In general it take about 8 to 10 years to get a black belt or black sash in Kung Fu. Of course everyone's journey to black belt is going to be different, it depends on how many classes you are attending per week, and how physically coordinated you were staring out.
Have you ever looked back on something that you accomplished and saw how much time it took? Did you wonder why it took so long before you reached it?
We have never had a student be promoted to a Kung Fu Black Belt in our ten years of being open as a martial arts studio.
Our expectations are not for the students to be masters at the styles, instead, we want them to know just some knowledge of the other arts and be well rounded.
At our school, the Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy, the actual belt "testing" is not really a test but rather it is a ceremony to promote the student.
The actual test is taken before the ceremony and most of the work is done in classes. We think of the belt test as more of a demonstration.
This way the student knows what to expect and they have gone through it in a "dry run" much times previously. It then becomes fun for the student taking the test. The belt test is a time to actually show family and friends all of the cool techniques they have been learning.
Every time a child takes a belt test they feel a little bit more confidence in their abilities. They are able to reaffirm their previous skills and also show how much they have improved from the last test. This kind of confidence-building is incremental but yet at the same time extremely powerful in building up self-esteem.
We have a saying in our school "If you train hard you get to be a little bit stronger and more skilled every day" Sometimes it is hard to see growth when the kids are improving just a tiny bit daily, but when they take their test they can really see how far they have actually come.
It takes tremendous amounts of work, learning, and dedication but I am now proud to say that I have three well-deserving black belt students. My daughter and wife are 2 out of the 3.
There is only one secret to achieving a Kung Fu Black Belt...dedication and commitment. Trying to learn even one style of martial arts takes a lot of time.
People sometimes get stuck. They stop progressing. They hit a wall and eventually lose the motivation to continue on in their journey
My daughter has been training since she was 4 years old. As soon as she could walk I had her doing basic coordination exercises and stretching. She grew up with martial arts in her life and so did my wife. I got them both into training with me and we eventually opened up our own studio in Las Vegas.
Why So Long?
So why did it take so long for them to become kung fu black belts? Kaitlyn and Renee were one belt down from black, brown, for 6 years. The answer is commitment.
Yes, they trained every day. They learned new things and their skills got better. But they didn't set a goal for themselves. It takes a mental decision, to test. Their internal dialog wasn't "I want this" They hit a wall and plateau in their training.
It was only when Kaitlyn came up to me and said Dad, "I made it my goal to get my black belt by the end of the year" where I started to see the changes. She broke through the wall and committed herself to improve and receive her kung fu black belt.
The Kung Fu Black Belt is a symbol of belonging to a very exclusive group of people
She trained every day and became dedicated to achieving her goal. Then it motivated my other two black belts to join her and push hard to get their belts together.
Dedication is simply never giving up. Dedication is the students who show up to class every day on time and are the last ones out of the studio. It means that you put your entire self into your training with passion, heart, and soul.
This is the true lesson that they learned. I watched all three of them set their goal then work hard and take the steps they needed to achieve it.
They learned what it means to be fully dedicated and committed to something. Then experienced what it feels like to finally reach what they have been working towards.