2nd Dan Questions, Something I have learned since becoming a black belt

    Being a black belt has shown to me the difference between teaching and leading. When I first received the rank, the responsibilities of being a black belt seemed immense. I had this impression that as a leader in the group, I needed to know every form and every kick by heart. It took months of observing my senior black belts to understand that they too were still learning, and still had moments of difficulty. Being a black belt did mean that I had to step up and be a leader, one who solved problems and kept the team on track, but not that I always had to be a teacher. When I don’t remember the next step in a form I cannot teach it, but I can look for whoever does, and follow. On the floor, learning is a collective process where everyone is at a different stage- there are middle belts who can axe kick higher that I, teen peers who know certain early forms better, and it is in these differences of strengths that cohesive groups are built because everyone still has room to grow.

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