In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King
Not too long ago, and maybe still today, the American Martial Arts scene was dominated by a small handful. If we look back we can see the evolution, the ebb and flow, when a particular art or group of people dominated and then someone came along and revolutionized everything. Before the revolution those that dominated were like one-eyed men in the land of the blind. It can be easy to lose your sense of humility when you can push everyone else around. All it takes is someone with both eyes open to knock you off your throne.
I do not think everyone is this way, but I would gamble that there are more people caught up in the glory of themselves than not. I say this due to my own experiences and the click-ish nature of our martial arts world. Of course, some of that is due to the nature of the “brand”, the business wants to sell to the highest number of customers it can. It is therefore, the student’s responsibility to evaluate their own knowledge and ideals. How can this be achieved? First, stay humble. Remember, as much as you know, there is still plenty you don’t. Second, work hard. The knowledge you gain is power and you should feel confident in your knowledge. Third, be self-critical. This means evaluate what your strengths and weaknesses are. Knowing yourself is the hardest part to knowing how to use your knowledge. Fourth, seek knowledge. Who cares if you’re a triple-dipped black belt in Rex-Kwon-Do? Can you use any of what you learned outside of your box? Can you use any of it against an opponent of differing size? Against a weapon? When you are physically or mentally exhausted? Go and seek with a critical mind different perspectives. This does not mean drink from the Kool-Aid of the next person’s truth.
If you can accomplish these four things then at least you will be on equal footing with the next person to come along. If it is good to have one eye open in the land of the blind, think of how much farther you can go with both open.
Stay safe, train smart.
You can't just change the name. Credentials are important.