The Role Of The Black Belt

Attitude First Martial Arts Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. Also serving Glendale, Peoria, Arrowhead, Anthem, and New River.   Teaching Kenpo, Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Ground, Weapons Defense, Self Defense, Performance, Confidence, Strength, Leadership, and Bully Proof Skills! Lil’ Attitudes program 3 to 5 years old,  Youth Program 6 to 12 years old, Teen Program 13 to 17 years old, Adults 18 years and older.

In the past it was recognized that the process of becoming a quality Black Belt was not by any means a simple endeavor. Today, it seems that expectation has changed and the recognition of what being a Black Belt means has also changed. Let’s face it, like any product or aspect in life there are differing levels of expectations.

One can go to a hamburger joint and be served what the restaurant considers their best product in minutes. The product is mass produced from preformed-precooked ingredients (in most cases); some from frozen, most shipped in and then assembled on the line- A piping hot burger in minutes. Then if you choose, you can go to another hamburger joint where they actually bake their own buns, grind their own aged grass fed beef, purchase product from local farms, etc. Each burger is cooked to order, based on the person’s preferred temperature. Takes a little more time and cost a little more money. Yet, they also serve a piping hot burger.

Now it is up to the recipient to determine which has the most value and creates a long lasting memory. Which truly satisfies their desire for a life changing experience? (Yes, I love burgers that much!) Once received, being a Black Belt then has other expectations and responsibilities. This truly is where the rubber meets the road. It is important that the individual then progresses the art; not only must the quality be maintained the Black Belt has the responsibility to seek new methods of improving the art. “Always doing what you’ve always done…” is a good analogy in this case. However, things change, situations change, mankind is always adapting to an ever changing environment. The Black Belt and his Art much balance between these two dichotomies.

At Attitude First Martial Arts Academy we tend to think that our Black Belts “wear several hats.” One could say we are merely playing with semantics but we recognize there are differences and we are working with a different purpose with each roll. We recognize 5 separate rolls that a Black Belt will maintain when working with a lessor ranked Martial Artist:

The Trainer– Works on the skills needed to do a specific activity. Here the Black Belt will work on the details of specific actions and basics. The mode will be to drill the exercise developing neurological muscular memorization.

The Coach– Instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport. Here the Black Belt will work with the participant on the competitive aspects of the Martial Arts. Working on the strategies associated with the activity.

The Instructor– Provides authoritative information on a subject. Here the Black Belt discusses the need for differing methods and introduces new concepts and principles associated with achieving rank.

The Teacher– Causes and/or helps with the learning of a subject or lesson. Here the Black Belt gives insights and deeper understanding of the aspects that the Martial Arts. Helps the Martial Artist understand the history, the purpose and the quality that study can add to one’s life.

The Mentor-A trusted counselor and guide that gives advice and help to the less experienced. Here the Black Belt helps to guide the Martial Artist on issues off the mat; How to use the Martial Arts in their daily lives, how to associate the practices into their relationships, job, etc.

To fulfill these differing responsibilities, reaching the level of Black Belt can’t be done in just a few years. Unfortunately, it also can’t be achieved by an individual without the maturity to understand the responsibility of the roles. On top of that, improving these rolls of the Black Belt is also a continuing process. Some achievable on the mat, some aspects must be achieved through other modalities.

At Attitude First we respect the time and energy anyone puts into achieving their Black Belt regardless of school.We just feel it’s more than a simple goal; it’s more than measured by physical skills. It’s a life changing transformation! One we are excited to share with anyone willing to dedicate the time and energy to be something truly special.

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