It is not unusual for new students to tell me that their goal is to earn their black belts. Often they are very excited about the idea of being a black belt. However, sometimes they are far less excited about being a white belt.
Once in a while, a student asks me, on his first day of class, if he could just "skip all that stuff" (meaning, learning the basics) and go right to sparring the other students. Then I point out the importance of learning incrementally. First, he needs to learn how to stand, to make a proper fist, then how to punch and block, etc. Sometimes I will remind that student that, as a baby, he learned a progression of skills that led him from crawling to standing to walking to running.
Sometimes it's hard not to despise the small beginnings. We want to rush past the beginner stage. Sometimes we want to skip it entirely. Who wants to crawl when they would rather be running?
Seasoned black belts recognize the value of beginning small. Sometimes they will train in another art entirely, just so they can recapture what is called "beginner's mind". The martial arts are full of sayings about emptying one's cup so that it might be filled. No matter how long we have trained, we still work on the basics that we learned as white belts. Sometimes it is not until we've trained for years, even decades, that we realize how valuable and rich, how essential, those basics are.
Today, resolve not to despise small beginnings. Instead, celebrate them. Take your first steps, no matter how small, to becoming a better person, a healthier person, in 2009. Don't be afraid to start small. Everyone is a beginner sometime.
One important step you can take is to enroll in our beginner course. Call 805-931-0683 to sign up. It may seem like a small beginning, but it's an extremely valuable one, and one you will continue to find worthwhile for years to come. Get started today.