What it means to get a Black Belt –
Perspective from a parent
A Parent from our dojo wrote the following letter after their teenage son passed their shodan (1st dan black belt).
This really reminded me of the meaning of getting your black belt. Even though I’ve had the privilege of witnessing many karate-ka achieving their black belt through Pinetown JKA Karate. It is easy to forget how incredibly valuable it is to achieve this. If you ever have any doubt if it’s worth getting a black belt, read below.
To Parent that wrote this, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. It will perhaps motivate someone out there not to give up!
After watching my son from the side of the Pinetown JKA dojo for 7 years, I can honestly say that the journey has been one of a thousand steps.
And for my wife and I to be there as parents, beside him, each of those steps has been a life lesson of patience, commitment and the true meaning of spirit.
This journey was inspired, as with many of the kids at the dojo, by the need for my son to learn to defend and protect himself. Because he cannot and probably still will not hurt a fly, unless he is forced to defend himself now…
What has resulted is not a revolution but an evolution of his mental strength, his respect for others and his self-control. The culmination of this has been his recent achievement of Shodan Black Belt, his first Black Belt. And it has only been achieved through the careful mentoring and spirit that is nurtured by Karin Prinsloo and Pinetown JKA, knowing when it was time to take the final step on this journey.
The real winner at the end of this first journey, like one’s first trip overseas, is not just our son’s awakening. It’s been us, as parents, being the beneficiary of a young boy showing us the first rays of being a man, of a character forming and being steeled through hours of dedication, perspiration and effort.
His earning a black belt has literally been like a light being switched on. He is ready and hungry for more, thirsty and eager develop this new knowledge that has been attained.
This is hopefully the beginning of many more journeys to his next black belt. Oss.