I have now been teaching martial arts for 21 years. Last week, I promoted one student to 1st Dan Black Belt and two students to Jr. Black Belts. They are all youth under the age of 18 who all have put in over 8 years of martial arts training. They began their martial art's journeys at the ages of 5, 7, and 9 years old.
As an instructor, I feel it is a big responsibility and honor to promote a student to black belt. Very few people strive to achieve this level of proficiency and even fewer actually complete the journey.
As I write this, many people are frustrated with our youth, politics, and society. When I get this way, I think about these fantastic young people and my other black belt friends. Many people worry about the future of our country and the next generation. I am not much older than these youth, but if these young people were in charge, I would have no worries.
When I earned my black belt 15 years ago, I didn't realize how much being a part of the "black belt club" would create so many long term friendships. Some black belt friendships have diminished throughout the years but without trying they are often replaced with new black belt friendships. Being a part of the "black belt club" creates a unique mindset about life that very few other groups can emulate.
I am excited and very proud of my black belts and especially these three new black belts. I am proud of them for overcoming obstacles to make their goal happen. I am excited for their future. My wisdom is still growing, but the little bit I have tells me these new black belts will use their black belt life skills to their advantage in their futures.
New Black Belts - Welcome to the Black Belt Club. It is an honor to be your instructor and welcome you to the team.