How are you enjoying your Taekwondo journey? Are you the student who just can’t wait until that next belt testing? Are you the student who, when told you are ready to test, tells the Instructor that you aren’t ready. Maybe you are enjoying the journey and are content where you are, working hard, trusting that at the right time you’ll be ready when you are eligible!
I was the gup student that was a bit insecure in my abilities and when my Instructor told me that I was ready to test for my brown belt. I doubted him. I did not “feel” ready and decided not to test. Looking back, I actually see how that was disrespectful, and how I did not trust him as my Instructor to KNOW when I was ready. I knew right away that I was wrong to do that, and I’ve never forgotten it. It was what he said to me later that made me understand the journey. He said, “You are where you need to be.” Besides, who was I, the red belt, to tell the 6th Degree Black Belt that I knew better than him? Since then, I have never doubted what my Instructors have told me. It has always been an honor for Sr. Grandmaster Sell and the late Sr. Grandmaster Edward B. Sell to tell me that I was ready to test. I am glad I learned my lesson BEFORE my black belt test!
Sometimes students are so excited to get their next belt that they may ask the Instructor if they can test or if they are ready to test, even after a short amount of time! Proper Taekwondo protocol is that a student does not ask their Instructor about testing, but it is understood that when the student is ready, the Instructor will let them know.
Forms may look easy from a distance, but when you actually go to correctly perform them, your skill may not be at the level it needs to be. However, with hard work, patience, perseverance and trust in your Instructors, you will make it! Enjoy where you are and realize that you are working through more than just movements. Let’s face it; sometimes “life” gets in the way, too, making it challenging to enjoy the journey because it can get us off track. The important thing is that we “adapt and overcome”, which is the black belt motto!
Each belt level has time and grade between each belt. The higher up you go, the more time required between belts. Maybe you learn your new form quickly, but there is more to the journey than just learning the moves. Think about all of the other things that you’ve learned along the way thus far: patience, determination, focus, discipline, how to work through challenges, and self-control, just to name a few! What word would you add to the list?
Written by Master Lisa Twyman, 5th Degree Black Belt