The Belt Curriculum Curse

scott blackbelt

Belt Curriculum’s in the Martial Art world have been highly scrutinized as nothing more than a money making idea, allowing the Instructor to squeeze every dime out of their students.

Many believe the belt system derived from ancient times. When a Martial Artist trained, their clothing would become worn and dirty thus changing their color especially the cloth they used to tie around their waste. Color of the cloth signified how hard the individual was training. Supposedly the darker the color the more skilled the individual. Others suggest it started in the states under the Tae Kwon Do Art for tournament purposes. Both are debatable with no clear winner. However the purpose of this blog isn’t to try and figure out where exactly Belt Curriculum’s originated from but why they can hold some value, given taught and explained logically.

Sadly many schools have destroyed what I feel is the true reason behind Belt Curriculum’s. I cannot speak for every Style out there but for Dynamic Self Defense, our Belt Curriculum serves some unique and important purposes. Here are a few regarding our program.

The first thing to understand is the Belt of the student DOES NOT in any way state their skill level! I have discussed many times that skill solely lies in how hard you train and how much you train. By giving 100%  in every training regiment you do and making Self Defense a daily routine, can you ever hope to advance your skill level.

Second is the Belt of the student shows where they are in their training. Having a structured Belt Curriculum will help students be able to effectively learn at a pace comfortable for them. It makes no sense training someone an advanced drill when the key foundation of targeting, technique, footwork and awareness have not had an opportunity to develop. Classes would become a swirl of chaos, confusing and frustrating beginners as well as holding back advanced students ultimately wasting everyone’s time.

Third is the Belt holds a form of goal setting for the individual. Society today holds goal setting in just about everything we do from work projects to sports! Self Defense training is no different. Setting goals for a certain rank insures the student stay focused on the objective working hard to meet that set goal.

Lastly the Belt shows a sign of respect. Dynamic Self Defense teaches that respecting those of a higher level is a sign of discipline and humility recognizing what that student had to endure and work for in order to obtain said rank. As any student of mine can tell you, I don’t give belts away in my school. I do not hold nor condone”feel good sessions”. We are all about training you to be strong and focused in any situation and with that comes some hard training exercises, not just physical but mental as well. With that said any Belt achieved in Dynamic Self Defense is one that has been well earned.

I invite you to come in and experience a different, and maybe for you, a more beneficial way of training in Self Defense. A Belt Curriculum may not be what you had wanted but after observing what Dynamic Self Defense is all about, you might want to give it a try.

 

About Master Mulhollen

Master Mulhollen has studied martial arts for over 20 years. He was a Choi Kwang-Do instructor prior to Dynamic Self Defense. He holds a 4th degree Black Belt and is the Master Instructor at the New Albany Dynamic Self Defense School.

Speak Your Mind

*