The raison d'être (the
purpose that justifies a thing's existence) for promotion is based
on the capability to lead. Often misleading questions, such as,
“How much money did you make?” On the contrary, the
only people who make money work in a “Mint” or are counterfeiters.
The correct question should state, “How much money did you
earn”? The same applies to “Making Rank”. Martial
arts supply manufacturers make rank by interweaving cotton or polyester
like materials together to form a belt. Instead, a karate-ka (karate
student) earns rank! A dictionary definition of “earn”
is, “To acquire or deserve as a result of effort or action”.
Conversely, a dictionary definition of “make” is, “To
bring into existence by shaping, modifying, or putting together
material; construct: make a dress; make a cake. In our system you
earn rank based on your leadership potential. Every Avenger karate-ka
needs to ascertain this systemic reality.
One of the major goals
of our Dantai (Guild) is to produce leaders who are worthy of emulation.
Avenger leadership training begins at the Yellowbelt rank. The Avengers
don’t wait until one earns a Blackbelt to start training leadership
skills. Instead, these important skills are infused in training
at the inception of earning the Yellowbelt. Always remember, that
learning process is a “listening and observation process,
and not a talking process”. Listen and observe intuitively!
Virtually all karate-ka aspire rank promotion. Hanshi Hawkins often
says, “Be careful for what you ask for because someday you
just might get it.” Leading by example is the cornerstone
of progressing through the ranks. If one expects promotion, then
anticipate the challenge of being a leader. Junior karate-ka should
look up to Avenger Blackbelt skills, confidence, and spirit to ignite
their vision to one day become an effective leader. If a Blackbelt
fails to persuade junior karate-ka to covet their standard or reputation,
then the Blackbelt is likely not setting a good example. Blackbelts
are supposed to be inspiring!