Senshin: The Enlightened Mind

Martial Arts Blog

normrobitza On July - 19 - 2017

Achieving a goal is something that is to be celebrated but don’t fixate on it.

As a white belt the main goal is to become a black belt. This is true but each beginner should start off with basic goals, learn how to tie your belt, memorise the first kata and learn all of the techniques required for your level. Yes, keep the dream of becoming a black belt in the back of your head but work on the small goals first.

Then when you work your way through the ranks and become a Shodan there are more goals to set. So many end their journey at Shodan, thinking that it is the end of the road. It is only the beginning. I became a Shodan in 2002 and was so honoured to have tested for that rank under Master Teruyuki Okazaki.

What goals are there to set after you become a black belt? There are many.

First, the obvious, Nidan. To achieve a second degree black belt when I started training in 1999 was something that I never expected would happen. I was focused on my daughter and I achieving black belt together. Unfortunately, when we tested for Shodan, I was the only one in the group to pass. Katilyn would get her’s 6 months later. I too know what it is like to fail a Black Belt test. My Nidan test, with Master Yutaka Yaguchi was unsuccessful and I had to retest with Master Frank Woon-A-Tai, 3 months after. But I tried my best and achieved the rank. Then set the goal for Sandan.

Second, teaching. For those that are truly dedicated to their art, they should try to pass on their knowledge. Some people say those that can’t do, teach. This is not the case. Some of the greatest teachers I know are still successful competitors and can perform techniques better than people half their age. There are also people that are great at what they do but when they are put in front of a class couldn’t teach even the simplest technique. Many organisations have instructor programs and achieving qualifications in these programs are a huge accomplishment. I wanted to become part of the ISKF Instructor Program and took a few of the credits but never really got involved. In 2015, I made it official and entered the IKD Instructor’s program. Now I am a D Level IKD Instructor and within a year, I can test to become an Examiner.

There are tons of goals to set. The only obstacle is being able to achieve them. Never give up! Become a dedicated student. I have a student from my dojo that started training at my instructor’s dojo as well. He wants to get as many classes as he can. He understands the importance of diversifying his training. He will learn so much this way. His sights were set on becoming a brown belt. Now he has achieved that and has focused the sights on attending a high number of classes. He wants his Shodan so bad and you can tell.

I write this on the one month anniversary of become a Godan. Something that I never expected would happen. I have set more goals in my karate career. I hope to achieve them all. Next on the list is my examiner’s license and with only a couple credits needed for a C level Instructor, that is also clearly in my sights. Just days after achieving my 5th Black Belt, I started preparing myself for 6th Dan. It is at least 5 years away but no better time than the present.

The important thing to remember is to set your goals. Shoot for the stars because the sky’s the limits. Prepare yourself and focus on your goals.


Categories: Teaching/Training

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