Relationships in martial arts are no different to relationships in other spheres of life. You should be rolling with like-minded people who are on the same mission as you. This is something that I think about often and constantly evaluate in my school and in my life. Eagles don’t brood with pigeons and pigeons don’t soar with eagles.

Students, choose your style and instructor carefully. Instructors, choose your students and associations wisely. It is a two-way street and there must be cohesion and drive towards the results you want and need. Students, sometimes it is better to be a lone wolf for a time until you find a pack. Instructors, sometimes you need to break free and form a new pack around you. Don’t force relationships where there shouldn’t be any.

Relationships that are stagnant, negative and toxic should be chopped out like a cancer. Relationships that are a constant drain or your emotional and physical well-being are just not worth it, no matter what the perceived cost. Money cannot buy an unburdened heart or soul. You want to direct your very precious time and energy towards positive results and associations, and you want to create and maintain relationships surrounding like-mindedness towards common goals. This is not to say that you should give up on relationships at the first sign of trouble – always give enough time and thought to make an unemotional and educated decision – some of the greatest relationships start on the rocks.

Treat relationships like an intricate dance. Partners may chop and change until the perfect match is found, but When that match is made you will thrive in your environment, and your environment around you.