White Belt Over and Over Again

This year, 2020, marks my 40th year in the martial arts. For the first 15 years, I followed a pretty normal path in karate. My instructor told us right from the beginning that only one in 1000 people would actually make black belt. We studied relentlessly and didn't digress from our very traditional program. There were no children and I was the only female.

In the early years it was all about blocks, strikes, kicks, sparring and some kata. Then a strange thing happened. Our 3rd degree black belt head instructor started studying the sword art of kendo in his free time, as a new white belt. Shortly after that, there were weapons katas being introduced to our karate system.


About five years after that, our head instructor, now a 4th degree black belt head in karate and a 1st degree black belt head in kendo, started training in judo. Again, he voluntarily became a new white belt. It wasn't long after that, when our advanced rank students were becoming extremely skilled in self-defense, that that was also added to our curriculum and our testing.

Again, about five years later, our head instructor, a 5th degree black belt head in karate, 2nd degree in kendo and a 1st degree black belt head in judo, started training in jujitsu. The story goes on as expected. Our karate program benefited from his experience in jujitsu as well. We were all doing pins, hold downs and joint manipulation as part of our self-defense requirements.

I have yet to see how his latest adventure as a white belt – this time in iaido – will benefit us, but if I've learned anything in all these years, it's that cross-training in other arts has always improved my development in my primary art. This is a total reversal of how we began. In our early years in karate, we all thought it was the one true art. We scoffed at people who promoted more than one art in their school. Now we have learned that by offering all the different arts in one martial arts school, we are able to retain our black belt students longer.

They enjoy the opportunity to put on a white belt, over and over, to rediscover that passion for the martial arts that we all have when we first begin.

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The UFC returned to American network television for the first time in more than two years Saturday on ABC while former featherweight champion Max Holloway returned to his winning ways following two straight losses, earning a unanimous decision over Calvin Kattar in Abu Dhabi. Holloway showed he still has plenty left as a fighter dominating Kattar from the opening bell of the main event with a mix of punches and low kicks.

It appeared as if the former champion might stop his opponent in the fourth round landing a series of vicious body blows followed by hard elbows to the head as a bloodied Kattar sagged against the fence. But Kattar somehow survived managing to keep himself upright through the fifth stanza as well, only to lose a lopsided decision. After dropping his title to Alexander Volkanovski and then losing a controversial rematch, Holloway may have put himself in position for one more crack at the championship following Saturday's impressive performance.

The Legendary Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame has never before been documented in a single location. Now, you can learn about all the icons that have achieved one of the greatest honors in all of martial arts.

Black Belt Magazine is proud to announce the NEW Member Profiles feature for the Hall of Fame. At the time of this article, the online records account for every inductee from the inaugural year of 1968 all the way through 1990 (upwards of 200 martial artists). The page will be updated continuously and will include every inductee through 2020 in the near future. For now, you can enjoy images and facts about the legendary members for each induction they received before 1991. Take advantage of this never-before-seen opportunity to learn about many of the martial artists who contributed to the lifestyle, culture, and community that every martial artist experiences today.

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When it comes to grappling arts most people have heard of Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, and Sumo. The dynamic art of Shuaijiao, though it is not as well known as the others, should be.

What is Shuaijiao?

Shuaijiao (also spelled Shuai-Chiao) is a Chinese martial art that is approximately four thousand years old. Shuaijiao was born in a time of warfare long ago when to fall on the battlefield meant likely to never get up, and in that spirit, the curriculum of Shuaijiao focuses on throwing in a variety of ways. It is a standup grappling style, meaning that although there are hip throws, leg sweeps, and hand techniques, like many other arts, there is no ground grappling. The goal of Shuaijiao is to end up in a dominant position standing.

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ONE Championship's first event of 2021 is on the horizon as the company returns to the Singapore Indoor Stadium for ONE: Unbreakable on January 22.

In the main event, bantamweight kickboxer Capitan Petchyindee Academy challenges ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Alaverdi "Babyface Killer" Ramazanov for his crown.

The Thai challenger has a chip on his shoulder for this contest. Capitan mentioned that he wants to prove all of his doubters wrong with a title-winning performance on Friday in a video detailing the matchup.

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