A few of our students also attend Mixed Martial Art Sparing in Budo Mixed Martial Art School (our host and brethren). They have fought bravely against some of the top fighters in Budo and also learned some lessons about themselves. In essence, “They ate some humble pies“. We have all eaten some humble pies in life; school, work, video games, etc., but it is especially true in fighting. In those few minutes or seconds, you suddenly understand yourself so well; your limitations, strengths, weaknesses and your own fear. In a very short amount of time you know yourselves intimately. All the philosophy classes in the world are no match for one good solid punch in the face. What is the lesson we learn most of time? Answer: We still have so much to learn and so much to improve on.
I’ve eaten humble pie many, many, many times in my martial arts and fighting career. I have been knocked out, choked out, tape out and out-conditioned in many tournaments and practices. I recall one of my most memorial humble pie experience was sparring with my senpai Gill ( senior in Dojo ) who was a professional MMA fighter/ marine life biologist. He was riding on top of me, beat me to submission and ruptured my left ear drum, and the whole process was witnessed in front of my first girlfriend whom I was always boasting how good I am as a fighter. I learned the meaning of humble pie and importance of headgear very quickly after that day.
There is always someone better than you in fighting; maybe not in techniques but better in spirit, condition or even tactics. Again and again, some kid out of nowhere took down the long time champion; e.g. Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman or George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali. This is exactly why the path of training is so much fun and exciting. Even when you are the champ you can still eat a big piece of humble pie. We should always try to be better than yesterday.
In the world of Krav Maga, a piece of humble pie is even more important. All the hard training we do is meant to have a solid bulwark against potential threats, not to look for brawls to test your own ability. Because there will be no referee to pull the winner aside from the loser. After all, a piece of humble pie on the street might be the last thing you eat.