My grading for promotion to a 1st dan black belt is in mid-January, 2012, and it wouldn't suffice to say that I'm pumped.
Many people instantly think that I'm dangerous when I tell them I'm about a month away from my black belt. They think that I can kill in one strike and they should refrain from pissing me off.
Many of the uninitiated think that black belts are some kind of ninjas who are absolutely brilliant at martial arts.
In fact, it's the other way around. None of us are all THAT good - definitely, there are the brilliant ones around, but you don't need to present a perfect flying-jumping-spinning-brick-breaking kick to earn that black belt.
It means that we've come far enough and learned our basic techniques and sweated over them for long enough. It means that in the process of our training (mine, so far, for 2 years and 3 months), we've gone through the fire and the crucible.
We've been purified, reduced to our purest possible state, and we're ready to accept the new responsibility and status that we're going to have. We're ready to embark on another journey of our own, similar but completely a world apart from our journey through the gup ranks.
We may never progress past a certain dan or even get past 1st dan. But the fact that we've earned a black belt means that we're proficient in the basic techniques, we've come thus far in our journey, and that we're ready to progress. We're better people than when we first started. We've learned how to be tenacious and to possess indomitable spirit, we've how to push past the obstacles and setbacks that's come in our way, and we've changed.
Like metal being purified in the crucible through the heat of the fire, we've been distilled and changed and we've evolved into another state of being. We're ready, and we're ready to continue.
Great summary of what it means to make black belt.
Good luck with your test and the next stage of your journey next year.
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