Author Topic: What does it mean?  (Read 1973 times)

Offline D-Man

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What does it mean?
« on: August 15, 2003, 04:47:13 AM »
Kajushodan's post on life as a black belt got me thinking...

I am interested in everyone's opinion on what it means to be a black belt.

Offline Kaju Bear

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Re:What does it mean?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2003, 09:12:42 AM »
I have been thinking about that question for a while now. I mean when I first became a black belt I would have said that being one meant that you had expert abilities to execute the fundamentals of your art’s techniques, that you had a strong understanding of its theoretical concepts, knew its history, understood it philosophical ideas. It meant that you developed yourself into a fighter who had the heart of a lion, the tenacity of a bear, a drive to succeed of almost fanatical proportions. You eat, slept, worked and talked your art. At the point they hand it to you, your life is your art.

But that is more how you make a black belt  not what he or she is after the test is over and the ceremony done. I know this is going to sound so hokie but becoming a black belt has been more  like David Caradin walking through that door after picking up the hot coal filled pot. It is a new beginning to walk through life with new skills, mental thought processes, and philosophical ideas that were absent before then. It is my believe that each of us has to determine how our actions and deeds best acknowledge us as black belts. There must be some level of retention of your art and I am not sure what that should be but it should not be exclusively about this Kata or that Trick. That to me is a responsibility that should be on a teacher’s shoulders. (No, just in case you are wondering, I don’t believe everyone should be a teacher but that’s another topic) Being a black belt for me is more a state of being that reflects a person who has integrated his art with his life. It represents a person who is constantly in the motions to improve his humanity utilizing a vehicle known as Kajukenbo (in our case). It is a commitment to excellence. The standard of which, you (the individual black belt)  must determine how best to achieve and represent through your actions,  words, and abilities.

I may be off from the group as a whole and their concepts of what it is to be a black belt but now that I have been one for a number of years and helped others to become them, I think it almost easier to say what it is not. It is not the end all be all. It is not ego. It is not just a decoration. It is not stagnant. It is not the same the day you first become one and years down the road. You are not the same person that is impossible. It is not the number of students you have had , schools you run or were opened in your name, the number of stripes on your belt or the name of your art that make you a black belt.

For me it is mostly your spirit that identifies you more then anything as a black belt.
Sifu Morg Olsen
3rd degree, Emperado Method, Senior Grand Master Kaanana
1st degree, Tum Pai, Grand Master Robert Heuer

TODD

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Re:What does it mean?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2003, 05:57:57 PM »
I've thought above this question alot cause I never asked myself this.  Never crossed my mind
before.  I suppose its who I am not what I am.  I'm a husband, a son, a father, and a public servant.
Once I was a teacher and once again I will be again.  In many ways I still am.  For something
that once was a passion to obtain (a black belt) is now a part of me.  This will be with me until I
die and after in spirit.  Its a matter of respect for humanity of mankind, Kajukenbo taught me
how precious life really is.  It is also a committment to continue a tradition set forth in me upon
completion of the "test".  This committment is to teach what was taught to me to family (kids)
and others the way I was taught.  This all may sound cheesy but its the way it is. :D It is also
the utmost respect for those before me (my Kajukenbo linage).  Mine is Reiner, Palomo,Davis, Reyes,
and Emperado.  Without them I would not be exactly who I am today.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2003, 08:26:12 AM by Todd »