Awarded United Kingdom’s Top Martial Arts Club 03, 09,10,11 & 2012

The Journey

What it means to be a Black Belt ?                                                     
What does it mean to be a Black Belt? By definition the meaning of    Black Belt is, “Opposite of white, therefore, signifying the maturity    and proficiency in Tae kwon do”  (Gen. Choi Hong Hi, 1999, pp.       373). As any Black Belt would know, the journey towards gaining a   Black Belt is a long and arduous undertaking, and every individual     who undertakes this journey, will have their own perspective on         what being a Black Belt really means.                                                
As an Instructor and Examiner I have heard many Black Belts talk        about their experiences. Most speak of many hours of training and        practice, others describe their Black Belt grading, and others even      describe the extra benefits of becoming a Black Belt. In the case of     one recently graded Black Belt who trained for nearly six years          before finally gaining Black Belt status. He was a Black Tab (1st        Kup) for two years. He said that he never really knew why he waited  so long, mentioning that he often told himself that it wasn’t really that  important or that he wasn’t ready. It wasn’t until after a conversation  with a close friend and senior training partner of his at one of our       Dojang’s that he finally decided to do his grading. She told him that    getting your Black Belt wasn’t just a symbol of your training. She       said that she couldn’t explain it but you change, you feel different and people see you differently. After that he booked his grading and had    six months to prepare. Like everyone else he spent hours in the           garage laying into bags and repeating patterns a thousand times. For   six months he trained with one goal in mind, waiting for that day to     come.                                                                                                  
Upon returning to training the week after the grading, everyone            congratulated him. Many of the Black Belts asked how it went. He      jokingly told them about seven hours in the heat and about getting        really hungry during the grading. At that point he said that he felt no    different, he didn’t feel like a Black Belt. Shortly afterwards a group  of juniors came running up to him. They all wanted to see and touch    the new belt. It was then when a young yellow belt looked up at him   and said, “Wow, some day can I be like you? Can I be a Black Belt?” It was that moment that he knew what his friend had tried to tell him,  he knew then what it meant to be a Black Belt………………….