Black Belt Life
Why do I keep this worn out and fraying black belt?. That is a question one parent recently ask me. I explained to the parent that wearing this belt keeps me honest. This old belt reminds me of the professional training I went through and the time, sweat, effort and sacrifices I made to reach this goal. It reminds me to pass along this mindset to my students. I want all my students to know that they earned their black belts by surmounting obstacles, overcoming self imposed limitations and truly exploring beyond their comfort zone. I have a life long bond with my original Sensei and I am seeing the life long bonds that have already been built between myself and my older students. I have a student now who just enrolled her 5 year old son, she was my student when she was 7 years old and trained with me to achieve her black belt. I have another student who just stopped by to visit, she has been on the west coast in medical school for years but we still talk about training and the positive results and transformations it created in her life. This frayed out and worn black belt was there, tied around my waist when those woman were 7 years old training in one of my older dojos over 20 years ago. This belt in the photo was given to me as my Sandan rank, third degree black belt. I have since achieved the rank of 6th degree black belt and was awarded a red / white belt. I wear the red / white belt but still often find myself wrapping this older worn out black belt on and stepping onto the deck. I value the teaching process and the learning process and whenever I watch my students on deck I think back to the old days of training and earning my belt and strive to pass down that lineage. I look forward to the day when I am suggesting that one of black belts should replace his/ her worn out belt. I will also acknowledge that I understand why they wish to keep it and smile proudly both inside and out.
Andrew Sora – Sensei.