Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Instructions for People Starting the Ultimate Black Belt Test

August 28, 2007, by team coach Tom Callos

Note: Some of the following instructions have been written, in one form or another, elsewhere, while some of this is all-new.

The UBBT and Your Role as a Teacher
As a member of the UBBT, you are not just a participant; you are a teacher to hundreds and probably thousands of other people. They are watching you on the website –and learning vicariously through your experience(s). A number of prominent martial arts teachers have told me that they read the UBBT’s journals first thing every morning. I’m going to guess that a lot of other people check them regularly too. So, remember, you are teaching –and there are things you do for other people’s sake when you’re a teacher, that you might not do if the process were only for yourself.

The point here is, to realize your role, and play it out as if we were making history.

The UBBT and Whining/Complaining
The UBBT is a no whining, no complaining zone. You just don’t do it. As a mature, accomplished black belt in the martial arts, you should know all too well the power one’s viewpoint holds in thought, attitude, and outcome. You don’t complain, you fix. You don’t gossip, you encourage. You don’t whine, you take action.
Most of all, you commit yourself to either having or developing an exceptional attitude about success, defeat, obstacles, people, and situations.

What happens to you is up to you. What you make of your test doesn’t belong in my hands –or in anyone’s hands –but your own. If you can’t embrace this notion with 1000% of your heart and soul, then don’t join the program until you can.

I welcome any and all conflict we have between us during this process, because when it surfaces, we will find out what is truly beneath our shells.

Passing the Test
In all likelihood, you will not earn new belt rank in the UBBT. If your participation is contingent upon earning a new level of rank, then it’s best not to be involved. To earn rank in this program you have to actually DO the agreed-upon curriculum –and you have to do it with style and something more, something that’s hard to pin down in words, but what I expect of an immensely resourceful, self-disciplined martial artist. People have earned new rank in the program, but many have not. Most people engage in the program because it speaks to them, not because they get to put a new stripe on their black belt.

Engaging with Your Fellow Testers
As a part of this team, know now, right up front, that you are expected to act (towards your fellow members) the way YOU would want your own students to act among themselves if they were testing for THEIR black belts under you.
Don’t be one of these selfish, self-centered, too busy to engage, every excuse under the sun, including “it’s hard for me”, kind of teammates who can’t seem to find the 10 minutes once-a-day to engage with people who are all supposed to be working towards THE ULTIMATE black belt test.
Act the way you would act if you knew that you were going to be teaching people all over the word WHAT TEAM IS ALL ABOUT.

Yes, I know it’s a lot to ask, but then, this is the UBBT. Begin with the end in mind.

The UBBT Journals
The journaling in the UBBT is meant to be a chronicle, a diary, of your journey. It’s not where you complain about your lack of commitment or enthusiasm, it’s where you teach and document your progress. If you suffer from low motivation, if you have “dirty laundry” you feel compelled to air, if you can’t think of something positive to say –well, you might want to picture the most spiritually evolved being you can imagine –and do what She would do.
However, you are who you are, and it’s a difficult thing to hide for very long. Journal what’s in your heart and on your mind, but JOURNAL once a week; it’s about self-discipline and doing what you committed yourself to doing. If you miss a journal, make it up.

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