There’s a common phrase in the martial arts – “a black belt is a white belt that never quit.”
I don’t agree…. …entirely.
See, I believe that every every serious beginner’s minimum goal should be black belt. Not just because of what you get but what you become in the process. It’s just so much more than an accumulation of technical knowledge.
But while part of me agrees that yes, a black belt is a white belt that never quit, it’s an oversimplification of the process. When you arrive at black belt, you’re actually quite different than than who and what you were as a white belt.
So if there’s a student who hasn’t set the goal, I want to encourage you to do it. Not for your school or for your instructor, but for yourself.
Here’s my experience: if you ask any black belt anywhere if you could pay them a dollar amount to trade their black belt and the experiences associated with it, they’d never say yes.
And that’s not because of what they got – the recognition, the tournament wins, the belt itself or any of the rest of it. It’s who they are now versus who they were before.
The transformation is a priceless thing you give yourself when you dive in and get committed to the process.