In the early 2000s Tom Callos and I were talking at a coffee shop in Reno when he mentioned something he was thinking of doing. He called it the Ultimate Black Belt Test, and when he explained what it consisted of I told him he was crazy, because no one in their right mind would do such outrageous things over a year.
Fast forward a few years. In November of 2004 I had just returned from Nashville after 3 months of chemo and radiation treatments. Tom called me and insisted that I join the UBBT and play full out. At that point I could not do even one push-up and he was insisting I do 52,000 over the next 12 months. Putting common sense aside I agreed. Seven months later I did 2005 push-ups over the July 4th holiday.
I know for certain I would not have had that kind of recovery if it wasn’t for the UBBT. I also know for certain I would not have met, and learned from, so many wonderful and talented martial artists. And most of the people I met through the UBBT are now dear friends.
If any of the 2018 UBBT participants are questioning their decision to join, or are dismayed at the commitment required to complete this challenge, hang in there. You can’t possibly know the benefits that can come your way if you stick with this audacious idea.