Cheaters may pick up the odd win. Get that medal or trophy that they so long for. Get one up over another competitor that played by the rules. But do cheaters really win?
Well the answer is pretty obvious. No! No they did not win. Just because a cheater got that trophy, medal, or victory down on paper doesn’t mean that actually won. You see, when someone has to cheat in order to gain victory they are not actually winning. Once they feel they have to cheat and act upon those feelings they are starting to cheat themselves of a true victory.
True victory is not over someone else or winning at a competition. No, true victory is about being the best that you can become. Once you decide to cheat and actually do it you are robbing yourself of this. You are saying to yourself that you are not any good. You are saying that you cannot do what you set out to do. You are saying that others are better than you. You are telling yourself that the only way you can win is to cheat. You don’t have what it takes to be a real winner.
This is why cheaters are never really winners. They are cheating themselves. It is better bad to cheat others but it is so much worse to cheat yourself. Negative self talk and self doubt can really play with you. And not in a good playful way but rather in a bad dark way.
I have met hundreds and hundreds of competitors in the martial arts over the years and I have cane across many true champions who sometimes win and sometimes lose but that is okay. That is okay because they layer by the rules and were trying to be the best that they could be. They knew no matter what happens they were winning because they weren’t cheating themselves or anyone else in the process. They know that sometimes you wins and sometimes you learn. They can sleep at nights knowing they were true to themselves.
I have over the years met some competitors who were cheaters. They tried to find ways to get that one win over someone else at pretty much at all cost. They didn’t care how they won, as long as they got that medal or trophy and the bragging rights to say I won over so and so. What they don’t realize is that in the long run, no one cares but them. A win or lost is a personal thing. It is of no concern to anyone else. And what good is a win if it is not real? And why would anyone want a room full of fake trophies and medals? Wouldn’t it be a reminder that you are fake?
All the greatest competitors I know have rooms full of 1st place trophies and medals but they also have many ends, 3rds, 4ths, and so forth. They are proud of each and every win and lost because at least it was real. You can always be proud of yourself if every time you compete you were true to yourself and you tried your very best. Regardless of the outcome of that particular day or event it has no real bearing on you expect maybe that you are a true competitor and competed with integrity. I believe this is more important than all the 1st places in the world.
I have World Championships, World Records, International Championships, but I also have many 2nd places, 3rd places, 4th places, and so forth. I am proud of each one regardless of the place I won because there is a story behind each one. Good memories behind each ones. Hard work and passion behind each one. I stayed true to who I am. I will gladly take a lost over a fake win. I realize that in the long run that it only matters to me. No one else really cares. It is something personal that drives me to become better. I strive to pass this along to the next generations of competitors and students alike. To see another competitor or student go through this process like I have is very rewarding. It is rewarding that I see that they are staying true to themselves and not becoming cheaters. They know that if they cheat, they never win. They know that cheating is only cheating themselves.
Master Jonathan Field
Cobourg Tae Kwon Do