Achieving Black Belt Is Reaching The Beginning
Written by Richard Hackworth
Black Belt graduation is definitely a time of change, likely one of the biggest events in your life so far. It has been called one of the most coveted titles to hold. It is the completion of an era. The end of time as you have known it. Although you did not know it when you started, becoming a Black Belt wasn’t you final goal, just a short term one. Being a true martial artist is a lifelong journey. Black Belt is just a tiny first step on that lifelong path.
Whatever the changes ahead of you, one thing is certain. The future will be different, and it will come. It may be exciting, fearful, or at least uncertain, but one fact you cannot avoid. You are headed for a new life. A new life as a martial artist, you have finally earned that prestigious title. Achieving Black Belt is your passage from the Warrior stage of your martial arts career, to the status of Scholar. You are now ready to study the real essence of martial arts and all the benefits that you will get by following this path.
One student told me that after getting his Black Belt he could finally see the true purpose of his training. It was to conquer and master yourself. It’s like watching a TV that finally gets an antenna. You thought that you were watching all that there was “all there is.” But all of the sudden, you can see! Things become clear and finally make sense. Being a Scholar means that you now seek to learn all aspect of your art. The deeper aspects of learning beyond mere fighting and forms. But the aspects that make you a better person, a role model for others to aspire to be like.
As you go into your future beyond becoming a Black Belt you are now a martial artist. It is within you to make the lifelong journey of self mastery and mastering your art. By achieving Black Belt you have earned the right to follow this path. You have a new responsibility to yourself and your school. A responsibility to learn all that you can, share all that you know, and mentor those who are not as far down the path as you are.