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Houston Martial Arts – The Black Belt Mindset

Houston Martial Arts Professor Travis Tooke

Houston Martial Arts Professor Travis Tooke and Tom Dinklage

Houston Martial Arts Training Tips

The Black Belt Mindset
Written by Travis Tooke on February 4, 2011

Houston Martial Arts Professor Travis Tooke

Discusses the training approach he teaches at his Houston Martial Arts facilities.

Professor Travis awarded Tom Dinklage his Black Belt. Tom Dinklage received his BJJ Black Belt in Professor Travis Tooke’s Houston Martial Arts Program.

Professor Travis has been involved in Houston Martial Arts his entire life. With all the recent Belt promotions and MMA Essentials graduates it makes sense that we end this months Newsletter with a discussion about what a belt really means…especially a Black Belt.

Every stripe we get on our belt, every new color and every new promotion is just another step forward in our journey to becoming a Black Belt. And even then, you are just getting started. Martial Arts training is a life long journey that never reaches a final destination, only a higher understanding of the arts and of life itself. A quote by the famous Bruce Lee really drives this point home. Lee said “martial artists should be constantly involved in a process of research that never crystallizes its findings into a finished product”.

I believe that this same philosophy can be used in our everyday lives. Now, I’m not trying to impose any belief system onto anyone, only suggesting that we keep an ongoing open mind with both Martial Arts and life so that we can come to a better understanding of both.

If you ever believe that you have, pretty much, got it all figured out in Martial Arts, that’s when you will start to decline as a Martial Artist. I struggled with this briefly as a Purple Belt. I felt that I was really good and that I really had Jiu-jitsu figured out. It wasn’t until I went to Brazil that I realized how little I actually knew. I still feel that I’m just getting started and I appreciate that now, more than ever. After all, a Black Belt is just another step forward.

The Black Belt Mindset is one of constant and continuous improvement. Whether you are on the verge of receiving you Black Belt or you just got your very first white belt stripe, you must always be working to improve both as a Martial Artist and as a person. You must strive to help others along with helping yourself. You must give back as much as you take. And, you must accept total responsibility for your success.

You must develop a Black Belt mindset, even as a white belt.

A Black Belt does not blame others for his/her problems. A Black Belt searches for a solution.

A Black Belt does not give up when times get tough. Remember, a Black belt is just a white belt that never quit.

The Black Belt who can kick everyone’s butt on the mat but lacks respect, honor and integrity for his fellow man is NOT a true Black Belt.

Strive to develop the mindset of a Black Belt. Regardless of which style you practice or what your current rank is, embrace the Black Belt mindset and you will be met with success in all areas.

Keep up the hard work team! See you all in class. Please come visit our school if you are interested in an outstanding Houston Martial Arts training program.

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