Keep your ego in check. Don’t permit the beast of vanity create emotional openings. The humble warrior can see a fight for what it is. A warrior who believes his own rhetoric must constantly alter the fight to prove his own thoughts. Ego leads to delusion, which leads to defeat
Let the world be your teacher. The true master is always a true student. A student is a student until he becomes a master, then he is just a student.
Rank can lead to bloated ego. I’ve seen many great instructors allow their ego and position cloud their judgement. They often call others to be loyal to them without showing, or being loyal to their instructor. You can only expect from others what you do.
Rank means nothing really. Skill in the arts is more important than stripes on a belt. If you show “Black Belt” attitude in your efforts and endeavors, that demonstrates more “mastery” than someone who brags about their accomplishments does. The best martial artist I know all practice in the corner quietly, always seeking improvement over political maneuvering.
Your actions show your true abilities. The cloth on your body only signifies the responsibilities awarded to you by your instructor. Increased rank demands more humility because you have an increasing responsibility to pass on the art and give back to the community.
Humility and kindness are the greatest characteristics of a martial artist. Being kind to those who need it. Helping those in need. Anything to help your community is the goal of the martial artist. The most visible way to help the community is in the physical defense of your town. When that opportunity is not available, you help cleaning, washing, feeding and building. Give of yourself to your community.
You’ll reap the rewards in quite ways, meaningful ways. Letters from former students detailing how Kempo has changed their life for the better bring tears to my eyes. I want to help others feel good and desire to help others. Standing on a podium, proclaiming your fighting prowess will never produce the rewards a true warrior seeks.
Allow yourself to remove your rank and travel the world as a no belt.