A black belt is a strip of cloth. As Master Jo reminds students, anyone can go out and buy one on Amazon. They are readily available for use with costumes. Yet martial arts students (of all ages) undergo years of hard work to get one, and they wear it with intense pride. Why?
The reason begins with an understanding of a certain level of skill. To the outsider, a Black Belt is a symbol of a strength, discipline, and expertise in martial arts. It is respectable for the work and physical prowess that is demonstrated to earn such an achievement. This is valid, but also just the tip of the iceberg.
Achieving Black Belt status indicates fulfillment of an individual’s physical and mental potential. The journey to black belt is punishing and presents different personal challenges to each student. There is a great deal of physical work to be sure but, as Master Jo teaches, the mind is more powerful than the body. Muscles get tired and energy fades. A strong mind perseveres.
How long does it take the average person to earn a Black Belt?
– – The average person does not earn a black belt.