Since our school was founded in March 2000, I have promoted approximately 120 people to the rank of Black Belt, either adult or junior. Many of these people moved on to other things shortly after this promotion. Our currently Black Belt population is about 75 with another 22 eligible this fall.

Now I am not giving these number to brag about how many Black Belt I have, but to ask the question, how many of you are TRUE Black Belts? Most of the Black Belts in my system are excellent students of the art, but is this transferring to the real world? When I bring this topic up, most students will say YES, I am because I am following the 6 Tenets.

Good for you, but that is not what I am referring to. What I am referring to is personal development. In classes we will often refer to Black Belt Excellence. Are you applying this principle? Our student creed is about personal development, are you following this creed?

“I develop myself physically and mentally based on the martial art spirit”
“I will only fight to protect my life and the lives of others”
“I achieve my FULLEST potential in developing knowledge, honesty and strength”

This creed speak volumes as to the path for the martial artist and martial art Black Belt. One of the greatest benefits of martial art training is not “self defense’, it is instead FOCUS. Remember the focus it took you to learn that difficult kata or technique? Remember the FOCUS and drive you had to reach that Black Belt. (focus creates drive)

Are you applying it to the rest of your life? Our ability to focus is what moves us forward in life. Martial Art’s people have a great advantage because their ability to focus is increased by their training! Focus allows you to achieve your FULLEST potential!

I have been asked many, many times over the years if I would use my ‘karate’ if someone attacked me. My answer was ‘how could I not use it’? I use it 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

Black Belt is not something you have, it is something you become. Have you become the belt you are wearing?

Author's Bio: 

My name is Art Mason. I am a professional Full Time Martial Arts School owner and operator dedicated to bringing the benefits of martial arts training to my community. I run 2 schools in the Essex County Region with another being a franchised location (3 total).