In any Martial Arts school, the most commonly asked question probably is, “How long does it take to get a Black Belt?” There is no universal answer to this question because different schools have different systems and expectations. The amount of time it takes for any given student to learn and apply the teachings probably has the greatest impact on the time frame needed to reach Black Belt level.
How do you obtain a Black Belt? You find a competent instructor and a good school, begin training, and work hard. It is not easy, but it’s worth it. It may take one year; it may take ten years; or you may never achieve it. When you come to realize that the Black Belt is not as important as the practice itself, you are probably approaching Black Belt level. When you realize that no matter how long or how hard you train, there is a lifetime of study and practice ahead of you, you are probably getting close to a Black Belt.
At Just For Kicks, the level of proficiency students are required to show to obtain a Black Belt is EXTREMELY HIGH. This is not limited solely to Martial Arts knowledge and technique, but all of the ‘lessons of life’ which are taught as well. This is due to Master John Venson’s demand of EXCELLENCE. Master Venson has a history of being among and involved with the ‘Best of the Best’.
From his days of belonging to the U.S. Marines ReCon (Elite Special Forces Unit), to his membership in the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States, Phi Beta Kappa, to his induction into The Trias International Society (composed of the many of the most elite martial artists in the World), to becoming a Senior Ranking Instructor at The Annual Shuri Ryu International Symposium for Black Belts from around the World, to his selection as “Man of The Decade” by The Professional Karate Commission in 2010, to achieving the title and status of Menkyo Kaiden in 2013, to his induction into the inaugural group of The PKC Elite Society in 2014, Mr. Venson leads by example towards achievement. His views on excellence, as were the views of his teacher and his father before him, are demonstrated in his teachings. Hanshi John Venson is widely recognized as one of the foremost instructors of martial arts academia and intelligentsia.
This is probably why ‘tears of joy’ are a standard part of every Black Belt promotion ceremony at Just For Kicks. The Venson family teaches all of their students what it means to be a Black Belt. Some of these lessons include training hard, being humble, not showing off, not complaining about any task, and doing your best in everything in your life. The instructors at Just For Kicks explain what students wear around their waist is simply a piece of merchandise purchased for a few dollars in a Martial Arts supply store, and that the real Black Belt, worn by a real Black Belt holder, is the White Belt of a beginner, turned Black by the the efforts and sweat of hard work.