What is a black belt? This question seems simple, but it is more than a just a belt. If it were as simple as wearing one, everyone would be one. What past leaders and masters of karate are really talking about is: “What does a black belt represent?” A black belt is a symbol of hard work, training, practice, and is only given out to those who earn it. A black belt is a symbol for someone that has been working on their goals for many years. To become a black belt one must work their way up the belts obtaining more skill and further refinement with each step. Each person has some things they are good with but must figure out how to fix the things in the areas they lack. The hardest part for me specifically was execution of basics. I knew what the moves where but I just couldn’t figure out how to do them. Not to mention, large amounts of physical and mental training are required each step of the way. For example, a cap on who gets in and who stays behind is push-ups. Without training outside of the dojo, it is impossible to do enough push-ups, or anything really, to pass. A black belt requires a developed character. Karate focuses on, anger mastering, kindness, honesty, focus, self-discipline, respect, perseverance, role modeling, gratitude, and much more. Most importantly a black belt never quits. If people don’t put in the time and effort both in and outside of class it is impossible to pass, someone will fail regardless of “natural talent”. However, if someone pushes themselves past their comfort zone and breaking point, there is a black belt at the end of the road. To sum it up, “A black belt is a white belt that never quits”.
Written by Zachary Weinstein