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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

I had taken a basic self-defense class a few years before coming to Unbridled, and had always wanted to learn more. My friend wanted to try it too so we started training together, which was great because we could partner together for drills and be at the same knowledge level.
I am a very visual learner, and Rob’s teaching style works very well for me. At the start of each training there is some cardio and strength warm-up, which can be challenging, but you can always go at your own pace until you adjust to the routine. Rob explains new skills to the group and then often demonstrates them before having students try them out. Each lesson builds logically on past material. As a new student you get a lot of one-on-one teaching to help you master the basics first before you get thrown into drills.
The atmosphere at Unbridled is serious, but more casual and fun than the regimented environment at traditional martial arts studios might be. Rob is always happy to answer questions that come up during training or help if you can’t quite get a skill, as are students who have been around for a while. I joined wanting to build the skills to defend myself and those around me (I swear by being prepared for anything!) and in just a couple of months I felt much closer to that goal. Training is physically challenging and will make you stronger and more fit as well. Unbridled Martial Arts is an AMAZING value, if you’re on the fence about trying it, do it!

~ Hanifah McGovern, Executive Assistant

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