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What Does Being a Black Belt Even Mean?!?

What does being a black belt even mean?

Having a black belt is not the same as being a black belt. It takes years of facing your own limitations and overcoming them to forge yourself into a black belt. Being a black belt means that you have taken it upon yourself to become the very best version of you possible. Of course we never fully get there, but it is most certainly the journey itself that transforms us.

When someone has truly become a black belt they have:

  1. Demonstrated great perseverance by challenging themselves (sometimes for years) to earn their black belt.

  2. Shown great humility by being teachable and realizing that no one knows everything.

  3. Realized that no one becomes a black belt by themselves. On the path to black belt you will find that you need others to help you along the way.

  4. Conquered their own shortcomings. Martial arts training will find your weak points and crush the ego. The process can be very painful, but necessary for personal growth and transformation.

  5. Shown courage by accepting challenges that most only dream of being able to face.

  6. Learned not only how to win, but also how to deal with being defeated. Every warrior faces defeat eventually, but only the very best learn how to deal with defeat and become the better for it.

  7. Taken on the responsibility of being a role model. Adults may admire black belts for their work ethic, abilities and so on, but children often think of black belts as real-life superheroes and try to be like them.

  8. Shown themselves to be good leaders. A good leader inspires others to greatness as they show others how to get there.

  9. Learned compassion. A black belt has to learn to be kind to everyone. Everyone is fighting their own battles in life and a black belt should inspire them instead of becoming another obstacle for them to deal with.

  10. Become skilled at controlling their own emotions. The hardest part of becoming a warrior is learn to control yourself in all situations. Never act brashly, but rather let calm reasoning guide our actions. A weak warrior is controlled by their emotions while the strongest warriors seek to control themselves and how they react to the world.

The journey in becoming a black belt is an amazing, challenging, and sometimes even painful quest. It is full of victories, defeats, and sometimes learning things about yourself you don't like. The path to black belt is not all challenges and pitfalls. On this journey you will also make some amazing friends, become part of a community, and maybe even find best self along the way! Go find a great martial arts school and keep training!

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