Understanding Young Child Black Belts

This Blog goes out to all those that bash Martial Art School Owners for allowing children the right to obtain a Black Belt. -Master M.

young white beltsAll to often you see many people attack School Owners for having young children in their programs let alone hold the rank of Black Belt as if it somehow demeans the curriculum or rank. While I am unable to speak for every school out there, I can speak for Dynamic Self Defense in hopes people will have a better understanding when meeting a child Black Belt.

What many people seem to not understand is that the rank of Black Belt is not what they picture in films and fantasy but goes deeper within. For some reason the common observer thinks every Black Belt is a highly skilled practitioner, able to take on a legion of fighters without breaking a sweat, making no mistakes! Keep in mind the rank of the student by no means determines how SKILLED they are regardless if its a Black Belt or other level of rank. How much they train and take what they are being taught seriously determines that!

The road to Black Belt requires a certain responsibility of the student regardless of age allowing them to test to the next level which allows them to take that next step to the goal. At Dynamic Self Defense when it comes to students testing, students are tested on the knowledge of what was taught to them, making sure they understand and are able to demonstrate what was taught. We do not test their skill because people have different strengths and weaknesses, so to compare one to the other in itself is futile. I will point out however that we do require each belt to perform to the best of their ability! In children that in itself can be challenging at times especially if they would rather be doing something else.

Yes we teach and test young ones (age 6 and up to be exact) because,while having a certain belt is a good way of setting goals for them, Self Defense is the main goal and young children are susceptible to being bullied just like teenagers and adults.

We have mentioned in previous blogs discussing our training methods and philosophies talking about the rigorous demands we hold on students providing the closest real life scenarios we can. These drills can become emotionally overwhelming at times and students do tend to struggle with it.

In fact its the younger ones who struggle the most in class! The curriculum is intense and detailed which can be difficult to understand when you’re 6, 7 even 8 years of age. Adults understand what they are getting into and what lies ahead of them in order to obtain a Black Belt. It takes the dazzle of  the cool looking maneuvers and techniques to wear off for children to truly see what is in store for them to obtain such a goal and for those that do see it through to Black Belt, deserve recognition!

Here at Dynamic Self Defense we are proud of our child Black Belts!  It not only shows their ability to see something through to the end but also the kind of character they have. A character not to many people possess.

Think before you pass judgement on the next child Black Belt you see. Try and imagine what sacrifices that young student had to give up, the many bruises and possible injuries they acquired while  training, the many times they could of quit yet stuck with it pushing through. Hopefully you will have a new found respect for that young Black Belt hoping some of what they have will rub off on those that need it!

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.

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