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Thread: Expectations of "the belt"

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    Default Expectations of "the belt"

    What does being a black belt in Kenpo mean to you?
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Well, I'm not there yet.... I suppose my expectation now will probably differ from the expectation I will have when I earn the belt.

    - Ceicei
    Studying martial arts is for life, not for the color of the belt.

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ceicei View Post
    Well, I'm not there yet.... I suppose my expectation now will probably differ from the expectation I will have when I earn the belt.

    - Ceicei
    Fair enough ... however for those of you not yet black belts here is your question.

    What do you think a black belt should know or be able to demonstrate. Should they be complete with mind, body and spirit?
    PARKER - HERMAN - SECK

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    I know it's not just about a belt. I think a Black Belt should have a complete understanding about the material they have been taught, and be able to teach to that level. As they had to make their own thesis they should be capable of spontaneous reaction to attacks. I hope to reach that level some day. So as I said it isn't just about the belt it's about the journey to the belt and the new beginning it represents.

    Salute!!!

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    It means exactly what you want it to mean.

    Hate to give a confuscious (Confuse us) answer but I feel my thoughts or opinions of the black belt over the years have changed. For some it is a goal to strive for daily, for others a 2" piece of cloth at the waistline.

    To me? It used to be a lot, lately? Not much. Getting outside of kenpo I have seen lots of guys in other arts that do not even use belts that have a high level of skill. Ultimately it is up to you, your ability, and what you take away from your training. It is what it is.
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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Well since Mr. Dangeruss busted my bubble about getting super powers IE red boots and a cape at black belt.

    Since I am not there yet either I tend to see some one with a black belt as, persistent, determined, focused, and loyal.

    All that aside what in my humble opinion should a black belt know or be capable of? A 1st Dan anyway, Well I think they would have a strong understanding of the basics. I would imagine they would be able to hold their own in most situations. Granted everyone has bad days and things happen.

    I don’t know that I buy into the body, mind spirit concept. People take studying to that level for different reasons. Some good some not so good but still it is their choice.

    Just my .2 and I’m sure I will add more later, just that I’m at work and don’t want the Boss man to walk in.

    Oh and good thread i look forward to seeing how others feel
    Last edited by hemi; 11-07-2006 at 11:32 AM.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Quote Originally Posted by 2004hemi View Post
    ...Since I am not there yet either I tend to see some one with a black belt as, persistent, determined, focused, and loyal...
    Since I have only actually known two black belts personally, I like the above statement, hemi. Persistant, determined, focused and loyal. I see Kenpo as a lifestyle, not just something you do, and to have an instructor who is the same way is a great quality. Also, like to see the black belts continue their training. As far as I am concerned, there is no end of the road in this journey. Fortuanetly, I think most black belts feel this way.
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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    I have not yet attained this lofty goal either. My view of what a Black Belt is simply a master of the basics. That sounds easy but as most of us know, it is not or should not be easily attained. To someone who does not have one yet, it is an elite class martial artist that performs all the basics at a very high level of skill and precision. We are all human and make mistakes but some black belts do not appear that way as they perform at a level that is seems almost unobtainable.
    Loyal student of Sifu DangeRuss
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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Quote Originally Posted by katsudo_karate View Post
    What does being a black belt in Kenpo mean to you?
    It means that the car is finally warmed-up and ready to go for that maiden voyage.

    To many not yet there, Black belt may seem to be some ultimate destination.

    To most of us there, (and I daresay the further behind us that accomplishment becomes)...we realize it was really the true starting point. It meant that we finally had enough understanding of the basic tools to begin to truly learn. It's like finally bein' checked out on that new piece of equipment in Shop Class. Now that I've studied the tool, took the test...NOW I can actually begin to use it for something. Now anyone who ever took shop class knows, that bein' checked out on the equipment, doesn't mean you have any real clues of how to make it do what you want it to do. You really have no real insites as to what the potential of that piece of equipment is, yet, but you know enough to begin to experiement. So you take your piece of wood and set to work...and more than likely mangle the first few pieces you try to run through it. If you perservere though, eventually with time and practice you might become a craftsman. Someone who is able to make use of that tool, to do something worthwhile and practical. A very few, will continue to tinker and explore and push the limits of that machine and their own skills with it. Those few may become artisians and craft finely wrought items that are admired and appreciated for years to come. Still a fewer number yet may decide to pass on their craft to another generation.

    Gaining a blackbelt means you are now allowed to run at least one piece of equipment. It's a step, but only the very first of many.

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Quote Originally Posted by 2004hemi View Post
    Well since Mr. Dangeruss busted my bubble about getting super powers IE red boots and a cape at black belt.
    I'm sorry Hemi...I hate to be the one to burst your bubble. For you though ? I think we might be able to arrange at least a cape.

