Karate goes well beyond preparing us for the unlikely meeting with an aggressive attacker. If it did not, you may have wasted your time and money training for years without ever needing your skills. Karate aims to equip us with the values and life-skills necessary to be a success in all areas of our life. Therefore, as a black belt, from time to time it’s important to stop and ask yourself, “Am I a full time Black belt?” What this means is, do you demonstrate the values and skills your practice in the dojo in every area of your life.
For example, how can someone classify themselves as a Black belt when they are respectful and humble in the dojo, but rude and arrogant outside the dojo?
Or why does someone classify themselves as a Black belt when they are disciplined in the dojo yet undisciplined in their home, school or work life?
How can someone classify themselves as a great Black belt when they are working hard to be the best karate-ka they can be inside the dojo, but at home they are a lousy partner/husband/spouse?
A true black belt understands that their attitudes in the dojo (for example, their attention to detail) should also apply to their people skills, school work, career, being a partner or spouse, being a son or daughter, being a father or mother etc. Always remember that the dojo is an environment where we can learn to become our very best selves. A true martial artist then takes this and allows it to permeate into their outside life.
A true black belt:
- Is disciplined both in and out of the dojo.
- Is courteous and respectful both in and out of the dojo.
- Places humility over ego both in and out of the dojo.
- Believes that effort and focus will overcome any challenge; both in and out of the dojo.
- Is self-confident without being arrogant both in and out of the dojo.