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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts

Training And Testing For Your Black Belt

Training And Testing For Your Black Belt

Posted: August 06, 2019

Dear Future Black Belt,   


I trust this blog finds you well.

Perhaps your are very close to accomplishing a goal that you set for yourself several years ago.

Maybe your Black Belt Test is right around the corner. 

If not, pay close attention, because time moves quickly.

You have heard it said many times...

Your self-confidence is the result of your self-control. 

You build your self-control by setting and achieving goals, making and keeping promises, accepting commitments and honoring them.   

The Martial Arts provides you with an enormous number of goals to set and achieve.

Apply this to your life, and you will be very fulfilled.   

Ignore it, and you are destined for a life of mediocrity.

You have certainly overcome many obstacles to get where you are in your training. 

The value that you place on your Black Belt is in direct proportion to what you have sacrificed to earn it.

I would like to suggest a few things to help you get the most out this exciting period in your training.  


1. Give as much attention to your flexibility as you can.

It is the attribute that is going to allow you to train and stay healthy and fit. 

We tend to appreciate our flexibility after we lose it.

Do not make this mistake.

You do want to be able to throw amazing kicks for your entire life, right? 


2. Get the most out of the 3 mile run.

It is a great way to make cardio training a life long ritual. 

I use the word, ritual, rather than habit, because you have to consciously and conscientiously build it into your life.

If it is easy to stop doing, it does not qualify as a habit. 

Rituals are what we call important things that we should do, but often do not.

Habits are the things we should stop doing. 

The run should not be looked at as something that you "will" your way through.

Do not wake up the day of the final run and muscle your way around the track. 

You should get started doing a little each day.

If you do this, the 3 miles will be a breeze. 

You may decide to switch to cardio machines like treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, etc., in the future. 

The important thing is making cardio-pulmonary vascular exercise part of your Martial Arts lifestyle.

You should pass this information along to others. 

I bet they will listen to you, if you’re actually doing it.


3. Do your best to perfect all the Kata that you have learned.

Take a closer look at every detail of each Form, and how you practice them. 

Observe your classmates and try to overcome "trouble spots" that have a tendency to "lock in" if not aggressively eliminated. 

Your skill in Kata will serve you well as a Black Belt - and for as long as you continue to practice.

It is a key training method.

Give it the attention it needs, and the give the importance that you deserve.


4. Take every class today, as if you were going to teach the same class tomorrow.

You will get a lot more from your training if you approach it with the goal of becoming an instructor. 

You will be far more attentive to details and nuances that can easily be missed.

Your eyes and ears will double their intake. 

I encourage you to teach someone who cannot attend classes at the Dojo.

Chances are, you will do most of the learning. 

That is the nature of leadership.

I look forward to seeing you and your family in class at the Dojo! 



Thomas Clifford 


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