This is me after just receiving my 1st Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do from Grandmaster Kwon Jae Hwa himself. This is back in 2009.
It took me longer to get this Black Belt than it takes most people to get a college degree!
When I began working at my first martial arts school many many moons ago, parents would walk in and say I want my son or my daughter to get a black belt. How long will it take?
I would say “just a minute please.” I would walk into the back room and get out a black belt and say “I think this is about the right size.” The parents would then say “Oh oh, no. I mean how long will it take them to get it if they train here. at the school?”
I would then say “That depends.” I would follow up with something like “I suggest it is not about the destination but the journey.”
Many black belts are given out like candy these days. But those of us that worked our asses off to get them – well we have a very different understanding of what it means to be a black belt.
And this is just one style and one belt for me but I know what I did to get it. And I worked my ass off! I pushed through pain and discomfort and humiliation and fear and exhaustion. It’s not for everyone – but until you find ways to face yourself and face your inner fears and demons, the outer ones will scare you senseless.
Once you have faced what’s inside of you – what holds you back – the outside world becomes easier and easier handle.
Whether you train and receive belts or you train and receive certificates or degrees in martial arts or in College or in Real Estate, it’s about how hard you work and what you learn about yourself along the way that makes the journey worthwhile.
Grandmaster Kwon pictured with me here used to say to me “A Black Belt is just a white belt that never quit!”
And yet until you trained with him – you didn’t really understand that the bar was always, always going to be raised.
That’s why belts or degrees or certificates, its called raising the bar!
Without that bar being raised we don’t grow, we don’t progress and if we don’t grow and we don’t progress then we are not living up to our divine purpose, our destiny to evolve and grow and thrive.
Mastering anything requires a choice and than it requires commitment. Commitment scares the average person. Successful people will tell you that commitment sets you free if you follow through!