I usually don’t make a big deal accomplishments in my life. I have a tendency to underplay them because it’s on to the next goal. But over the summer, I guess something kind of big happened…I got my instructorship under Dan Inosanto in JKD and Filipino Martial Arts. I was super excited and grateful to receive such an honor from someone I respect so much. But part of me didn’t think that I deserved it. The reason why is I’m not GREAT at Kali or Jun Fung Gun Fu. I have training partners that are better in those arts. Actually, I’m not amazing at really any one art. I do Muay Thai with better Thai boxers. I definitely do Jiu Jitsu with better BJJ guys ( I am at Master Pedro Sauer’s school.) And even though I have fought MMA my takedowns and ground and pound are nothing to write home about.
I guess my goal has never been the best at anything. I always searched to be as well-rounded and functional as possible as a martial artist. So I have to cross train. This means constantly taking myself out of my comfort zone and training with specialists. This can be frustrating and discouraging. Going to the mat every day working with people who are great at what they do is pretty amazing. But sometimes it makes you think…”Man, I suck so bad!” It’s hard trying to keep up with people who devote all their time to one martial art and all I’m trying to do is moderately suck at everything. So why would I do that to myself…? Because hopefully the other thing that I suck at, you suck at more.
I just try to play the percentages. I try to learn enough about different martial arts so that I can be as functional as possible depending on the situation. The variables can change in each situation. The range of combat, the number of opponents, the terrain, and are there weapons involved? How can I prepare for all of that if I am only educated in one area of combat? The answer is you can’t. Now I am not saying that there is anything wrong with gravitating to a particular martial art.
Now I am not saying that there is anything wrong with gravitating to a particular martial art. We all enjoy doing the things that we are good at. Even I do it. But I also think it is important to take yourself outside of your comfort zone and cross train so that you can constantly expand and grow. This does mean being a “white belt” all the time. But it also means your growing and sometimes there are pains that come with it.
So even though I’m not the best at any particular martial arts. I do have the comfort of knowing that I do have enough knowledge in many different arts. Even if it is only an inch, it’s an inch in a mile. There will always be systems and arts that I prefer to others, even if I’m not the best at them. And that’s ok. Cause I always remember something I read on one of the shirts from Greg Nelson’s Academy, “Jack of all trades master of none, master a few and Jack with everyone!”