The New Year always brings resolutions, plans and hopes for a more productive year. But what does a New Year mean for a black belt, or any dedicated martial artist?
You can make plans, set goals and strategize for your upcoming year as a martial artist; you may even want to plan your tournaments, testings and events for the year. You can look ahead to another productive, challenging and rewarding year of training.
However, the true answer is that being a black belt is a year round, month to month, day to day journey that is not affected by a holiday or the beginning of a new year. Being a true black belt is a lifestyle that becomes part of your identity. Even if your career, health, schooling or injury interferes with your training, you carry the principles of your black belt training with you. The lessons you've learned on the mats will endure through these challenges; hold tight to your perseverance, integrity and self-control. And most importantly, get on the mats as often as you can.
Being a black belt doesn't cease or restart depending on the time of year. It doesn't end after a season or when you reach a certain age or belt. And remember, throughout the new year, your instructors are always here for you.