Understanding How Accomplishment Should Feel In Karate

Karate MedalsWhen a student passes a test at The Dojo of Karate, they should have a sense of accomplishment because our standards are higher then other martial arts schools.  It's not that we are better, it's that we approach our expectations differently.  We don't lower our standards because we want someone to be happy, rather we keep them at the same level and expect our students to learn how to get there through perseverance, dedication, grit, spirit and courage. I've been to plenty of Karate tournaments and seen Black Belts performing and it was horrible.  Some of those students probably didn't deserve to be any higher then a Green belt!  That's a disservice to the student and to the marital arts community. I've had other students leave The Dojo of Karate and earn a Black Belt at another Karate school within just a few months.  That simply tells you the level of training we teach at The Dojo of Karate and what other martial arts schools are doing. It's no different for Ivy League schools or major universities.  Their standards are extremely high to get in and to graduate.  Anything short of those standards is not going to cut it in their program. Now, anyone can get a degree from a state or junior college, but the quality is different.  Is it better?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  My degree from the Leeds School of Business at CU-Boulder does not hold enough weight as a Harvard Business degree.  It's a fact.  But, am I less likely to be successful?  No.  My opportunities are just as equal as anyone else. When I opened The Dojo of Karate, I made it a point to never let my standards drop, rather do my best to keep the integrity of Wado Kai Karate.  At the end of the day, I need to make sure I do my best as a teacher to produce the best out of my students while maintaining the high level of technical standards in Wado Kai Karate.  And, no, it's not easy balancing the two.  I've had plenty of students and parents that did not agree with my decision, however, at the end of the day, I am responsible for the product I produce. I understand that not every student will earn a Black Belt from The Dojo of Karate, and I'm OK with that.  Does it bother me?  Of course!  But, that also gives us a reputation that we've gained and I've worked hard in achieving.  We are one of the best traditional Japanese Karate schools in Colorado and hardest dojos to earn a belt. How do I know that?  When I have outside practitioners in Wado and other styles look at my students and say, "wow, your students looked really good at the seminar."  Or "your students did really well in the Black Belt test, and I was really impressed."  That tells me something...  I'm approaching how The Dojo of Karate awards belts in the right manner and my students are stepping up to the plate and doing their best to hit home runs. Achieving any belt at The Dojo of Karate should be motivating and encouraging because they aren't given out to students, they are earned by students. Next week, you'll learn the importance of the journey to Black Belt, and not the actual belt...




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