Tagged: black belt

Advanced Training

My instructor recently announced that the advanced Hapkido class I attend, originally for middle-high rank and above, would be black-belt only. No one is getting kicked out, of course. 🙂 The only colored belts in our 11-person class are just one...

Becoming Smoother: Second Dan Essay

I tested for my second degree black belt in Heukchookwan Hapkido on October 11, 2015 and presented this essay and illustration. The metaphor is not an original one, but I felt a personal, and maybe unique, connection to it because...

Starting Fresh

In October 2014 we left our martial arts school. It’s complicated. It’s painful. But I felt I had no other choice than to immediately evacuate. The leaving was hard. I wondered if I’d be able to continue on in Hapkido. Hapkido is...

I am already a black belt

I am already a black belt. I was a black belt the first time I donned the dobok. This blue di: the very small part I’ve chipped away metal memories sulfur pain customs like salt on my tongue encrustations Now...

You Are Needed

You are needed. Sometimes we can feel so different, that we feel we don’t belong.  We can feel that we’re not needed, that we’re a burden, that others must tolerate us without any benefit in return.  Sometimes we can get this...

Great Responsibility

As I was preparing to test for my black belt recommend1 I sought out insight from a few trusted friends and mentors who had already attained an advanced rank. One friend told me this on the topic of being perceived...

The Pressure to Be Better

Martial arts are hard. Along with being physically demanding (especially for someone like me, who might not be at their “peak” fitness) they can also be mentally demanding: true tests of body and mind. The pressure of it all can...