Saturday, July 2, 2016

Why I Want to be a Black Belt

Our Summer 2016 Black Belt Candidates completed their Qualification Test to become official Black Belt Candidates.  They were asked to explain in writing why they want to earn their Black Belts this year.  Here are their responses (edited for privacy).  

Why Do I Want to Take Your Black Belt Exam This Year?
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I want to take the exam this year because I want my black belt before I graduate [high school]. I know that my head is getting scared even though my body is ready, if I make an effort and push myself to go for it then I know that I can do it. I want to take this exam because I need to prove it to my head that my body knows what it is doing and can lead the way. I need to take it now because I feel that I will lose a lot of motivation and continually make excuses if I graduate without getting my black belt. I also know that if I have the confidence of a black belt I can apply that to the real world and I might be able to make the transition to an adult a bit easier, I want to take my black belt exam this year because I currently think I cannot do it, even when I know that I can.
-NB, Black Belt Candidate, 17 Years Old

I want to take your black belt exam this year.
[First], stupid reason out of the way: [because] black belts are cool.
Second reason is how I deal with insults. If they start to get to me, I remember exactly how far I've come in Martial Arts. I don't try to use them, or provoke, I just tell myself what I'm capable of and how far I've come. Finally being able to complete my training would result in a bullet-proof defense in my mind. I catch a lot of insults, and being able to tell myself whenever I'm being belittled that I could endure nine years of martial arts and complete the path to Black gives me the power to shake or laugh it off. If I can forgive and turn it into a funny situation, I walk out on top.
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Third is for the obvious reason. Being capable of defending myself extremely efficiently gives me peace of mind. I hear too many stories of people being attacked and failing to defend. I refuse to ever let that happen to me. I'm not worth whatever ransom is asked (if there is one).
As a black belt, I feel I can help the younger kids a little more. Being able to help warn and teach them what they need to know to progress seems like it's the right thing to do. [Our advanced students] all helped me. I could help people like [our blue and yellow belts] who still don't really know what they're in for quite yet. (Bighead comment: Being a role model who made it to Black can prove it's not impossible. #SoVain)
Emotional and Cheering Squad support for my friends like [fellow candidates] or others when they make it to this point, as the BB Team [has] supported me and my fellow candidates to red-black.

I've named all the practical reasons I can think of, leaving me with just a bunch of stuff to inflate my head that I should repress...
- PB, Jr. Black Belt Candidate, 13 Years Old

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I want to take my BB exam this year
because I believe I can do it and I also don't want to be left behind. Being in Alaska for 2 years [and attending classes through skype] made by advancements slow down. I know I have caught up [now that I am back living in Utah], but I want someone who is doing the same thing so that we can help each other.
Instructor Note - While living in Alaska, this person attended live classes and tested using XBox 360 Kinect. They were a Green belt when they left for Alaska and a Brown belt with them came back. They currently live 45 miles away from class, so they attend class once per week via XBOX 360 Kinect and once per week in person. This has required a ton of dedication, perseverance, and willingness to overcome challenges.
-RD, Jr. Black Candidate, 14 Years Old.

How to Tie Your Belt

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