Monday, June 20, 2011


"Look upon the man who tells thee thy faults as if he told thee of a hidden treasure..." -- The Dhammapada (Chapter six)

This is probably one of the most difficult concepts to embrace in both martial training and in living life in general. That "man who tells thee thy faults," comes in many forms: a sensei, an uke, a friend, a spouse, and especially, one's self. If we're not open to looking at our own short-comings it could set us up for a fall. It could mean danger, for the spirit, or, on the street, physically.

Sometimes, while training, we express such flaws in technique in a jesting manner; other times it becomes a very serious conversation. As long as it solves the problem, the comments are considered a success.

As a friend, or an uke, I would be letting my partner down if I were to pretend a technique is working well if it is not. As a friend outside the dojo, the same applies.

But the hard part is always hearing such flaws about yourself.

As always, humility is a great teacher.


  1. It's not always easy to hear criticism or have your faults pointed out. You are correct though, that the consequences of not hearing an honest assessment can be dire in the street. I'd rather a little upset upfront than a beating on the street because my partner didn't want to hurt my feelings.

  2. Having a few weeds to pick makes you a better gardener.

  3. I like your blog.

    Criticism comes in many forms. Often it comes as simple abuse. But yes, there are lessons to learn as well. I suppose there are even lessons to learn from abuse.

    I guess my message is; listen to the well intended criticism, but don't eat a bunch of bullshit from people that simply want to pull you down.

  4. thanks journeyman, rick and Sensei Strange... i agree, if the critique is sincere it could be a life saver.... and one must be aware of those who want to pull us down for their own ego's sake... and i know my garden has weeds!

  5. Working through one's faults is the most difficult thing for the mind and body to accept, but also the most satisfying. I think many others who do other sports or activities don't always realize that besting oneself is a great goal.

    Another great post, jc.

    Referring to Journeyman's post - Cry in the dojo, laugh on the battlefield.