A Black Belt Day Awaits You

black belt

We all start our Martial Arts journey for our own reasons, our own journey or our own development. Some claim it is for reasons of self defense, I've heard people aspire to get fit through our beloved adventure and I've even heard the claim it was for friendship (nothing says ‘bonding’ like a good roundhouse kick to the face.) 

However, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone deny that their ultimate goal was a Black Belt for a Dan grade (under a decent Sensei) is something worth fighting for. After all nothing brings confidence, self-esteem and respect like the converted Dan grade. However wanting it and gaining it are poles apart and many fall by the wayside long before their big day. Many simply don’t have what it takes. They fall short of commitment, attitude, dare I say it courage and the many other tools needed to achieve our Holy Grail. 

black belt

So what about the rest of us? The ones able to stay the course, fight the fear and master our own self toward the home straight. Years of sacrifice and training seem to suddenly bring up that dreaded week leading to our test (pre-fight.) Some of you will spend all that week worrying as a sick feeling in your stomach accompanies your sleepless nights. You will find yourself snapping at friends, intolerant to others and damn right moody. Eating is a distant memory and the urge to be anywhere but here will grip you. Well done as you have just entered the last few days of your build up to your Dan grading. 

How do I know you feel like this? Because I have been there on many occasions. I have had that day when nothing but your test seems to occupy your mind and everything else is put on hold, so don’t worry, you are not alone in this and neither are you the first (or indeed the last) to experience it. You may feel the day has crept up on you like a thief in the night: it hasn't. 

This day began many years ago when you first entertained the thought of taking up a Martial Art. This day grew as you took your first nervous step inside a dojo and this day made itself known to you after your first grading, that elusive yellow belt. Sometimes you said goodbye to this day, temporarily giving it all up as the struggle became too much. 

You may have been glad to do so, only to have the idea of the day return sometime later knocking on your conscious and demanding to be let back in. Well you let it back in even though you knew it would be painful, sparring hard, fitness drills tough and the sacrifice almost too much to bear, but bear it you did. Endure it you did, laughed through it you did and now it is here. Now it is here for you as the others fell by the wayside, left wanting. You were not left wanting so you deserve this day, doesn't matter what the outcome, the result a bonus. 

You deserve to stand on the mats and say “Here I am, you have been waiting for me and here I am.” The glory will be yours, the suffering your own, the triumph for you. All you can do is give it your all but isn't that what you have been doing all these years? So do it again, give your all one more time and embrace the places a first ever Black Belt test can take you too. You will never have this same day again.

About the Author:

Simon Morrell has trained in Martial Arts and Combat Systems for 34 years and holds the rank of 6th Dan Black Belt. 

He is the only person in North Wales to hold a Dan grade in Krav Maga recognized and awarded by I.K.I (direct from Israel) and The British Combat Association for whom he is a Senior Instructor. 

He has written about his life’s experiences in the books ‘From Bullied to Black Belt', a true U.S.A. by Flixster Studios. He runs a full time MMA Academy, Fight Fortress in North Wales. You can find out more about him, his books and seminars at: www.simonmorrell.com

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