Hello, I have seen black belts treated as lifetime achievements, and causally granted as easily as the paper were to print, and belts to order. A story I always enjoy, whether it be true or not, is that long ago when martial arts were still practiced in seclusion, people would begin with tunics, and over time and practice, it would turn black with dirty, blood and whatever else it came into contact with in their training. While obviously things have come a great ways since then... Ultimately I see a black belt as someone who is truly ready not only mentally, but in their understanding of the mechanics of their art are also adequately prepared to really start studying. Everything before black belt to me is akin to walking to school; black belt is showing up with the supplies, and entering. And that's where knowledge really begins. The question has come to me of what to do when one meets someone who would like to learn- has the mental attitude of a black belt (truly, not just they are mature, but that this insight even lets them master the arts at an exceptionally heightened speed) but have limited experience. I realize among the obvious questions is to work with them, and help them where you can, but what happens when this individual is still a white belt, after a year of practice, when in 4 months elsewhere they are easily at a level comparable to purple or blue, yet they desire to remain with the system where they are underappreciated, and not advanced. To give you an idea of the quality of the education in this art she is getting, it is taught as a course credit (1) for community college. To me a black belt is a lifetime achievement- not because it is an honorary position, but because it is something given recognizing the person's spiritual maturity toward their lives, art, and practice. You cannot forget the mental state which comes with a black belt (though I will admit it a controversial thing whether a person, once earning a belt, should always be considered to have done so if, say, by the age of 50 their skill is crap.) I would venture to say though a person who once getting a black belt, or at some point after receiving it abuses their training, or stops training, than this shows they did not have the mental state of a blackbelt. I like to think even if put in jails, a martial artist can practice. Your thoughts about when someone has the mentality of a black belt, but not the experience in an art?