Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Black Belt Is For Life

One of my fellow bloggers Michele posted a while back "Once A Black Belt...Always A Black Belt?"

In a nutshell, she asks if one attains the level of black belt and then stops training for whatever reason, are they still a black belt, or if the rank stops if the training stops. The title of this blog was taken from a sign that hangs in the dojo at the PaSaRyu headquarters in Cordova, TN (right outside of Memphis, and I suppose kind of supports my answer to Michele's question.

To make this a bit easier, I'd like to compare this to a personal story of mine. After all the years going through grade school, junior high, and finally high school, I decided to go to college and earn a degree in music. After four years of study, various assignments, tests, projects, etc., I received my Bachelor's degree in Music. In the years since, I haven't attended a single music class, studied anything from Bach to Beyonce, nor (outside of maybe a combined 2-year stretch of piano playing at church) have I done anything else musically inclined (and at this stage, probably never will), but for whatever reason, I'm still a college graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Music (I even have the piece of paper given to me by the President of the college to prove it!).

Referencing back to that sign I mentioned earlier, Master Kang Rhee says that a black belt is for life, and once gained, no one can take that away from you, just like that college degree. Once you've paid your dues and earned that rank, it's yours...for life.

1 comment:

Felicia said...

Boy, Michele seems to have started quite a firestorm with both her "...Always a Black Belt?" and "Should Black Belts Teach?" posts, LOL...

Although I understand your point, I have to respectfully disagree with you - in theory, at least. True, no one can take the earned black belt away, just like no one can take away what you've learned, but black belt is only really the beginning of the journey; as there is still so much more to learn from the art, stopping there - to me, at least - would be like getting that music degree and never even humming a tune again. Perhaps it is because getting a degree from an institution of higher learning - as all-encompassing as it is during the time you're plodding along and all engrossed - is really something you DO, not something you ARE/BECOME. I'll relate it like this: I have a BA degree and an MS degree in journalism, but if I never wrote a single story or met a deadline once I flipped my tassel, I'd still have journalism degrees, but I would not by any stretch of the imagination be a JOURNALIST, see what I'm saying?

To me, it has more to do with HAVING a black belt vs. BEING a black belt, IMHO.

Love your blog, BTW!