Friday, November 9, 2012

Black Belt Training Requires Humility

Yesterday I was watching the Red Belt class perform their Bo form.  As it has always been, most of the students were memorizing the form, its moves and directions.  Some were focusing on stance, targeting and power transmission, and a few were looking really really good, as in ready.  As in Black Belt.  

I was standing next to one of the parents who is a Cho Dan Bo in Tang Soo Do, or Apprentice Black Belt, and is in fact half way through the the Black Belt testing process.  We began to talk about how obvious it is, once you are a black belt, or you have been through the testing process, when someone is ready.  I asked her if she had noticed that some of the students were ready and the rest were not.  She agreed.  She was at the place where it was self evident when someone was ready.

The phrase we use is "Time In," or "Time in Belt."  This is what Grand Master Hwang Kee is referring to in the above quote.  Patient time in belt will get you to the goal, but it can NOT be rushed.  Each of us has a different amount of work required, and it can not be forced.  If you try to do too much too fast, you might actually slow your progress down.

Yet, many people quit along the path to success.  The most tired and common reasons always start with "I want."  I want to compete in more tournaments.  I want to be with my friends. I want my black belt now.  When someone starts their journey in the martial arts, it is always about "I want."  One of the the determining factors for actually testing for black belt is humility, and if you are ready, and have humility, "I Want," just is not part of it anymore.

For black belt, as with most arts, you are ready, when you are ready.  No amount of debate changes it, and every black belt in the world can notice it.  You are a Black Belt when you Are a Black Belt.

I have never met a student who did not have the ability to get a black belt in them. 

 I have, however, met many who are not patient and are not willing to put away their ambition.  They deny the leading training requirement of Black Belts.  They want it NOW, or SOON, and do not have the humility it takes to finally get to the goal.

To those who are black belts already, thank you for your leadership.  For those who are still on the path to their black belt, thank you for your effort. 

To Those who are testing at our karate school today, congratulations.  All those who have fallen to the side of the road on their way to black belt are not like you.  You have become of of the very few.  You make us proud.

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