[caption id="attachment_3530" align="alignleft" width="200"] Students at The Dojo of Karate can potentially earn a Black Belt in about 3-4 years...[/caption]
One of the most common questions I get from students and prospects that come to my school is: "how long does it take to earn a Black Belt?"
My response, "about 3-4 years... that is if you come to class consistently for the entire time, and you or your child are a minimum of 10 years old".
Some think that is a long time, others think it's not long enough.
Here's my reasoning behind a 3 to 4 year minimum to earn a Black Belt.
How long does it take to earn a college bachelors degree from an accredited university or state college? About 4 years rights. Now keep in mind students have summer vacation, spring break, and Christmas break. You can get a degree in 3 years by going year-round.
If you want to continue your education to achieve a Masters degree, than it can be an additional 2-4 years (depending on the major). And, if you are overly ambitious, then getting a Ph.D will take an additional 2-4 years.
Now, in Karate, why should it be any different...? I've heard of schools that make their students train 5-7 years to earn a Black Belt -- even more! As a Martial Arts Instructor at The Dojo of Karate, I understand there are certain techniques one needs to learn, but I feel the one thing many instructors are missing is this...
Your Training Begins At Black Belt
As a Martial Arts Instructor, your goal is to teach them the fundamentals of your style, whether it be Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, etc. By teaching them this foundation, you are able to mold, shape, and create the type of student you envision for your school.
I expect my Black Belts to look better than all of my students in our school and to demonstrate progress in their training. More importantly, I look at their inner strength, such as attitude and will power.
A Black Belt should demonstrate the Will Power to continue and never give up, and have an "I Can" attitude. Obviously, there is more that just those two characteristics though.
By detaining your students longer than 5 or 6 years to achieve a Black Belt, you are simply creating a barrier to success. The same goes with college. If you require a basic bachelors degree to take 5-6 years -- or longer; more students are likely to quite and drop out of college than continue their education.
But, if you make the goals attainable, however demand higher performance and expectations, than you will begin to get better students who believe in themselves.
A student with confidence in their skills is more likely to be successful than a student who has no confidence. As Karate instructors we are not just teaching, but building confidence.
So, the fact that The Dojo of Karate
requires a minimum of 3-4 years of continuous training and a minimum of 10 years of age to obtain a 1st Degree Black Belt is a good thing. It's an attainable goal. But, it's not easy. :)
Javier Lozano, Jr.
Owner / Head Instructor
NASKA World Champion
Certified Personal Trainer
Child Safety Instructor
3rd Degree Black Belt