Martial arts, according to experts, is more of an art than a sport. It is more a way of life than just a few hours of training. Getting a black belt in martial arts does not mean that one becomes a master and has no need for further training. It means that one has become exceptionally proficient in the basics of martial arts and has gained a profound understanding of the art. While different types of martial arts have different lengths of time to achieve a black belt, the average number of years is usually four. The black belt also has different levels within itself. Therefore, earning a black belt becomes a lifelong journey.
So, what does it take to get to a black belt?
Getting a black belt in martial arts requires rigorous training for long periods of time. This means that your willpower must be strong. You have to view martial arts as more than fighting technique and recognize that it requires sheer discipline, unwavering devotion, and determination. It means that you need to build mental strength so that you do not quit even when it seems impossible to go on with training. The black belt experience encourages self-development and improvement while fostering respect, integrity and work ethic. A stable personal internal environment is the strongest asset you will possess in following through this experience.
Having dealt with the internal requirements, you need to find a teacher (sensei) who is a competent martial artist. Your teacher’s/ instructor’s ability should be at a level that encourages you to strive towards a black belt. Ensure that your training is consistent and steadfast to build physical strength and stability healthily. Make sure not to overdo your exercises to avoid burning out and straining your body.
Increasing your confidence is key in martial arts. It is important that you are not afraid to rehearse in the sight of your teacher and fellow martial artists who can offer correction and advice. Be not afraid to make mistakes. This is the surest way to get it right. Participate in contests to develop your technique faster. Competing in tournaments helps you to be appreciative of other artists’ skills thereby encouraging you to sharpen your own.
Ultimately, becoming a black belt is open to the person who faces this challenge head-on. It thrives on steadily living the principles every time.