“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”
You may have heard the saying before that, “There’s no “i” in “Team”. For when it comes to getting things done, especially with a larger task at hand, it is true when they say “Many hands make little work”. However, “many” hands can also make even MORE work, especially when one or more pair of those “hands” decide that their OWN “goals” are MORE important, than the one of rest of the group, or “team” they happen to be a part of at the time. You see “teams” are made up of “individuals”, but SHOULD have a goal as a whole, as this one definition of the word “team” states as follows:
“A group of people with different skills and different tasks, who work together on a common project, service, or goal, with a meshing of functions and mutual support.”
Mel Hensey, P.E. (F.ASCE)
The martial arts, is at its “core” very much an individual “endeavor”. The primary focus of the martial artist should be to work on making themselves better, and not necessarily be concerned with what others need to do to make themselves better. When a martial artist lets this thought “process” guide their efforts, especially during a class time, their “individual” efforts are in reality contributing to the harmony of the whole class, and makes for the best class possible at the time. That’s not to say the we should constantly focus on ourselves however. If a martial artist is more skilled in something in which another martial artist may come to ask them for help in, the more-skilled martial artist should be more than willing to help their less-skilled fellow martial artist. Doing so, once again brings their “individuality” to contribute to the whole. This attitude can certainly be adapted to life outside of the Dojo as well.
Your “individuality” IS important, so DON’T be afraid to cultivate it well. But DON’T be hesitant, when the opportunity presents itself from time to time, to let that individuality contribute to an “overall” that IS BIGGER than you.
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. “