It is expected that the path to black belt will be difficult. If it was just given away, it wouldn’t be special. Does the student show the TKD tenant of perseverance and view obstacles as something to be overcome, or does the individual give up at the first sign of resistance? The path to Black Belt should be a weeding out process to ensure that only the best characteristics remain of the pursuing practitioner.
So what does having a black belt really mean? It says many things to many different people. Sure, a person with a black belt should be able to adequately defend themselves in the physical sense. However, for us at Tiger Rock Martial Arts of Central Pennsylvania, a Black Belt is more than just a person who can throw some cool kicks around. It is more than just a person who can do a form, spar, or break boards. It is a person who can make, stick to, and maintain short and long term goals over a long period of time (usually three to five years for most Korean style arts, including TKD). Over that time period, there will be many obstacles put in the way of the student, some self-made and some made by others, including the Instructor, as a way of exposing a weakness and seeing how the student deals with the situation. How a student responds to these obstacles will reveal the true character of the student.
There was a statistic out there that said that only 1 in 100 students make it to black belt. It is my intention to change that in my own little corner of the martial arts community in central Pennsylvania. However, standards will not be compromised. Just because you pay your tuition does not mean that I will allow you to test. Just because I allow you to test does not mean that you will pass the test.
It is times such as these where I’ll either see you show the tenant of Perseverance and see you on the mat to try again, or see you walk out the door. Just remember that there are no failures until you quit.
About Tiger-Rock Martial Arts International
Tiger-Rock Martial Arts s a National franchising company providing health, skills and fitness training through its franchisees’ Martial Arts programs for members of all ages. Our programs enrich their personal and professional lives in many ways. Tiger-Rock programs are a blend of modern sport science, the latest research, and hundreds of years of martial arts tradition to provide you with the most effective experience available.