Oct.12.18

Get That Black Belt Attitude


Having the Right Mindset at any Rank

bg-_Get_the_Black_Belt_Attitude.png

Your sister is annoying you.  You’ve door poorly on a math test.  You forgot to take out the recycling.  Now, you’re at Taekwondo and you have to do a difficult board break that you’ve never done before.

What’s an ATA student to do in the face of all of these challenges?  It’s like your instructor always tells you:  You have to have a black belt attitude!

            In Songahm Taekwondo, students learn character-building life skills such as respect and belief.  Practicing those life skills is easy when times are good—when your sister is fun to play with, your grades are good, and you’ve mastered that jump side kick.  But a black belt attitude is what you show even when the times are tough.

Master Adam O’Connor, a 6th Degree Black Belt and chief instructor of ATA Martial Arts in Bentonville, Ark. says, “Practicing those life skills all the time, even under pressure, and not just when someone is watching—that’s a black belt attitude.”  It’s something that can be difficult for kids and adults, so it’s important that we all find ways to keep it positive.

           

It’s a Choice

People with a black belt attitude are made, not born.  “You make conscious decisions every single day,” says O’Connor.  “We teach 4- and 5-year-olds how to make choices, but sometimes we forget that it’s just as important for adults.”  Teaching black belt attitude reminds all of us that our choices are important at every step—from whether we remember to take out the recycling to how hard we train for our next belt.  Our attitude at every moment determines our success today and the rest of our lives.

What are some choices that show a black belt attitude?  At school, you can make the choice to be a good friend.  “Stand up for someone who is being bullied,” says O’Connor.  “Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Tell your friends you appreciate them.”  Parents and adults—these same efforts can be made at work, too!

At home, when you’ve been asked to do something, “You can choose to do right away, and with a smile,” O’Connor says.  Even better, when you see something that needs to be done, you can do it without having to be asked.  Chores like doing dishes or putting away groceries impact everyone in the family so helping out shows that you care.

O’Connor encourages students to say “I love cleaning my room!” when their parents ask them to do it.  “It may freak your parents out,” he laughs, but it also shows that you have the power to choose how you feel about chores and tasks.  

 “Every job has tasks that you don’t want to do,” he says.  “Even in class, sometimes we like to do one thing but not another.  But if you approach it with the right black belt attitude, you’ll get good at it and it may become your favorite part of the workout.”

 

It’s Your “Best You”

Remember this, says 8th Degree Black Belt, Chief Master Daniel Jorgensen.  “You’ll never be Michael Phelps or Michael Jordan…You may just be better! But you don’t have to be anyone else to be successful.  What you can do is be the best you possible.

 Personal victory is a concept that Eternal Grand Master wished to pass along through ATA, and it is at the heart of black belt attitude, says Jorgensen.  “It’s all about personal responsibility.  Focus on you instead of the situation.”

A person with real black belt attitude knows that you can only control yourself; not other people.  So, if you’re not where you want to be, look inside yourself for answers.  “What can you do?” Jorgensen asks.  “Can you come to class more often?  Train harder?”  Outside of class, consider what you do differently.  For example, if you have a conflict with someone, instead of wishing the other person didn’t create problems for you, think about how you can change the way you react instead.

You may even get a great and unexpected result from taking responsibility for yourself.  “It may open the door for the other person to change, too,” says Joregensen.

 

It’s Extra Effort

“When water is 211 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s hot,” says Master Darin Prazer, 5th Degree Black Belt from Evans, Georgia.  “But when it gets to 212, it’s boiling.  It creates steam, which can power a locomotive.  Go that extra degree!” 

The Prazers (Master Prazer and wife, Gena) encourage their students to put their black belt attitude to work every day in their ATA school.  “In our experience, children will rise to the occasion.  They learn that they can choose not to give up.”  Outside of martial arts, this may result in better perseverance at school to get into that honors program.  It can also mean a stronger relationship as husband and wife.  “We want our students to face obstacles instead of shutting down,” says Mrs. Prazer. 

This ability to put in the extra effort is especially important when life gets challenging.  We all have a black belt attitude when things go our way, but the secret is to not let that go when things go differently than planned.  If you don’t pass this belt testing, you may be disappointed.  But use your black belt attitude to improve where you need to and let it push you to success. 

Here’s a tip:  If you have a black belt attitude, you can’t ever really be defeated.  If you fail, you will use it as a lesson to gain an experience.  Remember, it’s okay to mess up, but it’s not okay to give up.  That’s what having a black belt attitude is all about!

 


 

Author: Jennifer Lawler (edited by Jenny Wolff)

Back to Newsroom

Arm Yourself for Martial Arts

Happy Thanksgiving

The 2018 Fall Nationals Results Are In!

Buddy Up!

How To Build Endurance

Food for Thought

Honesty It Is Still the Best Policy

Watch Your Tech Etiquette

Get That Black Belt Attitude

Protein Prescription

Happy ATA Founder’s Month!

Find the JOY in YOU

Balance Yourself

9 Fast Facts About Presiding Grand Master Nominee G.K. Lee

Mind Your Manners

Train For Speed

Songahm Superfoods

Better Together

WE18 Results

Join the Journey

RESPECT

Proudly at Peace

A Worldly Experience

9 Hot and Healthy Summertime Habits

ATA Official Facebook Frames

History is Made by Four Songahm Legends

Presiding Grand Master Nomination Announcement

Break Like A Master

Laughter

Grand Master In Ho Lee Passes the Torch for the Future

Road Ready

Communication

Mind Body Spirit

Tournaments 101

Ready for Worlds!

All in the Mind

ATA Leadership and Life Skills Excellence

Packing a Punch

You Better Believe It!

How To: Improve Your Core Strength

Got Calcium?

The 2018 Spring Nationals Results Are In!

Ready for Routine

Carbs: The Good, The Bad, The Complex

How To: Master Your Test

Dynamite Discipline

Don't Forget!

How To: Crank Up Your Cardio

Snow Day

ATA Students Know: There’s Always More to Learn

The Masters' Council Presents: ATA Unity Workout

Spring Nationals Hotel Stay Giveaway!

How To: Create A Team Sparring Success Story

Urgent Tournament Bulletin: The ATA Tournament Standings have been updated!

9 Ways to Develop Self Control

How To: Master The Sword

As Natural as Breathing

Results are in!

Thank you, Veterans!

Rev Up Your Reading

How To: Get Your Kicks

Self-Esteem: The Leadership Life Skill that Starts Within You

Check out Marvel's Inhumans, starring one of ATA's own...

2017 Worlds Mid-Term & Rank Testing Results

The 2017 Spring Nationals Mid-Term & Rank Testing Results Are In!

One of ATA's very own is on the big screen!

"Utah Boy with Autism Wins World Title in Taekwondo: 'I Cannot Wait to See What the Future Holds for Him,' Says Mom" - People

"ATA Taekwondo championships return to Little Rock" - THV11

"ATA International To Locate Headquarters In Little Rock, Arkansas" - Area Development

"H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden" - Atlas Obsurca

News Release: ATA International breaks ground for new World Headquarters

Back To Top