“I Have the Power”
Many times as instructors we are asked, “why do black belts look so much better?” I normally joke and say, “magic,” but there is really so much more to it than that. Whether it is doing a form, kicking the bag, breaking a board, or even sparring—whatever it may be—it seems to be excellent…black belt excellent.
Power is defined and given many connotations, but the power I’m referring to here is the power to achieve. When a black belt does a form their uniform snaps and there is so much speed that you almost miss the whole move if you blink. When they kick a board it seems to break like a toothpick or sometimes even explode. Don’t you wish you could perform your moves that way? Can you become a black belt? And not just any black belt who stands out among the rest?
Well I have great news for you. You can! However, there are a few important things that you have to start with:
Desire: Before you can do anything to the best of your abilities, you first have to have a desire to do it. Whether that desire be motivated by your passion, or your necessity it is important that you put your mind to it. Not to sound like a cliché but you CAN do anything that you put your mind to. If you want to be able to perform your moves like a black belt, you must first have the desire to reach the goal of black belt. Furthermore, you have to have the desire to be a black belt in every aspect of your life rather than just in the physical ways. You have to desire to be disciplined, courteous, compassionate, motivated, and intellectual.
Commitment: It’s easy to want something. I want to be a football star, and the fastest man in the world, oh wait, and the CEO of a major corporation. Anyone can want anything on a want and anything on a whim. The difference comes when you actually desire your goal. If you truly desire something you will make a commitment to do it. If I truly desire to be a football star, I would have played in middle school, high school and would be playing in college right now. I would be exercising to increase my body weight constantly and watching film to better understand the game. However, my football career stopped because I didn’t truly desire it. If I desired it, I would have committed my time, effort, and thoughts to achieving the goal. This goes with anything. Why aren’t you a professional soccer player? Because you are either too young and haven’t reached that goal yet or you never really wanted to become one. A true commitment is rare in today’s society. With all the “no commitment” ads out there it is becoming evident that a lot of people have started to become flaky, indecisive, and insecure. This is why setting a goal and truly committing to it is so important. Without a commitment to yourself, or somebody else, how will you be accountable? Many times it is good for you to write your commitment down in places that you can see—such as the fridge (especially if you are on a diet), the bathroom mirror or the mirror in your car.
Confidence: If you think that desire and commitment are enough, you would be right most of the time. However, there are small goals that can be finished quickly and easily and then there are difficult long term goals that require you to keep your eye on the prize. The last little extra push that will help you get there is confidence. Now, confidence is such a difficult thing to have in all aspects of your life because we are human and we are all more secure about some things and less secure about others. Hwoever, believing in yourself is an essential part of reaching any goal. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re right.” If you don’t believe in yourself you have created a self-defeating prophecy. At times you could even subconsciously sabotage yourself, preventing your eventual achievement.
Becoming a black belt is a journey and it is truly a journey that is more about the journey than the destination. First and foremost, true black belts never stop being students of the martial arts, which in turn means that the journey never ends. But before you even start you much remember to have the desire, make the commitment, and constantly boost yourself up and tell yourself, “I have the power” or Choongsil-Do, which means, the “Way of constant and never-ending improvement. That’s what makes someone a black belt, doing your best today so that tomorrow your best will be even better. Black Belt Excellence means never stopping the journey and always upholding the principles of black belt whether you are one or not.
Mr. Ryan Cabrera can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (813) 909-0610