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Belt blindness, when the quest for the next belt becomes more important than the martial art itself, is a common affliction among those training in martial arts like Krav Maga, Thai Kickboxing and  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ). Of course students can be proud of belts they have earned but it is important not to lose sight of the fact that you aren’t working toward your next belt rather, you are furthering your Martial Arts training and your commitment and work are acknowledged by belts. The differences may seem subtle but the effects can be significant.

In pursuit of the belt

Chances are most didn’t start with the sole goal of earning belts but at some point the martial arts journey became secondary to receiving a belt. Obsession over what belt they have, who ranks higher, how they compare to others, and how long to the next belt, took over. And this leads to the primary problem with belt blindness…

Worrying or agonizing over your belt changes your focus to others, where a martial arts journey is about you and the changes you’ve made. When you are frustrated with your coach for not bestowing the next belt or obsessive of the belts of your fellow students you are throwing your energy away on things you have no control over instead of focusing on your Martial Arts Training. You lose the opportunity to truly progress in your martial art and may even irritate yourself into quitting.

Belt levels generally require a demonstration of specific skills but martial arts progression isn’t simply about a checklist. It is a combination of skill growth, time, respect, attitude and commitment. When you pursue a belt instead of the art, your training becomes focused on the checklist not on your overall progress. Yes, the factors on the sheet are important but only working on what you think needs to be done for the belt can blind you to your personal progression opportunities.

In pursuit of a martial art

A martial arts journey requires patience, humility, and an openness to learning which are generally lacking in the pursuit of a belt. A martial artist will learn not only from drills but from experiences, making mistakes, and overcoming obstacles. When you do earn your next belt, it will be a personal representation of all the work you’ve done not simply the completion of a checklist.

Martial arts training can become an integral part of your life by providing any number of benefits like fitness, stress relief, increased confidence in and out of the Martial Arts School, or pride in meeting challenges. These benefits can be easily missed or dismissed if your focus is the next belt and not on your personal journey.

The day you earn a black belt in Krav Maga, Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ) may be the first time you truly appreciate the value of your belt because although your belt journey is done, your martial art journey is just beginning. The experiences that have brought you to the black belt have also taught you that you are never truly done, you are always a white belt, and there are always ways to grow and develop as a martial artist. Those that never move beyond the mindset of a belt quest are unlikely to ever earn a black belt, not because of a coach’s decision, but rather because a pursuit without a purpose isn’t worth pursuing.

When you pursue a martial art, each belt is a representation of your journey. When you pursue a belt you get a belt. Which path you choose is completely up to you.

Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts offers the most  functional and realistic self-defense and fitness programs in the North Shore area.

We offer Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ), Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Krav Maga and Children’s programs.

Visit Our Website! www.DWMMA.com

Don’t Wait!  Call TODAY to sign up for your FREE PRIVATE LESSON 978-745-8511 Dragon Within Mixed Martial Arts, Salem MA, provides the most realistic and practical self-defense programs for Massachusetts and North Shore Area including: Peabody MA, Salem MA, Beverly MA, Lynn MA, Marblehead MA, Danvers MA

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