Sunday, January 13, 2008

How Long?

There's a very interesting post from John Vesia that, among other things, addresses the question, "how long will it take to get a black belt?" I love the opening anecdote, which I'm reprinting here, and which lets you know his perspective:

Recently an adult student at our school announced at the end of his very first class he wouldn't quit until he received a black belt. Immediately, the chief instructor removed his tattered obi and handed it to him. "Here you go, it was nice knowing you", he chided. I think the new guy got the point.

It's a good reminder for me that it's the journey that counts. I've been a brown belt now for more than three years.


Blackbeltmama said...

I've been a brown belt since Sept. 2006 and I will be for quite a while longer. ACL injuries add unexpected detours in that path, huh?

Hack Shaft said...

Heck, I'm not even 5 months into training (this time around), and adding 7 more months to my trip recovering!!!

I think the additional wait for all of us "delayed" martial artists will only make the achievement of Black Belt in our respective form that much more meaningful.

Steve said...

which begs the question about why there are belts at all in any non-competitive art. The belt system is not all that old and developed by Kano, the founder of judo (and once removed of BJJ) for competitive purposes, to help pair up competitors of relative skill. I've been curious about this for a long time.

K. Wieczerza said...

I began Taekwondo back in the summer of 1979. I rose through the ranks quickly until red (equivalent to your brown - we didn't have brown) and stayed there three and a half years. I was working out all the time and had no injuries to speak of... Good news is that I'm still working out and I think that "seasoning time" - has been one of the reasons. Bye the bye - I too had ACL reconstruction some 12/13 years ago and have gone on to do things well beyond my imaginings even when I began as a healthy youngster. It is really is the journey (belts *can* help/serve by being markers in our progress) that in the end matters most.

BobSpar said...

BBM: Unexpected detours for sure!

Hack: I think it's awesome that you're not deterred by the 7/5 ratio--the black belt (I shouldn't say this given John's perspective!) will be that much sweeter for sure.

Steve: It's an interesting reminder that belts *are* helpful in competitive arts.

K: I'm glad to hear you're still working out and you're beyond recovery from ACL surgery.