Wow, this is my third blog of this week. I think this more than all of February’s blogs. Anyway the topic of today’s blog is something I hold close to my heart and is a huge belief system of mine. Today’s blog is about True Black Belts and true Masters of the Martial Arts. It’s about the qualities they have and how they carry themselves. It is also about what they are not and the things that they do not do.
First let’s start with the Black Belt. True Black Belts are highly skilled martial artists in which their bodies will allow them to perform. Providing they have put forth full effort and not merely try to float by. Real Black Belts do not float by in class. They work hard and set positive examples in class and outside of class. The true Black Belt when faced with an injury trains just as hard if not harder in other areas of their training until the injury has healed. I myself have broken my hand and foot and never once did I allow that to slow down my training. Master Gayle has broken her hand and she did not avoid the push ups like most people would. She worked on her one handed push ups. Master Joyce has hurt her ankle before and she keep training and kicking. The injury did not slow her down. When faced with injuries, training the body harder will make the injured part want to catch up with the healthy parts of the body.
True Black Belts also have long term training in mind. They do not train and grade for their Black Belt and just quit after. Receiving a Black Belt and being a Black Belt are two completely different things. I know there is times when Black Belts have to take time off or move on to other things but it is not really acceptable for someone to just want to quite just after getting their Black Belt. That is not a true Black Belt. Quite frankly it sets a bad example for others to follow. It sends a message of not finishing what you started. Getting your first Black Belt is only really the start of your training. It’s the training that helps you get through your life easier.
Real Black Belts also know that learning how to fight and defend yourself is only part of what a Black Belt is. Being skilled at fighting is a useful tool if you wanted to be a competitive fighter or if you are ever in a situation where you have to defend yourself. True Black Belts know that they must not use their skills in a negative way or in a way that can be deemed unacceptable in society. True Black Belts are always training to improve their skills. They want to improve the way they can control their minds and bodies. Mastering ones’ self is a very powerful thing. If you merely just do the minimum requirements to grade, you are not a true Black Belt.
True Black Belts are courteous people. They strive to help others without being asked or told to do so. It is merely a natural reaction. True Black Belts try to set a positive example in all aspects of their lives. They do things that they wouldn’t mind others doing. If they are doing things that they wouldn’t want others to do, than they are not True Black Belts. One must lead by example. Treat others like you want to be treated. These are a few old sayings but hold truth and value in today’s society.cTrue Black belts earn people’s respect. They do not ask or demand respect from others. They do not expect others to cater to their needs. True Black Belts won’t ask others to do negative things. In general if you do something that you do not want others to know about, why are you doing it in the first place. Is it really the right thing to do?
The true Black Belts truly understand and live by the words of courtesy, loyalty, integrity, perseverance, and self control. These are not just words that we hang on our walls in the dojang. One must live by these words. True Black Belts train their minds, bodies, and souls in ways that improve the quality of their lives and the lives of others. They do not take selfishly away from their training and not give back to others. On the other hand, they also do not do things for others to make themselves look better. True Black Belts are humble about what they can do and who they are.
I know there is probably a lot more things that I can say about what a true Black Belt is but I think you need to search your soul and find out the rest for yourself. If you are now questioning whether you are or will be a true Black belt, you better decide to make a change in your life for the better or don’t be a negative representative of the Black Belt.
Now True Masters cover all the above plus a lot more. True Masters are positive examples to their students. They encourage their students to grow in a positive way. They lay down the path and it is up to the students to take it. They are here to encourage others to do their best in any given thing in their lives. They are suppose to be very skilled martial Artists. They more than likely have trained much harder than their students. They do not like to see people slacking off for any reason at all. Sometimes they must make veery difficult decisions. They know that these decisions are for the good of all their students. One might questions their decisions but they have to see that the True Masters have many experiences that allow them to make such difficult decisions without biased opinions. Just like a good parent who does things for the betterment of their children. True Masters are compassionate towards others. True Masters only do things for the betterment of their students. Unfortunately even the best of Masters run into students that they cannot help. It is unfortunate but it is the truth. You can only try to help someone so much. People need to help themselves and take seriously the help others offer.
True Masters and True Black Belts are also physically fit. They strive to eat healthier. They strive to control their minds and behaviours. They develop their spiritual selfs. We are not trying to say we are better than others, we are merely trying to be better versions of ourselves. True Black Belts and True Masters is all about the lifestyle. It’s not about doing Martial Arts as a hobby. I know this is all a huge topic and hard for people to swallow. Simply strive to improve yourself and be truthful to yourself and others. Be a positive example for others to follow.
Okay, this has to be one of my longest blogs yet. Hopefully this has inspired you or has woken you up. It’s meant to be a positive. If it seems to be a negative to you, you might want to rethink things. Many Black Belts and Masters may agree and disagree with what True Martial Artists are, and that is okay. Everyone has a right to their opinion providing they have an educated opinion and a unbiased opinion and view point.
In short, true Black Belts and true Masters are positive leaders and role models. Take care for now.
Master Jonathan Field