How To Tell When Really Ready to Study

Discussion in 'The Great Debate' started by Zenjael, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Zenjael

    Zenjael Purple Belt

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    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?
     
  2. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    When someone reaches BB in our systems the other BBs all say to that person, "Congratulations! You have proven to us that you can avoid tripping over your own feet and have some degree of commitment. You have basically passed a 4 year entrance exam. It is now time to start training in martial arts."

    A BB to me is a person who has the potential to study a martial art. To really study it not just claim they study it by parroting a few moves they see here or there and can actually look into deeper understanding of what is being taught. A lot of people say they can do that, but I wonder how many of them actually know what they are talking about.
     
  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Pot, meet kettle.
     
  4. yak sao

    yak sao Senior Master

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    BB is laying the foundation.......akin to graduating high school.
    Some people funtion in life quite nicely with only a high school degree....others pursue higher education.
    Higher degrees of black would be getting your associates, then bachelors, masters, etc.
     
  5. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    That depends on what you believe the point of martial arts training is, or what the most important aspect of it is. If it is to cultivate a certain mindset, and the person in question has that mind set already then they don't need to "experience" the art.

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  6. NarrowStreetFilms

    NarrowStreetFilms White Belt

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    Like others have posted, I believe that black belt is really where serious training can begin for a martial artist - if the teacher presents it that way.

    As far as a black belt attitude, that is something hard to define. It can be viewed differently by styles, schools, and individuals. As far as my view on the subject is defined, I believe that it is through the years of training to achieve black belt that such an attitude can be achieved. During this time the student will - if taught so - develop and mold his or her life values. Hopefully he or she will learn virtues such as modesty, courtesy, self-discipline, perseverance, ect. over the years of training and continue to develop these virtues after black belt.
     
  7. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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