I trust you had an enjoyable and restful holiday season. Hopefully, each of you had a chance to reflect on this past years successes and failures and thought about what you would like to achieve this coming year.
Some thoughts for you to consider in your training: Our martial arts training can be broken down into (4) basic segments. 1st, beginner or novice, think White, Blue and Yellow belts. Their focus is on learning, learning, learning. They learn everything from how to wear their clothes to appropriate behavior when in the dojo to karate's basic techniques (blocks, strikes, kicks and stances). They have to learn how to coordinate their bodies between eyes, hands and feet. There is a broad spectrum of information that they are to learn. It's not easy. 2nd, the intermediate, Purple and Green belts. By this time you should have a good grasp of the basics, and continue to perfect them. Additionally, you should be working hard on the conditioning of your body, as the more complex the karate technique becomes, the more demanding it is on the body. Unconditioned bodies will not hold up to the training. Lastly, you should begin to develop the discipline to work on you own at times without constant instruction. 3rd, the advanced, which encompasses all three levels of Brown belt and new Black belts. Typically, the Brown belts should be the hardest working students in the dojo. These are our future Black belts. They should be able to exhibit a high level of proficiency in the system basics, have developed the discipline to work with a minimum of instruction and take an active role in the martial art development of our lower level students. The 4th segment is Black belts and they can be broken down into two sub-divisions. This is an exclusive club. You are elite in terms of how many people are able to achieve this. In our system it takes, on average 6 to 8 years to accomplish. This is equivalent to a masters degree. The first sub-division is the individuals that satisfy the basic Black belt requirements and demonstrate the system curriculum for their Black belt test. That is their goal in life, once achieved, they move on to other things. The second sub-division is the one that takes the information given to them, at their time of promotion, to heart. This group is an even smaller, but more honorable group. Remember what you were told, upon receiving your Black belt? Now you will begin learning how to "BE" a Black belt. Now, it is your decision. To "BECOME" a true Black belt - it takes a lifetime. OS
Sensei Rick Thompson
Head Instructor, Tri-City Kempo Karate