3820643156?profile=originalNo one ever ‘gets’ a black belt.  It’s not something that you wear, it’s something that you become.

Many people know that at our school children are not allowed to "get" their first uniform and white belt either.  They earn it, by proving that they understand that martial arts is more than kicking and punching, and that at Mercer Island Martial Arts we teach, lesson one, that respect is the foundation, and the most important lesson of training.  They prove it by practicing the idea at home, participating in being a respectful family member by showing behaviors such as, doing things the first time when asked, or contributing to the family, or going the extra mile in any number of ways as determined together as a family.

You can become a black belt by training consistently, minimum twice a week, for about 3-5 years to earn the rank of Black Belt at Mercer Island Martial Arts. Many adults take longer, however 3 years is a minimum time requirement set for Black Belt Testing. Most children take 5-7 years.  Children, and youth, may earn their junior, or "Poom" black belt, and will hold poom rank until they develop through time, and training, the commensurate mental and physical capabilities of an adult. 


The truth is, it’s about the journey, not about the belt.  However, the belts serve as a way of measuring progress, learning about goal setting, and achievement of those goals, as well as a visible reminder and statement about one's ability to persevere, achieve, and experience success.  Testing for belts builds confidence, helps with dealing with stress and performance anxiety, and is a proving ground for skills acquired.

c1b21edd0d547ce379ef75b4afb491f5Students continue training beyond black belt because of this very reason. Black belt is not the end of the journey, but instead is an understanding of the basics.

About the Author:
MeLisa Turcott Strongheart is a Master Instructor and owner at Mercer Island Martial Arts. She is a 7th Dan Master Instructor. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology, Mental Health Counseling. She brings these two areas of specialization to her work with families, children, teens, and in designing curriculum.

Master Strongheart emphasizes and has taught thousands of students the value and power of respect. Respect for oneself, others, and the community.

(MIMA), located on Mercer Island between Bellevue and Seattle in Washington is celebrating 24 years on the island in 2021. MIMA's curriculum is intentionally designed to build fitness, flexibility, self-defense, as well as to create a milieu that engenders physical and psychological growth, respect, courage, community activism and leadership.

MIMA has programs for families to practice side by side, as well as adult, teen, and children's classes. Also offers before and after school, and summer camp programs for kids.

You can contact through email: strongheart@mercerislandmartialarts.com; calling 206 230-9050.

The school is located at:
2630 77th Ave SE #106-108 Mercer Island, WA 98040
Parking free under the building.

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