Martial Arts Lessons at a Dojo near, Holland, OH

(Either location is only minutes away.)
 

 

Two SECRET martial art white lies.

Have you ever heard the story of the person that is so good at martial arts that he had to have his hands registered?

It's been repeated so many times that most people just believe it to be true. But ask any law enforcement officer on any level; local, state, federal - heck ask someone associated with the CIA even ; "Where exactly are those records kept? No one has any idea! The story of the registered hands is just a fable, usually made up to build the reputation of the person who tells it.

The truth is, like all legends there is some truth behind the "registered hands" white lie. The reality is that decades ago in Japan, when the Japanese associations were trying desperately to change the reputation of karate, judo, Jiu-Jitsu and other arts. from one of violence to one of an art form many dojo's did implement a registration system. However, the registration system in Japan was for a completely different purpose than what people here in the West employ when they tell the yarn.

In Japan, the black belt was required to register with local law enforcement NOT because of how good they were - but because the dojo wanted desperately to maintain their reputation. The registration process occurred because IF martial artist was involved in a crime, the organization wanted a quick way to expel the bad apple student from the school! The entire purpose was to protect the school's reputation, and had nothing to do with the "lethal skill" of the student. In Japan, registering hands was used more like a drivers license or a student ID - to discover those who might have a criminal record and PREVENT them from getting marital arts instruction!

The "registering hands" story is not the only yarn we tell ourselves about the martial arts. I think the biggest white lie being told today is the fable about "Black Belt". 

The black belt falsehood goes something like this. "The Black Belt is only a beginner who has their basics." Like all legends this misunderstanding came from a series of true quote from a true and real Karate masters; but here in the West, again the MEANING of the quote has been vastly changed.

At our dojo the above statement about black belt is simply not true. A black belt in our dojo requires a minimum of ten years of hard and consistent practice (for most almost daily). A person who is promoted to black sash with us is in phenomenal shape, can meditate for hours without moving, and can truly defend themselves - even against someone much larger. Further, we do not promote children to black belt. 

The vast majority of styles (with the single and deeply respected exception of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - BJJ) simply no longer require a strict and high standard for black belt. How did we get into the current situation where there are hundreds of Americans who really aren't very good at their art, but are all wearing a black belt?

The idea of the easy "black belt" all comes down to another simple fable. A simple little story told over and over again, misinterpreted, and finally twisted to meet the financial goals of school owners and the ego of the student.

Here's the way the story goes: A great martial artist - after many years and thousands of hours of the most difficult and unimaginable training possible, is awarded by his teacher the prestigious rank of Black Belt. Overwhelmed with gratitude and joy, recognizing that this was his lies greatest accomplishment and that his art was to be his way of his life forever, says:

"I recognize on this day that to me, black belt is only a beginning - the art has such sublime depth and power that these last twenty years only have allowed me to scratch the surface of the training, today I recognize that I am merely a beginner."

So how is the story translated here in the West? Easy: Black Belt is for beginners! (I know it's ludicrous; but that's how it is in most commercial dojo's in the United States). 

We recognize that a good many people do want the "easy" black belt. But our school is not founded on making any belt easy. The majority of students that come to us are not necessarily interested in belts at all - they want to develop themselves mentally and physically, and they want to be the best that they can be. For the few that do reach the rank of Black they know that they did not get the easy belt - they got the HARD one; the one that allows them to join a special fraternity - not with the average kids Karate school - but with those that gave there lives to the arts over the centuries.

If a student never becomes a black belt; we are fine with that - black belt isn't, nor SHOULD it be for everyone. But we do hope that everyone that joins our program will leave us in better shape, know better how to defend themselves - and have more self-control in their life.

Are we right for you or your family?

If you are interested in getting an easy black belt (or wearing your old one from some other place) we are probably not right for you. However, if you believe that there is something important about the conditioning, the skills, and the mindfulness that real martial arts develops I hope you will keep our dojo on your short list of places to visit.

Look over our site to get all the information you need - also feel free to call us at 419-385-1000 if you have any questions. You are more than welcome to set up a time to pay us a visit and watch our class in person. 

Serving the following Holland, Ohio zip codes: 43528