The black belt is associated with a certain stigma among many different types of people. To them, if you achieved a black belt it can be brushed off with a simple comment such as “well you couldn’t stop someone shooting you so….” or something else along the lines of “Wow you could totally kick someone’s ass!”.
To me, these comments can be quite irritating even if the last comment can be taken as somewhat of a compliment. Only those who have trained in martial arts or who have witnessed someone close to them learn the art can, in my opinion, hold a proper understanding of the importance of this belt.
In a proper training environment (and by saying this I am not referring to some of the ‘cash cow’ dojos that are lying about where if you pay the right price you can buy your black belt) the belt represents many things, such as:
- Years of diligent practice.
- Patience through the progression of the ranking system of martial art.
- Overcoming the steep learning curve of martial arts, including both the physical and mental aspects.
- Pushing yourself to the limit.
- Taking martial arts into your daily life.
The reason that the fifth point is mention is that, if you have been learning your martial art for long enough, you would have probably incorporated some of your training into your daily life routine, whether you realize it or not.
To cut it short, the black belt represents a level of personal, mental, and physical commitment to an art that not everyone can achieve. By earning this, it puts all of that commitment into something that you can wear with pride, an item you can cherish, and a state of mind no one can take away.