Kyoshi walked into a black belt candidate class one day carrying two belts. One was a brand new Black Belt and the other a very old, faded, and falling apart Black Belt. He looked at the class by holding up the new Black Belt.
In the dojo full of 30 people, he asked. "Who would like this new Black Belt?"
All hands went up. He then said, "I am going to give this to one of you one day, but first, let me do this."
He proceeded to twist and fold it and even slammed it on the floor. Then, picking it up, asked. "Who still wants it?"
Hands were up in the air.
"Well," he replied, "what if I do this?" He took the class outside into then dropped the belt on the ground and started to grind it into the pavement. He then found a puddle of water and soaked the belt in it. Then dragged it through the mud. Picking it up, now wet, damaged and dirty. "Who still wants it?"
Still the hands went into the air.
He brought the group back into the dojo and then held up the old, faded, falling apart Black Belt and asked, “What about this old thing?” “Its very old, about 35 years old, it is fading so much it is hardly black any more, in fact if you get close enough it has an odour?”
Hands went into the air even faster than before.
"You see, everyone, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the new Black Belt, you still wanted it because of what it means to you… It has a strong value to you. And you know even more what has gone into the faded Black Belt.
But they are both still Black Belts.
As Martial Artists, there will be many times, in our lives, we are dropped, slammed, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make, the circumstances and challenges that come our way.
As Martial Artists, there nay be times we feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.
As a Martial Artists, you should understand that dirty or clean, shredded or neatly folded, you are still valuable.
With continuous persistence and daily Martial Arts training you can overcome all obstacles you can accomplish and achieve many great things.