Yesterday was the magical day. I got my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing. I know that I have learned a lot, but feel like though there is still so much more that I don’t know and still needs to learn. But I guess this quote is probably what I feel like right now. “A black belt is a white belt who never quit.”
I must say that I feel very blessed with the amazing school that I train at. Our Master was promoted to 9th Dan during our testing, and from everything that I know, it was well deserved. Okay, technically he should be Grand Master, but he doesn’t like to be called that. The instructors at our school are top notch people. It seems like it doesn’t matter where I go, someone knows Master Kim. They are not just good martial artists, but they are great people of character.
I’m once again reminded of the movie Cars 3 with the passing of the baton to the next generation. Master Kim’s father (who was a student and good friend of General Choi) was a great martial artist in his time who had great character. Master Kim was a great martial artist in his prime who competed nationally and took home grand champions and is still very good. He now trains students who are great martial artists who take home grand champions. But more importantly, he is more interested in developing his students as people of character. The trophies are icing on the cake. Master Kim doesn’t make anyone go to tournaments but those who goes usually are well prepared and do very well.
So yes, I now have a black belt because I had lots of fun and enough encouragement and support to not quit somewhere along the way. Unfortunately I think some people envision black belts as killing machines. I can’t deny that I have learned a lot already, but certainly not enough to justify people’s opinions of a black belt. However, I feel like I’ve just been promoted to a rank to started down this path of helping others and being part of an amazing team that would carry on the tradition of not just cranking out amazing martial artists, but helping students to become people with character. That makes me happy and so I’m glad that I made it to black belt and hope that I will be able to give back and take part in the amazing tradition of our school.