Being A Black Belt

Being a black belt in a martial art has become an impressive status symbol. The question “What does being a black belt mean to you?” was posed as a discussion topic. Here are some of the many responses.

Clarence Sheets: This means I don’t have to have a rope to keep my pants up.

Jeremy Drenning: I was a wrestler first, so not much. No belts in wrestling. You just work.

Steven Taylor: It means I now fully represent my school and my teacher, and however, I act will be reflected on those who trained me.

Jim Nagy:  black belt to me, means a thorough understanding of the basics (I’m assuming you mean shodan, … first level) I agree with a lot of what Nick Moralez has written as well. Representing your style, your school, and all. A good bit of truth to that. Also, I’ve heard that the word sensei can be translated to mean: “one who has been there before.” So I see a black belt as one who is attempting to educate and possibly enlighten someone else who is ignorant in what the black is skilled in.

Lori Biletnikoff: I got my black belt at 56. To me, it was a long journey. I stayed with it even though I had anL4/L5 fusion, 2 knee surgeries, another back surgery, a hand & foot surgery in between all the training. It took me 8 years but I did it…Plus I have exercise-induced asthma…Yes yes know I’m a wreck….lol.

Nick Moralez: It is a huge responsibility since it is a black belt’s job to teach the students proper effective techniques to protect themselves and others if anything should ever happen in their daily lives. Whenever I compete in tournaments I am there representing myself and my school so I must show proper protocol and respect to everyone at the tournament fellow competitors, their instructors, and the spectators. It is just the beginning so much more to learn at black belt ranks and even more to teach to lower black belt ranks as well.

Chris McDaniel: To me, it means one has got the basics down… Now time to learn more techniques…

Alistair Adamson: Responsibility in giving back to my club what they gave to me, it was hard-earned and as a senior instructor. The responsibility is being a benchmark to my fellow instructors and students!

Char Musillo: Holds my pants up. In traditional styles, it means you have mastered the basics. It’s a starting point not an ending point.

John Ives: From the very first lesson with the beginners’ belt. To the grading for the honor of wearing the coveted black belt years later. It made me the man I am calm and collected.

Stephen Harvey: It means that I’m the baldest man on earth and could beat up Mike Tyson. (Joking)…

Steve Young: It means that I’ve learned enough that I realize I don’t know much…

Russ McWhorterFor me… it meant achieving a goal… I now had the basics off of which to build myself into a better fighter and a better person. I knew even then; it wasn’t the end but only the beginning…

Daniel Horák: Without respect, this- the black belt – means nothing!

Justin Quaid: It means absolutely nothing. I have a black belt in San Soo. Originally Jimmy Woo didn’t have belts, but he adapted it to compete with the commercialization of karate at the time. I’ve been training in Filipino Pangamot for 24 years and not once have I’ve seen a belt. Bruce Lee didn’t have any black belts. The black belt is a commercialization for the west taking from Japan. In China there are no belts.

Nicholas Slayden: That you mastered the basics and finally beginning to learn what it means to be a real martial artist.

Bob Howell: That the white belt was never washed.


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History of Karate

Karate (空手) (/kəˈrɑːti/; Japanese pronunciation: [kaɾate] (About this soundlisten); Okinawan pronunciation: [kaɽati]) is a martial

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