Why isn't everyone a Black Belt?

Written by Kathy Olevsky on Wednesday, 12 October 2016. Posted in All About Martial Arts

The work is hard and the journey is fun.

Promotion Ceremnoy shot 4How many times have your friends in the martial arts said, “I don’t know why more people don’t study the martial arts”?  Well, I can answer that question.  The perception is that it is something special and not everyone can do it.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  Working towards Black Belt takes discipline, but this is a learned skill and anyone can do it. 

While we want every Black Belt to feel special because of the effort and dedication they have put in, we also want them to make their friends believe that they can do it too.  It is an amazing accomplishment for those that put the work in.  But, just like anything else important in life, if you want to do it, you can reach this goal.  

I think about this a lot when I talk to parents.  I tell a story about my daughter Casey, from time to time.  She is now 24 years old and owns her own company.  But, when she was young, she was wavering a little on her Karate class attendance.  She was busy with other activities and wanted to skip Karate.  Well, I know the value of what we teach and it was important to me that she gained these life skills.  I told her she could quit classes anytime but she was not allowed to date until she was a Black Belt.  It was important to me that she knew how to take care of herself and this was part of her education.  She accepted that, at age 10, without much fuss.  She continued on her path, although a bit longer than others, and she got her Black Belt at age 12 after six or seven years of Karate classes.

My son, Josh, now 32 years old, was another story.  He never wanted to start Karate in the first place.  I hesitate to admit that I bribed him.  He was infatuated with some of the martial arts weapons.  I promised him a pair of Sais if he would start Karate classes.  I told him I would hang them on his wall and when he was far enough along in Karate to use them, they would be there for him to use.  He accepted the Sais and the challenge and immediately fell in love with Karate.  His talent was obvious as he seemed to be an exact duplicate of his father.  He sailed through his classes and was a Black Belt in about three years. 

Everyone has a different journey in the martial arts.  Some are physically gifted and move through our program faster than others.  Some put in more time and with dedication eventually find their way.  I have never heard anyone say that they regretted their time in our Karate classes.  If people do stop training, most of the time I hear that they loved us but they have other things in their life that took a priority.  I do hear from adults all the time who took Karate with us, as a child.  They sometimes bring their kids or even grandkids to us for lessons.  They all wish they had continued.  I usually just seize that moment to remind them of how old Mr. O and I are, and how there is no time like the present to jump back in. 

Martial arts classes are not hard.  There are short term and long term goals.  Everything we teach is new to everyone who comes through our door.  We put you on a path and guide you along the way.  What are you waiting for?  Jump in and join us.  You CAN be a Black Belt too! 

About the Author

Kathy Olevsky

Kathy Olevsky

Kathy Olevsky, 8th Degree Black Belt, has taught Karate with her husband, Rob, since 1979.  She is an active instructor, manager and author in the martial arts.  

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