My definition of being a black belt has evolved over the years. When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a ninja and/or a Power Ranger, that’s what being a black belt meant to me back then. Now, it means being Batman, fighting crime and taking names… Kidding! When I started doing martial arts, I thought being a black belt would be to become proficient at self defense techniques and sparring. As I progressed through Mercer Island Martial Arts, I found that being a black belt was so much more.
When I started at Mercer Island Martial Arts, I was trying to turn a new leaf; college was not conducive to a healthy life style with the constant studying and sitting in the library or my room all day and night. I wanted to try to a healthier routine with my life, which included: working out more, eating healthier and finding more active activities to do with my time. As I started working out at Mercer Island Martial Arts, I found that that it was more than just a place to work out; I learned that being a black belt is more than just being a proficient with the techniques we learn and staying physically fit. It’s also about being able to stay mentally fit as well. I have always tried to respectful and try to empathize with others, even though it may be hard at times.
Aside from being mentally and physically fit, the most important thing I saw was how everyone gave back to the community and went out of their way to help out others. Mercer Island Martial Arts is a community in its own right; I have seen the staff and students give back so much of their time and effort into the community and beyond, that it’s very heartwarming and I am proud to be a part of this community.
So, with all that said, to me being a black belt is about treating yourself well. Being able to stay healthy and being able to stay calm no matter what life throws at you. Also, it’s about being able to help those around you and those who you may not even know. I have learned a lot about myself and what my own definition of a black belt means, and hopefully my definition will evolve even further as time goes by.