A Note about the Black Belt Pre/Re-Certification Tests this past weekend. I am very proud of all of my students for your dedication and effort this weekend. It was a very long test. Some parts were easy, most parts were not. We all struggle with different aspects of our martial arts training…it’s as individual as we are, but the whole point of this type of test is to meet those difficulties head on, and test our abilities to rise above, and to change a weakness into a strength. I witnessed this in several individuals, and even convinced a few of you that you had it within yourself to overcome a perceived obstacle. Based on comments that were mentioned to me after, and on some of the posts I’ve seen on Facebook, many of you went through an amazing transformation of perception and confidence throughout this test. Nervousness came and went…and came back again; Focus was in and Out; Doubts turned into conviction; injuries which would normally cause someone to stop became merely something to work through; skills that were previously mediocre suddenly became outstanding. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have our share of imperfect stances, and laziness that need to be improved upon. Technique could still be sharper, stances lower, and Spirit higher…but then again, that is the point of the journey… and always remember that it is indeed a journey, constantly looking for ways to improve, get stronger and faster, and to make our skills better…it is not a destination. No matter what your rank, or your age, never stop working to better yourself.