    Psssst....."theeasterbunnyandtoothfairyaintrealeit her...."

    I lied. I kinda dig burstin' bubbles !

    And as to my previous post ? I'm still just manglin' wood, lest anyone think I have too high an opinion of meself. (But at least I still have ALL of my fingers!)
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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Well, I do want to be a Kenpo instructor some day, so the black belt means more than just simply a level of expertise and an ability to teach. For me, a black belt means that I have worked hard not only physically, but to understand intellectually the basic laws of anatomy and principles/concepts of motion, space, and position. It also means to understand better psychologically the nature of human behavior.

    While I trained under my long-time instructor, I wrote a sort of a personal Kenpo Journal in the form of letters to him of my thoughts and how I perceived Kenpo (for me, it felt better writing to a live person than just in a book). When I reached my 25th letter milestone, I made a report of what lessons I learned so far during my 20+ year Journey since I started Kenpo in 1985--so many things happened along the way and I had to start over from white three separate times. Since the report was so extensive, I divided it into four views (and later added on a fifth). The views were: 1) Physical, 2) Mental, 3) Psychological, 4) Moral and 5) Social. I used specific examples from my life of how Kenpo made a difference for me.

    When I earn my black belt in a couple of years or so, I will voluntarily make a second report as I am sure my lessons will continue to evolve as my perceptions change.

    I am now training at my sixth studio with a different instructor, but I still maintain close contact with my long-time instructor. I still write letters to him about Kenpo as he is one of the very few people I trust.

    When I finally earn my black belt, it is going to mean a lot of different things to me. He will be there when I do. I'm not sure how I will be able to describe what will go through my mind when I reflect upon my Journey that day.

    Expectations of a black belt? Yes, there are many expectations and this is far beyond just a piece of cloth.

    - Ceicei
    Studying martial arts is for life, not for the color of the belt.

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Going back to my first Black goes waaay back in the greater scheme of time. I think it is a totally different picture now for folks. Back "in the day", attainment of the Black Belt (notice no degree mentioned) was the ultimate. Back then, there was, to my knowledge, very little information to be obtained beyond third, which was the pinnacle at the time in the Tracy milieu.

    Back then there was still, in my paradigm, the belief that the Black Belt made one into a God-like human being. Don't forget that we were working at it prior to the advent of Bruce Lee, EPAK, and the myriad of 10th degrees that now abound.

    The Black Belt holder was the ultimate word, and the baddest of the bad ... Git down! ... er ... I digress.

    When I finally attained my Black Belt there were no vetted sayings or slogans. It seemed that the notions of ethical, and moral veracity seemed to either be there by osmosis or not. There were just as many "bad guy" Black Belts as good guys. And it didn't seem to matter. The Black Belt holder was a force to be reckoned with in a fearful manner.

    I was disappointed once I had achieved the rank. I still could not lift buildings and walk under them, much less leap over them. I could not catch arrows flying at full speed in my teeth. And fighting more than 3 - 4 opponents at a time was a real traumatic exercise. I couldn't, like many of the then upcoming martial movie stars, fight up to 20 guys at a time, catch a full on overhead sword coming at me, in the palms of my hand and cease the motion.

    To be honest, I almost quit all martial arts after that. It took a good deal of "head-tripping" and revamping my concepts to continue on. I felt that it was much like taking a fingerpainting class. After I learned to effectively put water to paper in the correct ratio, and added paint and slurried it around to create an original masterpiece. I could then go on to tennis lessons.

    Fortunately, my instructor and I were close enough to be able to sit and talk about the continuous path and the fact that I may never be able to jump over buildings, catch arrows, etc. etc. But, somehow, I would continue to learn, grow and mature into the person that I percieved I should be in the art wth the commensurate skill sets. "Reality sets in at Black Belt" is the way I think I would try to summarize it all.

    Like Russ says, there ain't no boots, spandex uniforms, or capes ... Just a continuous journey to, somehow, be better than you were, and to leave the art better than you found it for having passed through it.

    Sorry... I tend to ramble. Russ asked me a question the other day and I sent him a 23 page reply!

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Quote Originally Posted by sigung86 View Post

    Sorry... I tend to ramble. Russ asked me a question the other day and I sent him a 23 page reply!
    Ramblings can be good, especially when they have many seeds of wisdom
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Wink Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    Ramblings can be good, especially when they have many seeds of wisdom
    Then again..Rambling may indicate senility, ADD, too much caffeine, the need for a lobotomy or in my case some combination of the above.

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    Default Re: Expectations of "the belt"

    Here is the best advice I even heard on this topic, "Until you are a yudansha (black belt) your are simply trying the 'art'. When you are a yudansha you are doing the 'art'." I always try to keep that in my mind when training and setting my training goals.
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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