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Offered by: Willy Strohmeier – Colorado Karate Club

Every so often someone walks up to me and asks, “Hey Sensei, how long does it take to get a black belt?” Tongue in cheek I reply, “with my Amazon Prime, if I order within 45 minutes, probably by Wednesday before 8 pm.” Then I follow it up by: “Now, BECOMING a black belt, takes much longer, somewhere between 5 to 8 years of consistent training…”

I joke like that because I want my students to realize that in order to achieve more, they must become more. Whether it is in Karate, at school, home, or work (or almost anything else that matters), to get to the next level, there must be that personal growth.

On the other hand, we all know there are some folks out there always looking for a shortcut in life, and whenever someone mentions something about some shortcut, I greatly discourage it. You may get to your goal sooner or easier, but in the long run, it will come back to bite you in the rear, simply because you failed to first become the person that was needed to fill those shoes.

It seems to me that this is one of the reasons why many lottery winners are broke again within a few years from their “lucky break.” they never grew (as a person) into their fortune. So, they find themselves, suddenly rich, but with a poor person’s mentality.

Jim Rohn puts it this way when he talks about reaching and growing toward your goals: “Whatever good things we build, end up building us.” Success then, is a constant process of growth and achievement, of achievement and growth. In Karate, for example, students will work for years, developing not only their technique, but in the process, exercising perseverance, self control, discipline, courtesy, and much more. Through that rewarding journey, he or she will become, and earn, a black belt; and from there, will again renew the process of further growth, perfecting their art, and themselves.

But whether you are a martial artist or not, when you set your goals for the next few weeks, months, and years, remember to ask yourself: “In order to have, be, earn, or do, who must I first become… Today, in six months, and in five years?” Now let’s get started!

Willy Strohmeier – Sensei

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Colorado Karate Club