but it's obvious to me that the only thing more impressive than your awesomeness is your humility, but I'm very perceptive :p

Keith Larman
03-19-2012, 05:05 PM
Well, I'd be perfect if I weren't so humble... :)

mathewjgano
03-19-2012, 06:48 PM
Well, I'd be perfect if I weren't so humble... :)

Fortunately, I'm just humble enough to be perfect.

Phi, coming from French heritage (I'm pretty sure I'm related to Ceasar or some of his soldiers) I would demand payment in full, but I'm afraid I can't control it: the awesomeness just eeks out of me wherever I go...like Pigpen from Penuts, only of course instead of dust and grime it's undiluted awesome.

...Now if I could just make my Aikido practice and the other things I do as awesome as I am I'd be set.:D

morph4me
03-20-2012, 07:19 AM
Be proud of your humility. I pride myself that I have been blessed with a lot to be humble about.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-20-2012, 07:25 AM
do you charge for awesomeness? personally, being an Asian, i am automatically more meek and humble than you are. and my awesomeness is free of charge! :D

What about your attractiveness?

tarik
03-20-2012, 11:40 AM
I'm sorry if this is a rather harsh wake up call for some people, but I've had enough. why can't people ever be proud of their skills? whether it's in aikido or in other aspects of life.

All things in moderation (including moderation). There is nothing wrong with being appropriately proud on one's skills or accomplishments. Is there a specific reason why you feel that this is not occurring or being allowed to occur?


okay, I'm only a shodan but is it impossible for a shodan to be a good aikidoka? or is a shodan forbidden to be a good aikidoka?

As I understood the term some years ago, being an aikidoka implies a commitment and interest level that is similar to a vocational level (professional) rather than a avocation (hobby). However, I know many people whose lives in this modern age are more defined by their avocations than their vocations.

Personally, I don't see any significant relationship between the meaning of "good aikidoka" and a person's rank. I know plenty of high ranked yudansha and even some "high level" instructors that I would not, on my own recommendation call a "good aikidoka".

Perhaps I am wrong, but I don't believe that being a good aikidoka is defined by ones actual rank, but by one's study, practice, and application of the principles that define aikido. However, I do believe that being a "good aikidoka" will ultimately lead to a significant rank, at least if you allow yourself to fit or at least not resist the inevitable human politics that arise in any organization.

but why is it that whenever I say something that even remotely hints that I think I'm a good Aikidoka, some (if not most) people thinks that I'm being arrogant? I've got a gift, and I've trained very hard to get to how I am today. so why can't I be proud of my efforts and gifts? I worked my ass off really hard for this. I was told that being proud have a lot of psychological benefits.

When people make claims that sound exaggerated, my response is generally "prove it". If they can, then it can hardly be arrogance. Why do you care what other people believe if you believe that your claims are not exaggerated? When you find the answer to that question, perhaps it will matter a great deal less to you how other people respond to what you have to say.


please people, find the difference between arrogant and proud. to me, sarcasm is not much better than bullying. and I believe that some of us started training in martial arts (especially Aikido) to get away from bullying, not to be able to bully other people.

People get into aikido for many different reasons, but IME, I have not found there to be any fewer bullies in aikido than in any other aspect of life that I have explored. Indeed, there is rather a solid institutionalized way for bullies to hide within aikido and express their desire/need for power even from themselves.


just my 2 cents.


What about inflation?

Regards,

Basia Halliop
03-20-2012, 03:31 PM
Of course you should be proud, why not?

But I would also consider something else. If you often find yourself feeling like your Aikido is very good, then it's very possible and even rather likely that you're not training very regularly with people who are far better than you, or in situations where you're being pushed to stretch yourself and do things that you find quite hard. If you're most often in situations where you feel like you're really good, then it's possible you're in situations where you're not actually going to get much better.

I.e., if you can, find some classes and situations where you're below average rather than where you're at the top of the class. You will be amazed at how much you learn!

amoeba
03-26-2012, 01:44 PM
Well, I know a lot of people that are (in my opinion, at least) really very good at aikido and I'm quite sure they know that, too. And are proud of it. Some of them even like to show off a little, yes. But none of them ever walked up to me and told me "Hey, my Aikido is really good, isn't it?"

That's just not something one would ever say about oneself. At least not where I train, and actually I don't think that's Aikido-specific, the same would go for, oh, I don't know, tennis or something.

And it would be equally strange (and look very much like fishing for compliments) if those people were overly humble.

For myself, yes, I actually believe there's parts of aikido that I'm pretty good at, compared to other people about my level. I can take breakfalls quite easily (probably because I'm still young and more or less fit...:)) and all in all I think I'm a good uke. But I also know where my problems are and am humbled often enough, be it at home or at seminars, by better people, to never forget those, either. And anyway, why should I walk around talking about my skills? If somebody wants to comment on them, fine, if it's a compliment, I'm glad, if it's constructive criticism, I think about it. And yes, sometimes I'm annoyed by criticism, I'm only human. But I'm annoyed in silence...;)

Benjamin Green
03-27-2012, 03:43 PM
I'm sorry if this is a rather harsh wake up call for some people, but I've had enough. why can't people ever be proud of their skills?

Generally people with high self-esteem are not good for a company built around retaining a hierarchical power relationship. I would imagine, where it is present, a lot of the general theme comes from that.

Michael Hackett
03-27-2012, 05:28 PM
As Mac Davis once sang.....Oh Lord, It's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way.