Level of Black Belt

Black Belt and Beyond.

It’s not surprising that the aim of 90% of Taekwondo students is to achieve the level of Black Belt and it is an understandable and popular desire.

The fact is that only a select few will make it all the way and then only a small percentage carry it through to the higher levels.

We see all too often students of all ages becoming boarded or impatient with the necessary discipline it requires to master the next level.

The true Black Belt journey

Is one of patients and fortitude of self-reflection and self-discipline.  The ability to look inward and see yourself for not only who you are but what you stand for and what you want to be.

Each new level brings new challenges, new moves, new techniques, a higher level of understanding and consciousness. Here lies within patients and lots of it! It takes time and lots of practice to truly master techniques, to develop a fluid movement within a difficult form, to not only be able to perform the technique but understand its origins and meanings as well.

The true Black Belt journey
Discipline takes a lifetime of effort


Then on top of all this, is time spent and it is a discipline that literately takes a lifetime of effort both inside and outside the Do-Jang.

There are years in-between each new Black Belt level.

For example, there is a two year wait from 1st to 2nd Dan, a three year wait between 2nd to 3rdDans, right up to a minimum 9 year wait from 8th to 9th Dan, all of which requires regular training and constant practice as well as minimum age requirements at different belt levels.

Add to this the everyday life interruptions, like school, work, family commitments along with personal time and it becomes easy to see how difficult it can be to become a true Black Belt of any martial art.

So what to do, not bother, quit?

If it’s been said once it’s been said a million times “Anything worthwhile is not easy”. There has never been a truer statement.

Everything from relationships and families to education and employment need to be worked on, improved and most of all embraced for what they are.

No one has the foresight or instinctive ability to accomplish these things without being taught and guided, yet, we seem to think that approaching a martial art only needs to be practiced once a week or so to be good at it.

What’s more discouraging is that when we don’t get it right away we seem to think that “it’s too hard’ or I don’t have time”, yet students constantly want the next level, when they really don’t know it and are disappointed when they are refused of don’t pass!

Anything worthwhile is not easy
Overcoming Obstacles

 Overcoming Obstacles.

All this can be overcome through simple discipline and I can hear the groans! However, as humans we are surprisingly disciplined. Most of us hold down a job, show up on time, remember to buy the necessary items we need. Even what time to get up and when to go to bed. As school age students, discipline is something that is constantly being taught. Not just how to behave but homework and assignments that need to be done by certain times as well as particular events that take place at school and the preparation they require. Simply put, we are relatively structured and disciplined by our very existence, so adding in the necessary practice can be as simple as becoming disciplined around when we practice and incorporating the same time every day to get in that minimum 5 -10 minutes a day.

Martial arts is a Discipline.

At the end of the day martial arts is a discipline. To be studied, practiced and performed. It is something that can remain with you throughout your entire life, after all, it can take a lifetime to achieve.

It can serve you personally in times of need or great stress. It can help give you the additional strength you need to overcome the very obstacles that try to hold you back.

So take the simplest of tips. Take the time to practice, be constant, correct and disciplined.

Martial arts is a Discipline
Secret of discipline

Find a time and place that you can easily fit into your day, that suits you and not be distracted.

Above all else enjoy what you do, as you will never achieve greatness at something you don’t like.

“The secret of discipline is motivation. When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.”

Sir Alexander Paterson
(1884 – 1947, British penologist and Commissioner of Prisons)