Well our annual black belt grading has come and gone this past Saturday. We had 13 black belt candidates going for the ranks of black, 1st degree black belt, and 2nd degree black belt. The students completed a 10 hour grading from 9am to 7pm at the dojang and at the beach/boardwalk. They were tested on their physical conditioning, flexibility, forms, blocks, punchings, sparring, self defense, one steps, kicking, musical forms, breaking, and korean terminology. This is what you would think they would typically be tested on for black belts in Taekwondo right? But they were also tested on team work, their spirit, self confidence, perseverance, integrity, self control, loyalty, focus, leadership, courtesy, and courage.
The grading is very important in achieving your black belt but what is of more importance is the journey along the way to black belt. How did you deal with all the tasks and challenges that were presented to you? How did you grow as a person? When things got tough, how did you deal with it? Who were the ones that supported you along the way?
What is more important after earning your black belt is what you do with it. What type of black belt are you going to be? Are you going to be a black belt or just a person who has a black belt? There is a difference. A black belt is how you carry yourself in your personal and professional life. How do you use your skills? Are they being used to help others or are they being used selfishly? Is your black belt a final destination or is it just the start of a life long journey?
I am very proud of this year’s 2016 black belt graduates. They worked extremely hard. They worked well as a team to get through their grading. They owned what they did throughout the day. They kept up their energy throughout the day. They took care of each other. They listened and focused well. They had fun. They were very respectful to the instructors and to each other. They displayed the traits that I mentioned above. They are going to be on a great show this Saturday night at 7pm at the Cobourg Memorial Temple during our annual black belt spectacular and hall of fame ceremony. If you have not got your tickets yet for the show please see me at the office.
I am excited for the show as I am putting something special together.
See you there.
Master Jonathan Field