A Letter to Black Belts in Training

by Tanner Castro
(Las Vegas, Nevada)

To Future Black Belts,

The black belt test is a great milestone in your martial arts life. You have trained for it long and hard and soon you may very well become a black belt. In order to better ensure your success, it is important that you come to as many classes as possible, that you ready yourself physically, and that you ready yourself mentally.

Coming to class is very important for several reasons. For one, it helps you to repeat your moves and to better hone your skills. Even if you don't learn anything in the class you are still getting stronger. A great martial artist Bruce Lee once said, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.” This is the main reason for why it is important. Another reason is that you will learn something new from a class about ninety-nine percent of the time, even if it is something small. This is what makes karate interesting since you can always learn something new.

Just as coming to class is important, it is also very important to make yourself physically ready for the black belt test. Even though going to the gym and working out can help you greatly at your black belt test, the true secret lies within the classes themselves. Every class you should go one-hundred percent and not any less, this will help you the most at your test. Not only this, but karate is exercise. If you work hard you're going to get the best results and strengthen your core and your endurance.

Lastly you should make sure that you are mentally ready for the test. You can do this by taking private lessons, and doing everything possible to try and make yourself feel more comfortable. If you feel like you are not ready there is no shame in waiting. You should try and reevaluate yourself to see if you are truly ready for testing.

These are the steps that I followed in order to obtain my black belt and I hope they help you as well. If you are nervous before testing don't worry since it's natural. Just remember that you have trained long and hard to get to the spot where you are now and you should not have a problem.

-Tanner Castro

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