As Skyhooks sang “Ego is not a dirty word” (July 1975), is it?

Do you need an ego to be a good Martial Artist or does it hold you back?

Does Ego drive you on to be better, to learn more?

The Oxford dictionary list Ego as: “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance”.

What if we had no Ego? Would we keep striving to improve?

One of the philosophies of Taekwondo is:

Always be yourself even though your circumstances may change.

This in my opinion is an important philosophy and a difficult one to achieve.  As you learn more it becomes more difficult to keep your Ego in check, it is almost natural to believe in your own self importance as you progress through the ranks.

I am not saying that Ego is bad, without it most people would not try to achieve, but at what point does it get in the way of real knowledge and skill.

My instructor Grand Master Low is an extremely skilled practitioner.  He is powerful, has an immense knowledge from decades of training and an almost magical ability to anticipate an opponent, and yet there are many times I have seen him give way, be gentle and ultimately is that not what being humble is.

So do you have to lose your Ego to be humble, I am not sure, perhaps you need to acknowledge it and accept it and gently move it to one side to make room for more skills and knowledge.

Is it easy to do, I don’t think so because I am still trying.