The Average…


How long does it take the average school to give out a black belt? In America average schools give out black belts all the time.

What does a black belt mean?

Is the wearer an expert in the field of martial arts? That sounds like it’s based purely on a person’s physical skills.

Can people earn one just by being able to defeat an adult male that outweighs them? That would make sense since at its core martial arts grew from one person’s need to defend oneself from an overpowering opponent.

Does it mean they’ve shown their school/organization a high level of dedication and diligence – the way that a soldier who may not have seen combat still trained for it day-in, day-out, keeping themselves combat-ready?

Does it mean that they consistently contribute to their community, conducting themselves in ways that enhance and respect the freedom of others?

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Shouldn’t it be a mixture of all of the above? And what happens when the person ranked as a black belt grows old and their body breaks down, do they relinquish the title since they can’t effectively fight? Or, do they compensate by mentoring or training others?

How does a 10-year-old black belt meet these criteria? Honestly that is an oxymoron. They don’t. Adolescents are not black belts. Not to say that a black belt must have hair on his nuts… well, yes, I am saying they must have hair on their nuts, the male version anyway. Someone that hasn’t earned a first paycheck, dealt with paying rent or taxes, had the responsible wherewithal to wear a condom during sex, or the self-discipline to abstain from sex until 18, developed independence – how can they represent any proficiency in life skills, let alone fighting prowess?

Sure, young children need validation and rewards. But if a child chose not to continue training in martial arts because he or she wouldn’t be awarded a rank of belt black, then that child is not a black belt to begin with. A school that caters to a juvenile’s ego of rank and entitlement is doing them a disservice. If a teacher frets that he will lose students unless they’re bestowed with a tangible measurement of their success, then they’re more concerned with financial gain than the true meaning of a black belt.

Testimonial

I really enjoy training at Unbridled Martial Arts. The atmosphere is relaxed but also fast paced. We are always doing something new in class, which keeps things fresh and exciting. After class there are always new techniques or variations to reflect upon. In six months of training, I have seen my ground fighting skills improve significantly. I have also noticed a marked improvement in my core strength and flexibility. I feel confident that I am a more rounded martial artist from training at UMA. I would recommend this school to any beginner who is looking to test the waters of self defense and martial arts, and also to more experienced students looking to expand their horizons or cross train. The non-traditional atmosphere is not intimidating to beginners, and is often refreshing to martial artists from traditional schools. The low monthly tuition and lack of contract is a huge incentive to join for a month and see if you like it. The things I like best about UMA are that the class is informal, we train hard, everyone is improving, we have fun training together, and I have made some new friends.

~ Daniel Smith

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