Losing Beginner Status

351C

White Belt
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
Reading the “Beginner’s Mind” post got me thinking about the definition of a beginner and when do you loose that status? To me a “Beginner’s Mind” is a desirable attitude that keeps your mind open and eager to learn new things. My question however is slightly different and possibly too simplistic. When are you no longer a beginner? My kids and I will be testing for our green belt in a few weeks and although we have learned a lot, compared to our Instructor and other students, we are just babies. I haven’t asked our Instructor but I suspect that he would consider himself a beginner compared to our Grandmaster. This question may have no real answer or it may be different for different people, I’m just curious what others think. Is it possible that the answer to this question may vary depending on the style of martial art?
 

Drac

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
143
Location
Ohio
Is it possible that the answer to this question may vary depending on the style of martial art?

More likely it will vary from person to person..
 

Ella

<B>Banned User - Multiple Accounts / Previously Ba
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
185
Reaction score
2
It depends on your view I think.

Some people view blackbelt as expert status, while some view it as "only the beginning". I think it's really subjective, because there's never a point where you have learned everything...

I personally think people go too far with the "black belt is only the beginning" thing...

In one sense, it is, but in another sense, consider the average person off the street. I personally think that you are no longer a beginner at your 2nd belt or so... because to me a beginner is someone who knows nothing...

I think it's silly to call a black belt a beginner - consider how much more a black belt knows than someone off the street. A person off the street is the true beginner.
 

Callandor

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Messages
121
Reaction score
1
Location
Philippines
Reading the “Beginner’s Mind” post got me thinking about the definition of a beginner and when do you loose that status?
Perhaps if Pooh were to answer this question, it would go something like:
You are a beginner when you begin something. You end being a beginner after you have begun. But right after you've begun, you'll begin again in a different level so, you will again be a beginner to that new level.

A white belt is a beginner as she just started her journey in the martial arts. After a while, she looses that status but becomes a beginner again when she begins her journey as a yellow belt - and so on until black belt and beyond.

When are you no longer a beginner?

You are no longer a beginner when you are ready to begin at a different level - when you are ready to be a beginner again.

Is it possible that the answer to this question may vary depending on the style of martial art?
It depends more on the person than on the style.
 

qi-tah

Brown Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
436
Reaction score
1
Location
Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
Reading the &#8220;Beginner&#8217;s Mind&#8221; post got me thinking about the definition of a beginner and when do you loose that status? To me a &#8220;Beginner&#8217;s Mind&#8221; is a desirable attitude that keeps your mind open and eager to learn new things. My question however is slightly different and possibly too simplistic. When are you no longer a beginner? My kids and I will be testing for our green belt in a few weeks and although we have learned a lot, compared to our Instructor and other students, we are just babies. I haven&#8217;t asked our Instructor but I suspect that he would consider himself a beginner compared to our Grandmaster. This question may have no real answer or it may be different for different people, I&#8217;m just curious what others think. Is it possible that the answer to this question may vary depending on the style of martial art?

I have wondered this as well and probably took the opposite route to you... thinking about whether or not i was still considered a beginner after X number of years got me thinking about what the attributes of a beginner were, and from there i latched onto the the "beginner's mind" thing as a part of being a beginner that i didn't want to lose! In answer to yr question however, i simply don't know. Maybe you stop being a beginner when you have to start conciously keeping the spirit of a beginner within yrself, when that no longer comes naturally. If you can perform yr art without thinking yet still be able to take that anywhere (ie. you are not simply performing along a "track", through rote), then you might become a beginner again?
But i still call myself a beginner 'cause i still feel that i know very little. Or i might "mind know" quite a bit but have very limited body understanding, which is after all what it's all about. So i guess the concept of "being a beginner" can operate on more than one level here. :asian:
 

Shaderon

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
1,524
Reaction score
4
Location
Cheshire, England
I tend to agree with Pooh. :D

A beginner is someone who's beginning something, but where they end beginning is in thier own heart. To stop being a beginner I don't think you have to stop learning, but be comfortable in your learning and accept it as who you truly are and live it.

To begin a martial art, is to start your journey, it's where you feel YOUR journey stops being "the start" and starts being "the continuation" is where you stop being a beginner.
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,461
Reaction score
730
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
Some of us will always see oursleves as begginers and students no matter how long we study or the rank we reach.
I think "begginer" may be a mind set that allows for the wonders of what we do to fill us and we lose the status when we start to feel we know more than we do or when we start strutting around like we know it all
 

ChingChuan

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
217
Reaction score
5
Location
The Netherlands
Hm, I think that people are confusing being a beginner with being curious.

You know, when you are a beginner, you don't feel any confident at all in your art. You feel as though you'll never ever get to understand it etc. But, eventually, as the months / years pass (in my art it's usually the first 6 months) that feeling passes and you start to begin to feel more at ease. And then, after a year or so, you suddenly discover that it's not as scary / difficult / etc as you thought at the beginning.
And then you're no more a beginner - you're got down the basics of that art a little and you don't feel as though there's no hope left for you.

However, the thing some of you describe as a beginner's mindset - being open to new things etc - isn't the same as being a true beginner, is it? Even a grandmaster or someone who is really advanced will have such a mindset - and saying that such people are beginner is a bit... strange.
 

MartialArtHeart

Green Belt
Joined
Jun 3, 2007
Messages
104
Reaction score
4
Location
Milky Way
We have a saying at our school: A black belt is a white belt that never quit. And a black belt, to me, is just an advanced beginner. I think one begins every day anew... a new training exercise, a new move, a new mindset... while you may have moved on in one respect of the martial arts, there is always something else to master... even the head of my ranking organization is still learning, despite the fact that he can put the rest of us to shame.
 

Kacey

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
16,462
Reaction score
223
Location
Denver, CO
We have a saying at our school: A black belt is a white belt that never quit. And a black belt, to me, is just an advanced beginner. I think one begins every day anew... a new training exercise, a new move, a new mindset... while you may have moved on in one respect of the martial arts, there is always something else to master... even the head of my ranking organization is still learning, despite the fact that he can put the rest of us to shame.

Great post! And welcome to MT!
 

searcher

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
3,317
Reaction score
58
Location
Kansas
I am a Go-Dan and I am still a beginner. I am not trying to be a smart mouth, I am just saying that with all of the stuff to learn out there, I am still in the beginning stages of my learning.
 

TheOriginalName

Blue Belt
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
239
Reaction score
19
I've got to agree with Poo....... we are forever a beginner in every aspect of life - but it is all relative.

Compared to a black belt i am a beginner (4 weeks training)
However when i compare myself to the guy that started yesterday i am no longer a beginner.

If we constantly approach life as a beginner - knowing that we always have things to learn - then we will constantly grow as individuals.

And just a little something i read somewhere, a bit off topic but i liked it.....

Each belt takes an ever increasing amount of skill and training to achieve.
But the belt that takes untold courage is your first - after that everything becomes easier.
 

Callandor

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Messages
121
Reaction score
1
Location
Philippines
If we constantly approach life as a beginner - knowing that we always have things to learn - then we will constantly grow as individuals.
True. Just like what I've read in Bruce Lee's Tao of Jeet Kune Do: "Empty your cup so that it may be filled."
 

Latest Discussions

Top