Many people outside of Taekwondo look at someone who has achieved their Black Belt as having completed their journey. They look at the Black Belt holder as someone who has mastered their martial art. While it is the culmination of years of hard work and effort, Black Belt is not the end of the journey.
Rather, it is merely a step. An important milestone, but not the last step in a student’s journey. In Taekwondo there are 9 ranks, or dans, of Black Belt. I currently hold my 5th dan in Taekwondo. I am not giving up on my own training and preparation as I work towards testing for my 6th dan in 2023. As a martial artist you discover there is always more to learn and room to improve your skills. This journey to improve your Taekwondo takes commitment.
Achieving you Black Belt takes commitment. While as a teacher it is my goal to make every class fun, Taekwondo is still hard. It is mentally and physically challenging. It also requires showing up and making yourself better. Not just when you feel like it, but everytime. No matter how much you want to achieve a goal there will be days you will not want to put in the work. Those are the days that it is the most important to show up. It is easy to skip one class, then another. It is harder to go on the days you may not feel like training. During college I was busy. As a Vocal Music Education Major I had classes, practices, and rehearsals everyday. I did not feel like training. At the sametime I did not want to give up my Taekwondo. I committed to continue my training and after graduating college I tested for my 3rd dan. The way to achieve your Black Belt is to set reachable goals.
It takes between 3 to 4 years for a student to earn their Black Belt. That can seem like a long time and it is easy to get lost in the middle and lose sight of your goal. Along the path Taekwondo has a built in system of smaller goals. Focusing on earning your next color belt gives a smaller, more immediate achievement. Beyond just achieving a new belt, setting personal goals to improve individual techniques, such as back kick, can keep you motivated.
Achieving your Black Belt and beyond takes years, but beyond the physical skills, the Taekwondo journey develops many other skills. As a Taekwondo student you develop the Life-Skills of focus and self-discipline. These are skills that go beyond just your Taekwondo journey and can be applied to other areas of life, whether that is school, work, or family. You also develop your physical fitness. Taekwondo is great in teaching students to love movement, develop their strength, endurance, and flexibility.
If you are a student of Taekwondo, I would encourage you to keep training, set goals, and always move forward. If you are considering starting your own Taekwondo journey, take the first step. When you take the first step, it will be easier to second, third, and so on.
If you are interested in learning more about our program and Life-Skills, enroll in a complementary class. Visit our website to schedule a time or email us, [email protected], directly.
Apex Taekwondo Center