Monday, July 27, 2009


Urban Samurai has written an excellent article on Black Belt Responsibilities: Are There Any? His thought provoking article has generated much discussion. Check out his site and join the discussion.

I posted the following comment about Black Belt Responsibility:

My karate background is traditional Okinawa Kenpo. The preservation of the art from teacher to student has always been an important component of my training. When I received my black belt, I wanted to be included in the process.

I have a responsibility to the tradition…to pass on information as my instructor has taught me. I have a responsibility to my instructor…I want him to be proud to call me a student. I have a responsibility to the students…to guide and to encourage. I have a responsibility to myself…to train, to improve and to explore.


Narda said...

I agree. But here is the rub: how does having a BB change that? To my way of thinking, it doesn't matter whether or not one is in a belt system, or not, certain obligations are the foundation of family-style, and TMA, relationships.

The BB is just another 'thing' that comes between people and learning.

Michele said...

Hi make a good point. My husband and I were discussing the concept of responsibility and we raised a similar question. Training in martial arts (belt or no belt) fosters responsibility. I am discussing responsibility from my perspective as a practitioner in a belt system.

It is my hope that a belt has never impeded my learning.

John W. Zimmer said...

I would say as is the case in my style, that to take lessons, one has to conform to an honor code (the Kenpo Creed in my case). So the black belt is just the natural extention of that.

If we had a bad apple - he or she could be stripped of rank and kicked out of the school.

Sue C said...

Hi Michele. I agree with your comment and I don't think it matters which side of the black belt 'divide' you're on. As a brown belt I still feel a strong sense of responsibility to my sensei, myself, other students as well as to the art itself.

Michele said...

John: Thank you for your comments. The kenpo creed is posted on the wall of our dojo. When I was a kyu rank, we used to recite a dojo training oath at the beginning of each class.

Sue: I agree. I think I felt a sense of responsibility all along. Thanks for commenting.

Brittany said...

That's one of the reasons I came back.

I want to make you and Mr. A proud, and not disappoint you. :)

Michele said...

Hi Brittany:

We are proud of you! You are an excellent martial artist and a great role model.

It is good to have you back in the dojo this Summer.