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How Long For Black Belt?

A prospective student met with a Karate Sensei and asked, "How long will it take for me to become a black belt?"

The instructor thought about it and replied, "It really depends, but it could take about 10 years."

"But I have already practiced another style of Karate for 5 years and have a black belt in that style," clarified the prospective student.

"In that case it could take 20 years!" declared the instructor.

It can take 10 years to undo the bad habits formed in 5 years. In other words, it might take 10 years to get the student back to zero.

Besides, who asks about belt issues? There are so many more interesting and important issues to discuss. When I am asked about belts, my eyes glaze over. Perhaps that is why we often wear no belts at all in our dojo. Students can train in a gi bottom and T-shirt, in which case they wear no belt. If they wear a gi top they really should wear a belt, but my second son, who is in charge of the dojo, doesn't care.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin