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What is a First Degree Black Belt?
A first degree black belt is an advanced beginner. The belt signifies passage from the ranks of those who are still learning to the ranks of those who’ve learned how to learn.
The transition from white belt to black belt has less to with technique than with learning the methodology and procedures necessary to think like a martial artist. A black belt should be able to…Continue
Posted by Dave McNeill on September 21, 2015 at 1:00pm
Thursday night was spent introducing Sensei Patti Oji (from California) to the Amba Martial Arts school in Sparks, Nevada. The classes are held at a local community center, so before each class the mats are hauled out of storage and arranged on the floor, and chairs are set up around the area for parents to watch the classes.
Several hours later, at the conclusion of the nights activities, I watched in amazement as students and parents hustled out on the floor and started putting away the mats and chairs. In a matter of minutes an active, loud, hard working dojo was transformed to a…Continue
Posted by Dave McNeill on August 15, 2015 at 9:46am
We are directed by our frailties either towards or away from that which betters us.
“These classes are hard, I quit.”
“These classes are hard, when is the next one? “
“There is so much to learn, I quit.”
“There is so much to learn, I need to study harder.”
“I am old, I quit.”
“I am old, but not dead, so I will continue.”
“I’m a black belt now, I quit.”
“I’m a black belt now, and my learning has just started.”
“I don’t do katas because they have no martial value.”
“I do katas because everything has value.”
“These classes are too expensive.”
Posted by Dave McNeill on August 10, 2015 at 10:10am
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” Ian Maclaren.
The now rocked-up students are told they cannot limp or show any discomfort for the duration of the class. Violation of this rule will be rewarded with additional rocks in their shoes.
To heighten the awareness that many people are in pain or ailing and we ignore their troubles. For many people pain and illness are part of their everyday lives.
And as a reminder that none of us are defined by our pains or ails. We…Continue