Being a white belt…
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities.
In the expert’s mind there are few.” (Shunryu Suzuki – Zen Buddhist Monk)
Starting training in a martial art can be a confronting decision. Naturally we do not lightly undertake a physical pursuit which may challenge us mentally and spiritually as well. Our Sensei often says that as a new starter just to enter the dojo is an achievement to be celebrated.
If you ask any experienced martial artist they will look fondly back on their days as a white belt – “beginners mind” is a short had statement for the time when we began our martial arts journey.
The great thing is that beginners mind is available to us all – just by approaching each training session with a fresh perspective.
Here at Quantum we thought we would share our experience as a new student in the Northstar Ju Jitsu system….
“I remember my first session – I still have the tracksuit pants and singlet I was wearing on the day! I recall being excited and a little nervous about the experience.
I was partnered with a senior student and they explained the dojo protocols to me. They also assisted me in the workout. Then I had what was an awesome workout and I was sweating but having fun. I was hooked.
I think I probably resolved to achieve black belt in that first session!”
I remember my first class like it was…well, 13 years ago. It is hard to describe what I was feeling because it was cocktail of emotions. Nervous, excited, not wanting to feel embarrassed, wanting to prove I was half decent. But most of all, I really wanted to give it a go as I had put it off for too long, so now was the time to get started.
WOW! That was the only way I can describe it. It started off really, really, really fast paced with punches, kicks and calisthenics (did I mention “really”?). At one stage, I was gassed and wondering if I could go on. However, that “other side of me” kicked in and I told myself I just had to finish this. I had to find a way to fight through my fatigue and continue on, no matter what. 13 years on, I am still continuing on and loving it as much as that first class.
The last 30 minutes of class finished off with some great self defence moves, which I am still trying to master to this day. These were moves I had never experienced before. I was hooked.
I am also very appreciative of the instructors that helped me in my first class. Even 13 years on, I still train with many of the people I was in the class with on that day and consider them lifelong friends. It’s always enjoyable training with your mates.