A Black belt in Martial Arts is seen by most people as a pinnacle of their time in Martial Arts and a High achievement. For some it is the top level you can achieve but also the time when you stop learning. However, meet any real black belt and they will tell you they have only just started to learn, just because you have learnt all the moves and show some real skill, and now must learn how to adapt your skills, how best to utilise them but also learning when they will and won’t work.
Patience is something it takes not just too get to get your black belt. It takes many years to get your black belt, but also patient is required to learn and start to master a number of kicks and combinations which you will learn. However, the patient is not just in yourself but also that of having patience with others. For example your training partners holding the pads for you, and with others who struggle to pick up skills when learning or to carry out activities.
Attitude of a black belt is very important, a black belt needs to have patients, but also be willing to help others when they are struggling and offer to help when they see newer students struggling. It’s also about following instructions from their instructor, sensei or master, in classes, rather than doing their own thing, therefore, setting a positive example to others in the club. The attitude is also about how they commit to training, by training regularly but also helping other, by putting them before themselves.
Commitment to the cause is also a key aspect, black belts will train regularly when they can, when you run a club it can be difficult to do train, but when your training for your black belt you should be looking for every opportunity to learn from your instructor, Sensei or master to ensure you will be ready for your black belt grading. Whether this is in class or in private sessions this is important to ensure you get all the input you need and ensure you are properly prepared.
Dedication to the art, which is about making sure you master the basics and not taking on to many arts in one go. When your start learning to many arts in one go without mastering anything, everything gets diluted, and they your performance drops.
Putting others before yourself is important, because by the time you are about to reach your black belt or reached it you should know you’re only as good as your training partner. If you don’t help them improve you will stagnate and head backwards. But also if you don’t look after your partner you won’t have anyone wanting or willing to work with you in class. Theirs’s no point in complaining about the standard of others if you’re not willing to help improve those around you and challenge them to become better.
Seeking perfection is about always analysing what you’re learning and working out when it would be practical and when it would not be. Therefore, being able to work out how to tweak things to improve it and what you could do instead. It’s also about constantly setting yourself little challenges to improve yourself, whether it’s kicking a bit higher, jumping higher or not getting hit as much during sparring or a fight.
Self-learning is about trying to identify for yourself were your weaknesses are, is it fitness, if so do you spend time away from your club working on this? Do you identify where you feel your weak, or ask your instructor, sensei or master how can I be better and then follow up on it.
As you can see there are many things to consider when you want to achieve your black belt or get through of as a great black belt by others. Why not find one or 2 black belts whom you look up to and watch the little things they do, and the way they are with others, which may improve yourself as a martial artist.