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Promotion to Black Belt 2

See Promotion to Black Belt.

Another thing we say about black belt promotion is that in order to advance to the next level, a student should bring another student up to his level. For example, before advancing to nidan (2nd degree black belt), a student should bring another student up to the shodan level (1st degree black belt).

The idea that progress is not a solitary thing. Students are interconnected and constantly helping one another.

Training for yourself alone is very selfish. In the beginning, students are in the position of learning new things. The student receives the art. But as he advances, he is able to assist and teach newer students. While still receiving the art, the student also shares it. The more advanced the student becomes, the more the emphasis is on sharing the art with juniors.

Good students are always thinking about others. I especially admire students who decide to "adopt" a junior student and work on them. In our style, awakening the student's koshi and helping him to develop koshi dynamics is a key step. We are constantly trying to coax the student's koshi. When it happens, we feel like having a party!

In the process of helping our juniors, we also learn more about our own techniques and teaching methods. By teaching, we learn.

As we bring up others, we advance.


Charles C. Goodin