When someone reaches their goal of Black Belt what really changes? They have spent the last 4 to 5 years of their lives working towards this goal, then it is suddenly here and gone. What happens next depends on the individual martial artists.

If the person is a self motivated goal oriented person, they are well prepared at Black Belt with their new short and long term goals. I was always set, looking to the future for new ranks and new learning experiences. Not everyone is.

For some after hitting Black Belt something happens. I call this Black Belt Syndrome, it is like a let down or depression. The new Black Belt feels no different, and often feel unworthy of their new rank. The results are seen by a good teacher immediately. The students attendance will suffer, often coming to class as much as 70% less, or they will outright quit after the goal is reached.

So how does someone overcome this problem. They do this by living life on purpose. Most people will go through life day by day not really thinking about the direction they are headed. Without this kind of focus, achievement, when and if it comes, is often empty. When we look toward the goals of the future, paying attention to them, updating and changing them to adapt to our changing needs, we then get to enjoy the journey to these goals. We also tend to reach these goals also.

Repetition is a fact in the martial arts, there is no way around this truth if we want to learn and be proficient in our art. However without a clear goal for our future the constant day in and day out training takes its toll. Soon we are looking for reason not to train. The reasons are never hard to find.

Black Belt should be the begining of a new journey in the martial arts. But only if our minds are prepared for it. If not, it is then often the end of the journey. A person told me once that she never set goals or dreamed of a better life because it would never happen anyway. Because of the way she thinks she is correct. This is however very sad because life is a journey, but if we never venture out of our confort zone, we will not experience it.