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Beyond The Belt

Why are you training? Think about that for awhile and we’ll get back to it.

If you are involved in martial arts teaching sooner or later you have the conversation about why so many people quit training after they get their black belt. The answer I think depends on what you believe a black belt represents.

When I started training in the early 80s there were still people asking me if I would have to register my hands as weapons when I got a black belt. They believed anyone with a black belt was a master of the martial arts.

About the same time however the franchise model took over the martial arts business and the era of every kid, when not picking up their soccer trophy, getting their black belt for participation. Once they got it the belt would sit next to the plastic replica of a champion kicking a ball while the child went off to the next item on their parent’s list of things they should have.

My perspective of a black belt is someone who has been introduced to all the tools and fundamental concepts and is now ready to learn the art. Their rank is a ticket to all the cool stuff there is to learn beyond that introductory level. A black belt is just the first of the many levels of amazing concepts and principles that can take a lifetime to learn while creating a life full of wonder and discovery.

When your goal is change, growth and understanding the benefits go way beyond a belt.

So, why are you training?


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