Meaning of the Black Belt
By Mark Johnson Sensei/Sa Bum Nim
What it means to be a Black Belt.
A black belt is more that just a status. A black belt is more than an achievement. It is a responsibility. A black belt is not something to be flaunted. A black belt is not a master. A black belt is a level of rank achieved after many years of bumps, bruises, breaks and pains. Put simply a black belt is a technical mastery of basic techniques. The level of 1st degree black belt represents the ability to learn and the perseverance to keep going no matter what it takes.
To put it into an analogy: A black belt is like building a car with an instructor. You spend several years putting all the pieces together a little at a time. In the end you have a finished vehicle. Now your journey can begin. Now you must learn how to drive it. Then you must learn what all the pieces can do together and where it can take you. The more experienced driver you become the better driver you should become.
Many people believe that earning a black belt is the end of their training. This is simply not true. A black belt, put simply, is the first major goal to achieve in your martial arts career. 1st degree black belt is really just where the training of the mind begins. You have spent the last several years training your physical body to obey your commands. Now you can begin to train your mind to obey your commands.
A black belt is someone who at all times carries themselves with integrity. They are an example of how to be. A black belt should have enough emotional control to not lose their temper quickly. They should be respectful. A black belt doesn’t have to prove themselves to anyone. Should a situation arise they should be able to resolve it quickly and efficiently. A black belt should be a much better negotiator than someone who is untrained. Most physical conflicts actually blossom due to lack of confidence and the presence of fear. As a black belt you will be more prepared to handle such situations.
1st degree black belt…..let the journey begin!