What is the meaning of a blackbelt?

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What is the meaning of a blackbelt?

Postby david » Thu Nov 12, 1998 10:35 am


Many people drop out after they get shodan. Likewise, many give up after failing...

The practice is always there, before and after a test. I think you've passed by the virtue of continuing to practice despite the test. What's a shodan but an acknowledgment of you being a "serious student." A serious student demonstrates his/her commitment by his/her action and not by the belt worn.

Congratulations, you're a serious student.

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What is the meaning of a blackbelt?

Postby Bill Glasheen » Fri Nov 13, 1998 10:26 pm


How brave of you to put yourself on the line in public, and to stand up to the evaluation of your effort. This is a mark of character, and important asset of a shodan.

A few of my students failed their shodan tests. Only one did not retake the test. Interestingly enough the ones that repeated the shodan exam now happen to be my higher ranking students. One of them (Bruce Hirabayashi) will soon be testing for his renshi rokudan (now separate evaluations). And yes, he is indeed related to the famous Kieth Hirabayashi of tournament and movie fame.

I agree with Jason - if your board is failing students and the students go on to retake the tests, then it is a sign that their standards are high and that they care about the students. Rubber stamp blackbelts have no value in the places on this earth where it matters (mostly inside your own soul).

In another venue, I still remember my masters comprehensive exam for biomedical engineering. I did poorly on the orals, and my committee absolutely roasted me. I had one committee member yelling at me so intensely that his face was red and the veins were bulging in his neck. I never forgot that experience. When it came time to defend my PhD dissertation, I became the first person in UVa biomedical engineering history to successfully defend with no corrections recommended.

Yes, failure - when it is properly dealt with - is one of life's more valuable lessons.

We are with you.

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What is the meaning of a blackbelt?

Postby David in Sacramento » Sat Nov 14, 1998 12:22 am

I must say that I am a bit overwhelmed at the response. I'm the kind of person that doesn't usually like the "public" spotlight. But I very much appreciate your words of encouragement and support.

My Sensei and I are going to sit down and discuss the test, identify areas of improvement and develop a good plan for the next exam.

But enough about me! Image How about a thread now on funny test stories? I'm sure there has got to be a couple.

Thanks again for your posts.

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What is the meaning of a blackbelt?

Postby miked » Thu Nov 19, 1998 4:59 am


Ther are very few senior students who have not a failed a dan or kyu test at one time or another. I failed my nidan test twice but I was determined to keep coming back until I passed. When I did pass on my third attempt I had an overwhelming feeling of joy that I had never experienced up until that point.

When you test again, keep in your breast a fierce determination of spirit. I know that the test itself is nerve wracking, try to keep calm and reposed throughout the test and you may surprise yourself.

While preparing for your next test, use each class as a "mini-test". You now know what is expected, always try to incorporate what is expected into your daily workouts and you will pass with flying colors.

Keep us informed of your progress and never quit on yourself.

All the best,

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What is the meaning of a blackbelt?

Postby KATO » Sat Nov 28, 1998 9:14 am

Best of luck!

The true meaning of a black belt is a device used to hold up ones pants. The color meaning little more than decoration.

However, the symbolic nature of the belt is the conquest of self. In its symbolic respect: a measure of ones ability to wear their proverbial pants in the arena of self discipline and focus. A measure of soul.

Of course, it should mean something different for each person. Since it is a trial of conquest and rite of passage; unique to each individual and art that suffers to this destination.

And as with all ends, it is also a beginning. A completion of the first steps to a bigger world. As when the baby wolf masters the art of feeding from its mother, only to open its eyes and discover that the world has grown infinitely in magnitude.

Best of wishes in your quest, and may this accomplishment bring your mind and body new journeys of even greater purpose.


PS Live in Sacramento too Image E mail me for correspondence

[This message has been edited by KATO (edited 11-28-98).]
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