Whether you send your kids to public school, private school, or an internationally renowned boarding school, you’re paying (with your taxes or your wallet) for something beyond reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.
You’re paying for the values, the associations, the wisdom that’ll give your kid the experience and skills to succeed in whatever line of work and life he or she takes on.
In a martial arts context, when you think about it, nobody pays money to learn punches and kicks, to strike a pad, to do esoteric forms and stances across a mat. You can hit a horse stance and throw a hundred punches in your garage. In your living room. Just crank up the YouTube and follow along.
Private practice is part of Black Belt training. But it’s not the whole.
The value of investing in a Black Belt program, for an adult or youth or even a toddler, is to develop principles of discipline, strength, achievement, commitment. Winning. Growth. You can lose in a punch-and-kick contest, no matter how good you are. You can’t lose if you’ve absorbed these traits after years of training alongside other students who aspire to Black Belt excellence.
From white belt to Black Belt, that’s what we aim to do. Skills and technique will always vary. Commitment to excellence won’t.
We’re a Black Belt School. Here’s a mission statement from another (academic) school, one of the top if the country:
St. Mark’s aims to prepare [students] for leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world. [Our] values include the discipline of postponing immediate gratification in the interest of earning eventual, hard-won satisfaction; the responsibility of defending one’s own ideas, of respecting the views of others, and of accepting the consequences for one’s own actions; and an appreciation for the lively connection between knowledge and responsibility, privilege and the obligation to serve.
That has a little denser word count (no offense) than the Ripple Effect student creeds, but the aim is the same: Produce, though a highly refined system of education, the strongest, most confident, roundly educated people possible.
It’s not about the data points, the little bits of knowledge. In martial arts, the investment goes to the instruction in life and leadership skills, taught by instructors who have earned their marks and position through the same curriculum.
That’s what Black Belt creates. Opportunity. And there’s no price on that.