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The Average…


How long does it take the average school to give out a black belt? In America average schools give out black belts all the time.

What does a black belt mean?

Is the wearer an expert in the field of martial arts? That sounds like it’s based purely on a person’s physical skills.

Can people earn one just by being able to defeat an adult male that outweighs them? That would make sense since at its core martial arts grew from one person’s need to defend oneself from an overpowering opponent.

Does it mean they’ve shown their school/organization a high level of dedication and diligence – the way that a soldier who may not have seen combat still trained for it day-in, day-out, keeping themselves combat-ready?

Does it mean that they consistently contribute to their community, conducting themselves in ways that enhance and respect the freedom of others?

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Shouldn’t it be a mixture of all of the above? And what happens when the person ranked as a black belt grows old and their body breaks down, do they relinquish the title since they can’t effectively fight? Or, do they compensate by mentoring or training others?

How does a 10-year-old black belt meet these criteria? Honestly that is an oxymoron. They don’t. Adolescents are not black belts. Not to say that a black belt must have hair on his nuts… well, yes, I am saying they must have hair on their nuts, the male version anyway. Someone that hasn’t earned a first paycheck, dealt with paying rent or taxes, had the responsible wherewithal to wear a condom during sex, or the self-discipline to abstain from sex until 18, developed independence – how can they represent any proficiency in life skills, let alone fighting prowess?

Sure, young children need validation and rewards. But if a child chose not to continue training in martial arts because he or she wouldn’t be awarded a rank of belt black, then that child is not a black belt to begin with. A school that caters to a juvenile’s ego of rank and entitlement is doing them a disservice. If a teacher frets that he will lose students unless they’re bestowed with a tangible measurement of their success, then they’re more concerned with financial gain than the true meaning of a black belt.

Testimonial

My fiancé Jeremy and myself have been attending class at Unbridled Martial Arts for nearly 3 months now. The main reason we chose Unbridled was because of the reasonable rates. We figured for $30 each per month we had nothing to lose. I was very nervous about going because I have not had any previous experience with martial arts or fitness in general. However it only took a couple of classes for me to feel completely comfortable and confident in my ability to learn under Rob’s instruction. Jeremy really enjoys training with Rob because of the diversity of the training. Jeremy does have some background in martial arts and wrestling and Rob is always open minded about what other people have to offer to his class. I enjoy training with Rob because he is attentive and if he sees me doing something incorrectly he shows me how to do it right without discouraging me or making me feel silly. I also like that rather than sticking with one traditional style, Rob just teaches what works. It’s about effective self-defense instead of belt bragging. I would highly recommend this class to anyone. In fact we have and some of our friends have already joined. I personally feel terrific after each class regardless of how my day began.

~ Mindy Smither & Jeremy Simmons

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