Sunday, July 07, 2013

Reflections on my black belt test

so this is it.  I passed my kadua guro 1st dan black belt instructor test in Kali Majapahit today.

It was a six hour test covering single/double sticks, knife vs empty hand and knife vs knife, kadena de mano (empty hands), single/double karambit, boxing and panantukan (Filipino kickboxing).  It ended with working techniques on 20 people in sequence using either empty hands or foam stick.  I'm exhausted.

There is much work to do from now, but I am comfortable with my result.  I have to improve on many, many things, but the test was an accurate reflection of where my skills are at this moment.

As a kalista, I am a product of two sources: my teachers and my students.  I am where I am, reaching this great achievement, thanks to you.

To my teachers, thank you for your patience and for believing in me.  We never know who will walk through our door on any given day, or what lies behind the next door we will walk through.  When I walked through that door on Yan Kit Road in Singapore, I knew my life was going to change forever; to take off in a new and exciting direction.  I knew I had found a driving force that would lead me to become better at everything in my life.  A million light bulbs turning on all at once.

Guro Fred, you reminded me how rich my life could be as a martial artist, and how the positive  energy could be such a source of power in every aspect of my life.  You have continued to inspire me with your drive and vision, and your remarkable way to get people to see the Truth of things.
Thank you for allowing me to set up and run our group as a kasama - thank you for never letting go.

Guro Lila, you have a smile that is pure sunshine, but your heart is a Mighty Dragon. Your own journey has taught me so much about how to live my journey, and your unwavering and relentless pursuit of perfection is the model I aspire to.  I am grateful for your kindness and for all you have shared with me.

Guro Ben, I am so glad you could be my partner for the test.  You are an amazing martial artist and athlete, as well as a savvy and creative businessman.  I hope I can raise my game the way you have raised yours.  Thank you for investing so much in me.

My other teachers, Guro Guillaume, Guro Robin, Guro Frederic, Guro David, Guro Seb, Guro Claes --- you have all taught me more than you know.  Each of you express our art uniquely and each of you have given me deeper perspective on how I need to be in order to be worthy enough to count myself among you.  I look forward to a very long journey together.

For my students, I am so proud of each and every one of you for your commitment to me and your commitment to Kali Majapahit.  In my darkest hours, our class was the only thing I had to look forward to.  You continue to challenge me to give my very best in every class - everything I know, so that you can do and be more.  You are great people and I could not wish for a better Kali Family.  My Fridays are always my best days thanks to you.

A black belt is not an end - it is the beginning of something new.  I am thrilled and excited to set forth on my next stage, and looking forward to sharing this path with you all. Thank you again for your constant support.

1 comment:

Xavier DUVAL said...

Hi John,

Very happy for you, congratulations, it's a well deserved recognition of your very hard work and great attitude.

If you are blessed to have such good teachers and students, I think they are blessed too to have a student and teacher so passionate about what he does and who always tried to do better. I am sure it is just one milestone on the way for you and wish you all the best for the next ones!