Martial Arts Prowess
Updated: Feb 29
Martial arts prowess and fitness level should be demonstrated when our students test for their next respective belt. They should be on par with where we expect them to be as these standards were set by Sensei, the dojo, and the generations before. Prior to any belt testing, students will be run through their fundamentals repeatedly and challenged beyond their physical and emotional limits. This is to bring forward and bring out their true competitive spirit, and sincere desire to succeed. All this will instill self-confidence and help in building and developing character. The students that tested at the dojo this year, that trained hard this year, have all done exceptionally well, they all gained, and they personified what our dojo stands for. They have displayed true martial spirit and demonstrated the real values of training in the martial arts.
Yes, the belts before black belt are there for you to achieve, but they are only steppingstones; and when you stand in your position in the line-up, look down, back to your left and see where you started, this is the measurement of your time and dedication.
In the martial arts and in life, you will be continually challenged no matter what your chosen endeavour; for you to be conditioned at an early stage to appreciate that with time, persistence and dedication – comes success. Good time management, commitment and sacrifice, are important tools to get you there.
As your Sensei, who has trained for forty years and teaching at our full-time dojo for thirty-two years, I have had the privilege of witnessing the success of our youth past, and our youth present. I see them as focused, success driven and enthusiastic individuals. They are eager, and they have learnt that with time, patience, and hard work they will eventually rise above their own expectations.
Some parents, and students can be impatient when it comes to where they should be in training, but they need to understand, that if it was easy today – it will only be more difficult tomorrow. They need to understand that not everything in life comes easy. We should not and will not enable them, nor give them participation ribbons or belts just because they’ve been here ‘long enough’…they must work for and earn everything important. They must step up to the challenge. The bar here at the dojo has been raised by their peers before, and it will not be lowered to make it easier for anyone.
There will always be disappointments; the feeling of being let down or dismissed may be discouraging, but and in my view, it’s a growing experience. It gives us an opportunity as instructors to encourage our students to appreciate that the belt doesn’t change who they are, or what they are working towards - it doesn’t change the goal that they have set for themselves, it’s just that their timeline has been moved to what is more realistic, so that they can be successful individuals and without fail. They are building one of their strongest characteristics that I have learned, and that is patience.
I would like to thank all my senior instructors who guided, coached and are committed to teaching our students. Your contributions to the dojo are well appreciated by all and I thank you. You are an incredible group of leaders and your contributions to teaching our future generations will have a lasting impact on these students’ lives. I’m sure they see you being special and are admired by them as great role models. You all have led by example - and that’s what makes good leaders.