Throughout my young martial arts career I've met
great Black Belts and not so great Black Belts.
I won't spend much time on the not so greats. However,
the not so greats had, and continue to have, a major
impact on my career. I believe the most important
part of your martial arts training should be about
who you are as a person, not your rank. As a Black
Belt, you should realize the incredible responsibility
that accompanies being a Black Belt. People who
do not do martial arts will be impressed with your
accomplishment and people working towards a Black
Belt will hold your opinion in high regard. In a
society of fallen idols a Black Belt and what it
symbolizes is a breath of fresh, strong and wholesome
air. Then you come across one of the bad guys in
the martial arts. Their Black Belt came with way
too much ego, their methods of training are more
abusive than helpful, or they even put the almighty
dollar ahead of integrity. Well eventually they
do end up like the movies, losing everything. It's
the people affected along the way that bothers me.
There is a new breed of martial artists emerging.
They teach quick fix approaches with gross motor
control movements and nerve cluster striking and
if it saves you one day, great. Does it make you
a better person? The better person part comes from
struggling to achieve your goals. It's why the Black
Belt is so honoured. If you have one, you know exactly
what you had to do in order to get it. And guaranteed,
it has made an impact on your life and who you are.
Respect, seek it and it will evade you, demand
it and it hides, but take complete responsibility
for your life and it will embrace you forever.
Everyday I enjoy the journey that the martial arts
has put me on. I encourage you to enjoy your martial
arts journey as well.