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How To Be The Black Belt You Were Meant to Be

How To Be The Black Belt You Were Meant to Be

You bow deeply when you exit the dojo.
Yet, you cut somebody off in traffic as you drive home.

You say: “Martial arts teaches us to be humble.”
Yet, you say “I’m a black belt” on the first date.

You train hard in the dojang, even if nobody is looking.
Yet, you won’t do the dishes at home – even if somebody is looking.

You meet your instructor several times a week.
Yet, you forget to visit your own parents.

It’s weird, isn’t it?

  • You bow deeply to your training partner – even though he’s a jerk outside of class.
  • Self-control is when you stop your kick an inch from your opponent’s nose – even though you could easily have crushed it.
  • Loyalty is when you help your instructor teach kids classes – even though you’re dead tired.
  • Humility is when you ask your opponent for feedback – even though he’s “lower grade” than you.
  • Integrity is when you refuse to use brute force over correct technique – even though you’re losing the sparring match.
  • Honor is when you stand up to these black belt values – even though somebody trash-talks your Art.

I could go on…But you get the point. See, here’s the thing:

When the old masters told us to use Martial Arts  in our daily lives, they weren’t just talking about the punches and kicks…oh no – They were talking about the essential mental components that allow us to successfully dictate when, where, why and how to best use those very same punches and kicks.

  • A way of thinking.
  • A mindset.

Why? – Because real Martial arts have the power to end life.

And with that power comes a moral responsibility, manifested through a set of traditional values, ethos and codes of conduct virtually identical in all major warrior civilizations throughout the history of mankind. Martial arts have no exception. You see, although Taekwondo/Brazilian Jujitsu can easily make us feel healthier, stronger, fitter or happier – so can jogging, ice hockey, baseball, soccer, golf, basketball, water polo or yoga.

There’s really no difference.

Unless… Unless you make a conscious decision to relentlessly practice your art in the pursuit of being a true representative of the black belt ideal, in every sense of the word. Both inside and outside of the dojo.

If you’re a black belt, you should brush your teeth like a black belt, tie your shoes like a black belt and wipe your a** like a black belt.




Because Martial arts teaches us humility, respect, loyalty, integrity, honor and much more.

But it doesn’t guarantee it.

And that’s why black belt is not really a belt. It’s a state of mind. A Way of life. – “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” – Bruce Lee (1940-1973)

I found this article and really enjoyed it. I hope you do as well.

Knowledge you receive from your instructor, wisdom is putting yourself out there, risking failure but doing it anyways. Live your lives to the fullest, take a risk. What is Knowledge without wisdom??

See you in class!

Master Bartley


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