- Black Belt Prestige
- High times
- Low times
- What happened?
- Page 5
- Children black belts
- Page 7
- Page 8
- Women black belts
- Physically or mentally disabled
- Over the hill black belts
- You can still do that which you do, because you do it.
- Is there something that can be done?
- Has the prestige of the black belt been lost forever?
- All Pages
Now, in most martial art schools, anyone, no matter their age, gender, or physical, mental, or emotional capabilities, may become a black belt. The philosophy is that, if the person comes to class and tries, then the person should be promoted, even to the black belt level. Go to any grade school and you will find numerous children with black belts. At any large gathering of adults, you will find numerous current black belts (not ones earned in better times), even among the unfit or physically or mentally challenged. Nowadays, the black belt no longer holds a position of high prestige. Its position is not necessarily one of low prestige; it is more one of no prestige. No one cares any more, one way or the other.
In the past, when you said you were black belt, people would say, “Wow!” Now they say, “Oh, that’s nice.” A black belt used to be considered the consummate warrior who could, and would, fight for the right, no matter the consequences. The reason this was expected of them was that—this was what black belts did. They were hand-to-hand combat experts who fought for the right. Now black belts are just athletes who play the sport of "martial art.”
If you are a doctor or a nurse and a person on the street falls unconscious, the public expects you to spring forward and take control. Most will, and most will be able to handle the situation since that is what they do. If you a black belt and a person on the street is being attacked, the public expects you to spring forward and take control. A few will and, of the few, only a few will be able to handle the situation since most black belts have no idea of what to do since they are sportspersons, and of the ones who do know what to do, few are not capable of actually doing it.