For many, the opportunity to become a ‘Black-belt’ still holds great allure, and achieving the rank is seen to be the first pinnacle of the karate journey. For many beginners, it is a goal set in their minds when they first enter the dojo.
Becoming a Black Belt is not only to go through the ranks and get it. No, it is a desire, a lot of compromises, hard work, sacrifices, sense of purpose, wisdom, perseverance and most of all determination. There are great misconceptions when this is your only karate goal. Many think this is the highest they can get. But this is when karate only starts. All the coloured belts you have achieved are only the preparation to actually start your karate journey.
A new journey has begun for two Solis Ortus karatekas who achieved their Shodan in May 2017. Josh and Estiaan, congratulations, well deserved. You have worked so hard with determination and perseverance, dedication, constant preparation to reap such honourable rewards. Solis Ortus welcomes you as Shodans entering your new exciting karate journey as 1st Black Belts.
From now on you will understand the meaning of the 5 maxims in Japanese and feel a shiver down your spine. You will feel proud to be a karateka and have to pinch yourself when you look down and realise you wear a Black Belt around your waste. It will take time to get used to it, because the honour will humble you.
A quote by Renzo Gracie describes it best: “A black belt is a white belt who never quits!” this speaks of character.
Then suddenly reality will kicks in and you realise you know nothing. Never stop your karate journey even if you think that you have achieved your highest goal. Don’t be part of the statistics of “1-2 of every 100 students reach Black Belt and those only 1 out of every 1 000 achieves 2nd Dan”. Mas Oyama
Written by: Heilethe Calitz