A Black Belt is Earned! It is never to be given out.

Black Belts are suppose to have a lot of meaning for those who earned it. For those that did all the hard work for it. The ones that show the dedication and right attitude.

I am not a big fan of honorary Black Belts. Those Black Belts that are just given out to people who never really earned them.

To earned a black belt one must spend many years in a specific style training and learning. Just because you earned a black belt in one style doesn’t mean you are a black belt in another style. Each style has its’ own unique style. From stances, blocks, punches, chambers, forms, kicks, language taught in, culture, rules, uniforms, and many other factors that make up a martial arts. It takes many years to really understand what a style is all about.

Each style and school has their requirements for earning the various ranks and eventually black belt. Each student has to show they are can perform each technique at the required level and have knowledge of it. If a system has for example 100 required techniques to earn a black belt then that is what it takes to earn the black belt. Doing anything less is not earning. Each system has its’ own unique requirements so it is hard to compare one style to the other.

To be given a honorary Black Belt is without meaning. You have not done all the hard work. You have not truly learned what is required. You have not truly experienced the style.

Earning a Black Belt is something meaningful. It takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of learning and self exploration. It requires you to let go of what you are comfortable with and learn to be comfortable in being uncomfortable from time to time. It requires your dedication to the journey and the process and not be consumed with the final destination in which there really is none. At thens end of the day you should be very proud that you earned something that a tiny portion of the world population has done.

For those who say that earning a black belt is not an accomplishment, well they are probably not able to dedicate themselves to earning a black belt. They don’t want to go through the handwork. And you know what? That is fine. Everyone has their own unique thing.

Just know that there is a difference between earning a black belt and not earning one. It is up to you if you want a black belt to take the correct path in achieving it.

Master Jonathan Field

Cobourg Tae Kwon Do


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