- 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
If your young child asks if he or she can be a doctor, a lawyer, a plumber, or an electrician in the next few years, you would say no; you must be an adult to do those things. However, if your child asks if he or she can become a black belt expert in an ancient hand-to-hand fighting martial art in the next few years, you could say, “Certainly you can! You do not need to be an adult to become a highly qualified and responsible martial art black belt.” Even though your child cannot speak in complete sentences or write an meaningful paragraph, has never been attacked by a person intent on harming him or her, or never stuck another with the intent to harm, still sleeps with a night light, and knows nothing about life, the child may still easily be awarded a martial art black belt.
To be a black belt, a person must know how to fight, must know how to seriously injure or, if necessary, kill and must have the maturity to know when it is necessary, must be emotionally capable of seriously injuring or killing another person, and then must be able to deal with the emotional aftermath. A martial art is not a sport—it is martial art!
A person under the age of 18 may still train in the martial arts and earn rank, but for the black belt to maintain its prestige, it must be reserved for adults. Children may have their own ranking system with the top belt being something other than a black belt; say a gray belt. Then the child stays at that belt level until he or she reaches 18 years of age, at which time the adult may test black. If the child reaches the top belt level at a young age, then it will be many years before the child may test again. If the child is truly black belt material, he or she will keep training and wait until his or her 18th birthday. If the child waits, he or she will be a well-respected black belt; if the child does not wait, so be it.