I think every martial artist should start a YouTube channel. And not just to accumulate playlists of favourite videos by other YouTubers, but to actually film themselves and put themselves out there.

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I occasionally get people trolling my videos, people who like to play “expert” and point out my mistakes. Which is actually really funny when you think about it.

First off, chances are I was already aware of those mistakes while filming, or discovered them during the edit, long before I made that video public.

Secondly, I actually love finding out what I did wrong, because when I know, then I can fix it for next time.

And thirdly, because these keyboard warriors are totally missing the point of what I’m doing and saying on my channel.

I have no desire to portray myself as an expert. I am a martial artist, and I’ve accumulated a certain amount of education and experience in my life, but I by no means consider myself an expert. I’m just another person on this journey. Just like you.

Whether as a martial artist or YouTuber or keyboard warrior, being bent on feeling like an expert only serves to stall your progress. If you think that you’re an expert, and that you do everything right all the time, there is nowhere to go on your journey. You’ve already reached “the top,” so there’s no need to strive for better.

In contrast, if you put yourself out there; if you risk making mistakes, and looking stupid—if you actually do the work and push yourself out of your comfort zone—THAT is how you improve, and THAT is how you grow.

I look back on all of my videos on my channel, and more often than not, when I watch them now, I find my older videos cringey af. I have improved SO much since starting my channel. And yes, I still get nervous on camera. I still fuck up my karate while trying to juggle lighting and audio and cats. I still have a hell of a long way to go on here. But the progress I have made, I would never ever have made, if I hadn’t swallowed my pride and hit that publish button.

You WANT to cringe at your past performance. You WANT to look back and see all the things you could have done better. Why? Because that is proof of your improvement. The more you cringe, the better you’ve gotten since then. If you look back on your past performance and see nothing wrong, you haven’t improved at all.

So I ask you this now: Who would you rather be, a keyboard warrior, or a real warrior? The one who stays safe, and hides behind an illusion of expertise? Or the one who gets out there, takes scary risks, and kicks some ass?

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You’re reading Think You’re an “Expert” at Karate? by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!