The black belt does not exist as a symbol of excellence. The concept of a black belt is something that was invented by Judo Founder Jigoro Kano when he took the concept from the traditional martial arts that predominately wore a white belt to hold their pants up, to a colour system that gave certain levels coloured belts. This colour ranking soon spread to USA where it was included by all martial arts systems. And soon found itself in every dojo in every corner of the world.
It was taught as the attainment of the pinnacle of the system. Many people believed that getting a black belt signifies mastery of martial arts. This concept boomed when Bruce Lee was making films in the early to mid 1970’s. The mystique around the popular series “Kung Fu” led people to believe the shaolin monks were superhuman. But black belts are still human, very human and regardless of the sometimes-herculean efforts through all kinds of adversity to attain the coveted black belt, the ego still plays a huge roll in how the black belt will go on to live a so-called black belt life. Maybe that does not matter. You have a black cloth to tie around your midriff who cares how you run your life. Maybe that was never part of it.
When it comes down to it, the blackbelt suffers the same whims of the ego as the rest of the human race. I would go onto say that very soon after attaining the black belt, people soon revert back to their acquired nature. That is the same person and personality whom they have been and whom they will always be. And no amount of physical training will ever change them. Unless you are addressing the internal aspects through meditation, mindfulness and even therapy, then you will never change. I have seen more than 200 students get their black belt and not one has been able to stay focused on the body, mind and spirit and make lasting changes in every aspect of their life.
So, what am I saying? The black belt is not the end of the journey. It only covers the body in the body mind trilogy and that is where 99.9% of people remain. They end up being retired sportspeople wondering what that was all about. Only a few brave souls will navigate the long, hard night. This is a lifelong journey.
The black belt has the ability to be able to change now and continue those changes for the rest of their days. What you must do is ask yourself if your behaviour was really necessary and did it get you the desired result. Could you have dealt with this in a better way? How did it make you feel? Good? Is this my usual reaction to situations.
It is time to set your moral code. This is how you align who you are with what you do. I call this the way of the superior person. In my classes I expect excellent attention and a commitment to the community you are training with. On my Academy; The Mastery Academy members are called to action, and I give them a code to align their moral compass. In these turbulent and stressful times, it is very easy to massage and justify a movement away from what is important, but we must not let the weakness and lack of discipline erode our values. It is not okay to take half measures, we must stay strong now more than ever. Join me and become a black belt again and be a beacon of light and hope and an example of excellence to all whom know you.
Northstar Ju Jitsu is also taught by senior Black Belts at their own studios'.
These are independently run from the Headquarters .Andy Dickinson Sensei is the head of and founder of Northstar Ju Jitsu and oversees the teaching of his program.
All Black Belts are graded by Andy Dickinson Sensei.