SO YOU WANT TO BE
MIDDLEBURG MARTIAL ARTSThere are many ways people can define a black belt, also known as a “Yu Dan Ja”. People from outside of the martial arts world signify a black belt as maybe a “fighting machine”. But these people have no idea what true martial arts is really all about. To get a better representation of a black belt, one must seek knowledge from someone who has already earned a Black Belt and who knows what martial arts has to offer. That person will know what someone can gain from earning a black belt, not just the kicks and the punches, but so much more. A black belt is much more than a long piece a black fabric wrapped snugly around your waist. If it were, then everyone would have a black belt. It is about the hard work, dedication, commitment and perseverance that you put it in to get your head instructor to finally tie that, much earned, Black Belt around your waist in front of your closest friends, family and fellow students. I think the best representation of black belt comes directly from the Black Belt Manual. The Black Belt manual is given to someone who has earned a black belt to call their own. This essay will delve into the black belt oath and qualifications of a black belt, detailing what each means and how I perceive them and how they pertain to everyday life. As you stand in front of hundreds of spectators that consist of parents, friends, relatives, fellow students, instructors (both past and present), many Masters and possibly and hopefully, Grandmaster, you are asked to repeat the following Black Belt Oath:
- I, _____, a member of the World Tang Soo Do Association, solemnly swear and affirm that I will forever conduct all of my affairs, both public and private, in accordance with the invincible spirit of Tang Soo Do, and always focus my energies toward the promotion and enhancement of Tang Soo Do. Furthermore, I solemnly swear that I will be loyal to my Association for the rest of my life.
- NATURE: The Black Belt is motivated primarily by the ideals of human service rather than any other reason (such as revenge, violence, fighting or riches). A Black Belt chooses this way of life under solemn oath.
- ACHIEVEMENT: The Black Belt is an exemplary martial artist who has trained incessantly to achieve maturation of body and mind, and the invincible spirit of Tang Soo Do.
- PROFESSIONAL: The Black Belt is a professional regardless of profession. Therefore, the Black Belt must constantly strive to reach a higher level of perfection of body and mind through practice. The Black Belt must do this in such a manner as to enhance the prestige and dignity of their profession.
- LOYALTY: The Black Belt is completely loyal and motivated by the pride and honor of their art to help their studio, instructor, Grandmaster and Association.
- CONTRIBUTION: The Black Belt volunteers their help. They should aid in all Tang Soo Do activities and devote their knowledge to the improvement of human welfare.
- JUSTICE & TRUTH: The Black Belt is a person who is capable of judging clearly, truth and untruth. Even when truth has a bitter taste, a Black Belt must remain fixed on the side of truth and justice.
- LEADERSHIP & RESPECT: The Black belt is a leader in Tang Soo Do and all social functions. They should lead a righteous and respectable life according to the Five Codes of Tang Soo Do.
- BROTHERHOOD: The Black Belt is a person who exhibits brotherhood and sacrifice for the members of the Black Belt Society in order to protect the prestige of the Black Belt.
- HERITAGE: The Black Belt is responsible for the continuation of Tang Soo Do. They must constantly recruit new students in order to transfer our art to the next generation, consistently teaching the proper way.
- APPLICATION: The Black belt is one who is capable of applying their knowledge and skill of Tang Soo Do into their own or another’s life, in a practical way, for better living.