Karate Instructors under the Gun: Black Belt Testing

Two young female black belt students wield nunchacku during a black belt karate test
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Karate Instructors under the Gun: Black Belt Testing

Black Belt Summit Gallery Times (2018) WIDE POSTER

About two years ago I had the amazing opportunity to see Ripple Effect Martial Art’s founder and Master Instructor compete to earn his 5th-degree Black Belt.

Master Macy (then a 4th-degree) underwent the trials of a three-day, no-rest test event alongside a hundred other testers of various ranks. All the pushups, all the hours, all the miles afoot, shoulder to shoulder with seasoned Black Belts, many of them his own students back in the day.

John C. Maxwell’s “Law of the Picture” couldn’t have been more evident in this. As a martial artist you saw, right before your eyes, what you want to become.

We’re used to seeing instructors as an authority. Walk in the door to the schools, and your eyes are drawn as if by magnets to the senior instructors. They’ve earned your respect. Your awe. Yes Sir, Yes Ma’am. What they say goes.

But when it’s their turn to test you see they’re humble students too of the martial arts. Striving to progress, to learn more, so they can teach you more.

Instructors exist to put students through the mill: forms forms forms, combos combos combos, sparring, thinking, push push push.

Come up to Estes Park for the Black Belt Summit to see how Mr. Robinson, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Garcia and Ms. Garcia–all testing for 4th-degree–embody Black Belt.

Be there. You won’t forget it.

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