Our school is more than just a studio to many of our students. It becomes a second home. Through all the hard work, hours of dedication, and camaraderie, Team Matthews ATA is a family.
No matter where our students go in their lives, our studio is somewhere they can call home.
One of our former students came back to visit a few months ago.
He shared this story with us:
“My mom is always bragging about how I have martial arts training to everyone she meets. But I noticed something…
Whenever she says I practiced Taekwondo, the person she’s talking to always says, ‘That’s amazing! What degree is he?’
She says, ‘Well, he’s a green belt.”
And the response is, ‘That’s great! So.. (change the subject)’
It seriously happens every time. I wish I stuck it out and got my black belt.”
“What degree are you?”
It’s the first question most people ask when they find out you have martial arts training. Not “What belt color are you?” or “How long have you been training?”
Just: “What degree are you?”
When people think about martial arts, they think about discipline, honor, and perseverance. They associate these qualities with the symbol of a black belt. They view a black belt as the end goal or finish line of martial arts training. So if you stop training before you achieve your black belt, it’s like your journey is incomplete.
Much like a runner in a marathon – He can train and prepare, but if he stops running at mile 8, can he really say he ran the race?
Each color belt level is a mile marker in the marathon. Some paths are easier, straighter, smoother. Some are longer and harder to push through. When the path gets harder and longer, that’s when perseverance will give you the extra drive to get to your black belt, your finish line. Perseverance is the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
And THAT is what people see when they look at you as a martial artist.