The Making of a Black Belt
What do I want to see in a student to know that he is ready to become a Shodan?
I will want to see kicks and punches that reflect the hundreds of hours of repetition, self defense techniques that are fluid and responsive to the attack, and kata that is "coming out of the dance".
I will want to see that inside a student that is striving for perfection, there is a Samurai spirit. "Yamato Damashii" (never say die!) should be the unbroken thread that is woven into his spirit. If the plane were to crash, or the ship were to go down…he would survive! It would be his nature.
I will want to see humanity and compassion, and a deep and burning love for his art.
I would like to see the softness of his Karate expressed through his appreciation of Japanese calligraphy or drawings.
This Goju Black Belt will carry a heavy responsibility throughout his lifetime. He will be expected to pass along the accumulated knowledge of what I have passed along to him, and what my teachers have passed along to me. He in turn, must patiently guide his students on "The path", and help those very few who do embrace and embody the Martial Spirit, to be the very best Black Belts that they can be.
When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself." – Shunryu Suzuki
This page added on 8.23.03