I get laughed at a lot at the dojo, because I often do or say funny things; sometimes intentionally, but usually not. I once inadvertently told the entire karate class that “I don’t like balls”. Embarrassing! Fyi, I was talking about the gala kind. I also tend to mess up when demonstrating even simple things in front of the class, because all the eyes on me makes me nervous. If I took myself too seriously I could easily develop a complex, but I’m frequently the one laughing the hardest. Especially when I epically fail at something, I will usually just laugh it off and try again. And again, and again.
I see so many people come in those dojo doors and then walk right back out. I think some of them don’t stay because they haven’t developed the ability to laugh at themselves. They are mortified by their mistakes, and put too much importance on them. They need to remember that everyone has been where they are. Everyone has made silly mistakes and has been embarrassed at one time or another. I see people who have been training for over twenty years who still make the same errors sometimes. The people who can shrug it off and keep trying are the ones who persevere.
If I try to throw a tornado kick and I fall on my butt, I will get laughed at, but come on…it’s funny! I would probably say something like “Man, we should’ve gotten that on video!” Not that I’ve ever done that before (ok…yes, yes I have..more than once). If you can make fun of yourself and laugh at your own mistakes, you have the potential to go far. If you take it all too seriously and keep focusing on your failures, at some point you will probably stop trying.