Reveal Your Martial Weaknesses to Improve Faster

It can be tempting in your school or practice group to hide your martial weaknesses and keep a book of the holes in your partners’ defences. The more secrets under your belt, the easier it is to stay on top. But this is a limited view that keeps you from truly expanding your ability as a martial artist.

Your ability is not fixed. Know that you can expand yourself both physically and mentally if the conditions are right and your focus is in the correct place. With this view, there is no loss to revealing your secrets only faster gains. When I figure out a way to defeat a particular training partner, I tell them. I still have a tool I can use against others in tournaments and from other schools. What I get in addition to that is a tougher training partner who is not vulnerable to this weakness and will force me to further my own perception and ability.

When I reveal my weaknesses to my partners they force me to dissect and understand them, drill them and patch up my holes. If I can find my weaknesses certainly my opponents can. Better to deal with them in a friendly sparring environment than an antagonistic one.

So make discussion of holes and weaknesses a part of your regular sparring practice. Teach your partners how to beat you, so you can all get better.

Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques.
Read more from Devon Boorman.