“A Black Belt Is A White Belt That Never Quit.”

What I Have Learned After Receiving My Black Belt

Joseph Weeks

I have learned so much since receiving my Junior Black Belt two years ago. When I got my Junior Black Belt I was so excited. At the time, I thought since my techniques looked good, I should get my Black Belt. However, now I realize that moving to a First Degree means more than just “good techniques.” It is about knowing what you are supposed to know inside out and backwards. It has made me even more driven to learn and to be the best at karate. I also learned that it is not just about receiving the actual black belt, but rather what you accomplished to get it.

While training, I saw that I needed to learn more katas than I did as a Junior Black Belt. You have to know this so you can learn self control and are able to protect yourself. I also had to learn more self defense techniques. In addition, I learned how to listen and focus on each task. I learned that not all of the techniques would work, and are dependent on the situation. Some self defense techniques are long and complicated and some are short and simple. At first I thought “why do I have to learn so many techniques for the same attack?”. But I soon figured out that it is about having options. Something I learned after getting my Black Belt is that in a real fight your adrenalin is going to be pumping… like, hard! So, you might forget one technique but remember others. You don’t know what will happen out on the street so the only thing you can do is make sure you are prepared through the techniques you have studied and by having different options.

I learned many things after getting my Black Belt, but one of the things that brought me here today is endurance. The classes were much harder after getting my black belt so I built up more endurance as I went on. One of the most important things I learned after getting my Black Belt is determination to push through many things. When I started sparring in the adult class I thought “well, I hope I make it out of here”. In the beginning I could not keep up, but I still pushed through. As the days passed, I got much better. Now when I start sparring, it isn’t “oh crap!”, it is “okay, what is his/her tell?” or ” I am going to win this!” Sparring has further taught me self control. I have learned when to stop and start things, when to use power, as well as the amount of power to use.

My training has focused on respect. Respect for my elders, as well as respect for my team and myself. It reminds me of how others should be treated. It has also helped me with my academics; specifically my focus. Overall, becoming a black belt has taught me a variety of things that I apply in everyday situations.

“A Black Belt Is A White Belt That Never Quit.”

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