White Belt is a symbol of courage, Black Belt is more than anything a symbol of discipline and experience.
-Kyoshi Thomas Clifford
It takes enormous courage to start something, specially as adults. We all dread the feeling of looking unskilled and clumsy , the fact that you are getting started in Martial arts does not make it any easier.
Students come our schools for different reasons:
– they tried the gym and either got bored or couldn’t follow through on their own and see working in a group as a way to stay motivated.
– learn to defend themselves, that is a scary one because it tells me somewhere in their life there is a real threat to their physical wellbeing.
– lifelong martial arts practitioners who want to learn more about the efficiency and effectiveness of a refined grappling martial art such as Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
Whatever the reason for getting started, overcoming the anxiety of starting something new and challenging as Martial Arts is always an initial barrier for beginner students.
Unfortunately many people associate Martial Arts with punching wooden boards, the bullies in Karate Kid or the UFC and MMA. So when a new student walks into one of our schools, our first goal is to show them how safe, fun and structured our program is.
Once students get started and build trust with the Instructors, that is when the magical ‘stuff’ happens. In fact most of our students get their families involved in our program.
But it all begins with the courage to take the first step.
This is why I firmly believe that a White Belt in any Martial Arts is an unmistakable symbol of Courage.
“Come to the edge.
We can’t. We’re afraid.
Come to the edge.
We can’t. We will fall!
Come to the edge.
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.”
-Guillaume Apollinaire, 1880-1918
Professor Ricardo Almeida