Throughout your life, you have probably heard of people earning the distinction of becoming a black belt. Knowing the amount of work that went into this process, you may be wondering if that should even be a big deal or not. Why do people go through the years of training that it takes to ultimately become a black belt?
Getting a black belt is a big deal. It demonstrates an ability to stick with something and to illustrate excellence within a particular discipline. It takes a level of hard work and dedication that not just anyone can achieve.
An individual does not have to be incredibly strong or even the best fighter in the community to become a black belt. Earning this distinction is about so much more than being able to punch or kick hard. Continue reading to learn why getting a black belt is such a big deal and what you need to know if you consider embarking on this path.
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Why Is Earning a Black Belt Such a Big Deal?
Just getting to the point that you qualify for a black belt can take as long as ten years, depending on the style you have chosen. This is with the proper amount of dedication and perseverance. Many people will give up long before ever reaching the level of becoming a black belt. So, when you meet a black belt, you are meeting a remarkable individual.
Earning a black belt is considered by many to be a mark of excellence. It is something that not just anyone can do. The dedication required to persevere through the many years of training, exhibitions, and demonstrations is something not replicated in many other disciplines.
Since so few people earn a black belt relative to the number of people who start down that path, its worth and value are further demonstrated. While it might take a decade or longer to earn a black belt, a great deal is to be said about individuals who can accomplish this feat in the end.
5 Things to Know About Getting a Black Belt
There is a lot that goes into earning a black belt. It is not something that a person should enter into lightly, as it requires a certain amount of dedication and devotion that not everyone is willing to give. Here are five things that you should know about getting a black belt before embarking on this path.
Determine the Personal Worth of a Black Belt
You should not try to earn a black belt simply because the concept sounds cool. If that is the only reason you want to earn this achievement, it is not very likely that you will meet your goal. First, you need to determine what a black belt means to you and why you want to invest so much time in earning one.
Finding out what a black belt is worth to you is important because such knowledge will help you persevere through difficult times. Earning this distinction is hard work. You need to understand why you are putting yourself through this in the first place if you hope to arrive at the finish line.
Deadlines Are Important
A black belt is not earned overnight. It can take quite a few years. If you do not set deadlines that you strive to meet, you might discover that you are still quite far from your goal years after beginning the process.
While you do not need to speed through the program, you do not want to procrastinate either. Find out how long it is supposed to take and then aim for something in that range. This will help you stay on track and continually be working towards your ultimate goal.
Then, make a plan on how often you will need to attend class and be consistent.
Know What You Will Be Learning
You should also know what you will be learning as you progress through the various stages of your black belt training program. There are plenty of resources out there that are available for black belt students. Get your hands on some testing charts and as much information as you can so that you are prepared each step of the way.
You will want to know what you will be taught in class and what is required of you to advance to the next level. Understanding what is coming is key to obtaining the black belt in the end. This will also help put the fun component into obtaining a black belt, and that will help you stick it out through the end.
One fun method of keeping track of the curriculum is to create a black belt book. Get a 1-inch binder and get some sheet protectors. As you rank up and get documentation from your instructor, put them into the sheet protectors in consecutive order.
Talk to Other Black Belts
If you really want to determine whether or not earning a black belt is worth it to you, talk to others who have already gone down this path. These are individuals who have already attained the very level that you are hoping to reach. They are best positioned to tell you of its value and what you will be getting yourself into.
It is also important to hear success and failure stories. Not everyone who starts out on the path to becoming a black belt ultimately achieves it. You will want to hear why that might be the case. You also want to hear about the struggles that turned into success. This will motivate you to keep going even when the program gets very difficult.
If you don’t know any other black belts, you can speak with other students to find out what their experiences and pain points are. That will help you develop your own as well.
Create Your Own Practice Facility at Home
If you really want to meet your timeline of earning your black belt, practice is key. You will want routines and moves to become second nature. A great way to do that is to create a practice area within your home. This allows you to get in some practice on your time without having to drive yourself down to the gym.
Not all instructors will mention home practice, but this is important.
There will be maneuvers or techniques that will take longer to understand than others. In order to be competent in the curriculum, you need to be able to practice everything on your own time and get instructor feedback in class to make sure you don’t pick up bad habits and maintain them throughout.
Understanding the value of getting a black belt is different than earning one. If you decide to go down this path, know that it will take a great deal of hard work and dedication.
However, that will pay off in many ways at the end of the journey. You will develop a type of self-confidence that only comes from earning such an achievement.