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Martial arts and meHere I am, 31 with about 10 years of Martial arts experience, a 3rd dan black belt, until recently my own club and a real problem with it all! You see until a few days ago I thought I was doing it all for the wrong reasons. I have not trained properly for nearly a year, I have not taught for about 6 months so have had time to think about what it all means to me. My fear has been that I was doing it just to collect a black belt. See, there is a group of Martial artists out there who I call belt collectors. They strive to get as many belts in as many arts as they can, not that there is anything wrong with that if your motivation is to learn. But a lot are motivated by that elusive black belt and the power that comes with it! I guarantee that most of them would rather die than step on the mat with another coloured belt on! Part of my problem has been I have never felt that I deserved my black belt. Sure I have trained regularly for years, taught for years and have several permanent injuries! But was that enough? For some it is about physical achievement, but for me and many others it is more than that, I have changed and grown as a person. Then it struck me, I hadn’t wanted to go back, it was no longer fun. I kept feeling like I had to achieve something every day! So in the new year I shall go back with a fresh set of eyes and a less jaded opinion of what it all means. I will go back knowing that if I didn’t deserve my 3rd dan I would never have got it. Most of all I will go back because I want to and enjoy it!