It’s hard to admit you are wrong!

Sometimes sorry seems to be the hardest word as the song goes but I have a word that seems even harder to say…


No one wants to be wrong I hate being wrong but on the road to recovery you have to be honest with yourself first…

Then you can start to get better….

I will explain, in my mind when I am having a “discussing” with my lovely wife Kerry and I have done something wrong I feel I have to justify the reasons I did the thing we are discussing but in doing that I seem to blame everything and everyone but myself (I find this hard to say!) yet when I am training and someone comes up to me and tells me I could do it this way to make it better I except it with open arms,  go figure.
I find at times no matter what you show to people they will ignore it and do what they want to do anyway because they want to ( I think everyone  has that stubborn  side to their character…. God knows I do!) 

Sometimes it is hard to be in the wrong, it frustrates me beyond belief. It’s a bit like doing DIY – you will stay there until the job is finished to your high standards (god I am a perfectionist as well)
Then someone comes along and tells you it looks crap….. Cue the HULK!!

Ever since I was little I loved polishing things; I would polish my old boots, I did pack runs in to the highest shine knowing after running around 3-5 miles they would look awful and I would start again with the polish yet that did not bother me but if I had spent the best part of the day building a shelving unit from scratch and someone came over and said it looked awful I would feel the rage appear! You dare to criticize my DIY skills after 8 hours + with a sandwich and 4 cups of coffee and 3 internal tantrums! I hope it is not just me that feels a tad hurt by comments at this time or I have a long road to the point where I can take constructive criticism. They always say the first steps are the hardest.

While training and learning new things this hurt ego does not seem to rear its ugly head in a sense that when you are learning new moves or polishing old ones (I told you I liked polishing) I am more than happy to be like Bruce Lee said and have my cup emptied to be filled up with new knowledge and I am always thirsty for more and for training. I sometimes find that I am banging my head off a brick wall (good conditioning) when I try to get someone to do a technique because they won’t empty their cup because they are so stuck in their ways they do not want to let go and try something new or tweak their existing techniques or they are downright stubborn and will not even entertain new moves or except help! As my Kerry says all the time “you can’t fix stupid”.
 As I love to learn new things I am constantly reading and watching training by a wide cross section of amazing coaches and fighters, they are feeding me their knowledge and I try to soak it up like a sponge and every now and then a nugget of knowledge gold is found that changes the way you view everything.
An amazing fighter and coach of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu called Marcelo Garcia, his skill on the mat is a thing of beauty ,  is constantly training and researching what works for him and how he can put it into his game but when he was being shown something the coach told him the things that could go wrong with the technique, all of a sudden Marcelo stopped him in his tracks and said no , only show me the right way to do it so that is the only way I know how to do it! That make so much sense if you only have one way to do the perfect technique all you do is that (what he did not say is he would drill that move about 10,000 times ).  

I have also found this when I am teaching because when someone is stuck in my Ninjutsu class they always try to tell me how it is going wrong , so I stop them and tell them to show me how they are doing the technique  because 9 times out of 10 they don’t tell me what they cannot remember. So by making them show me I can see what they missed from the demonstration , this not only helps me fix the technique it also shows the student  it’s not what you see it’s the eyes you see it with!

So everyone gets things wrong , it does not mean you are stupid or no good sometimes they are not trying to hurt your feelings they are just trying to help ( 9 times out of 10 lol)

Until next time

Be good

And play nicely with the other kids

John Atkin
 To find out more about The Advanced Fighting Centre visit: or e-mail John Atkin at

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