Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Being Brave

If my ego is engaged, so what? I say it's about a skill, but part of not being beaten -- and not a small part -- is ego. Rolled with a different brown belt today, far more skilled than me, and he caught me in a choke about 10 seconds in. I had him show it to me, but I forgot to ask about the escape. Point is, I did not like that. Then he caught my back, and we stayed there for the whole round. I could not remember a back escape, or engage one. I did remember to give him all my weight. No apologies. I have to change that about myself. It is a competition. I do forget. I do not bring it. That's the skill I need to develop.

I'm afraid of running out of energy. I'm afraid of being thought a bully, using size and strength rather than skill. I'm afraid of being beaten even after I've gone as hard as I can. I'm afraid of losing. Not the kind of afraid that is an active emotion. Avoidance. Like a phobia. It's a character flaw.

Afterwards, thinking about it, I am in contact with aggression -- not anger, just the willingness to go hard. Yeah, afterwards, when it can't happen. Obviously that's the attitude to bring BEFORE, not after. It's hard to respect that in myself. Impossible. It's contemptible, if I felt contempt. It's disrespectable.

I don't want to make it a rule, but the rule should be, warm up with white belts, then roll with the higher belts. My excuse is that I'm taking a few weeks to get back into it. It's a very good excuse. Believable, plausible. Even true. True, except for the emotion behind it.

It's not enough to gratify my ego by dominating smaller guys, or weaker, or less skilled. It's not enough to protect my ego by avoiding people who can beat me. It's not enough to engage my ego only when it's safe, after the challenge is passed. I don't have to actually be brave. I just need to act that way.

Yes, I guess it does have to be a rule. But who will keep me honest?


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