Getting to Gu-geup and Beyond


All lead to the black belt

 Practicing altruism is the real source of compromise and cooperation; merely recognizing our need for harmony is not enough. – Dalia Lama Blog post 6/26/10       



At my martial arts school, practitioners – after a trial period with no belt – begin as a white belt (or “within the tenth geup”) and work through ten color belts toward first geup (brown belt, two stripes). After that you become dan, or officially working towards the black belt.   You see, you never fully become a black belt – it is a constant state of “becoming”…    

Each geup requires learning a kata or form, sometimes several. These forms teach techniques and skills. We are required to perform all previously learned katas and patterns (simple fighting techniques) during promotion testing. The constant practice makes us better martial artists.         

First forms are foundational, basic, and because they are practiced so much, easily remembered. This is why I begin with “give to get” – practicing this kata early and often is critical for later success.         

White Belt Form “Give to Get”          

Clear your mind; be of the moment         

Approach ethically with a clear intent to provide value         

Be transparent in all your dealings; be mindful of what you need but do not forget the other         

Balance your goal setting; meet all parties’ needs and objectives, as well as your own         

Listen, share, ask; give each party the opportunity to play their part         

Return to balance – use a decision process that gives stakeholders equal say in the conversation/plan/outcome         

Practice accountability; do what you say you will do         

Offer; provide value with each offer         

Accept offers       

Wait, reflect         

Return to ready stance.


About prdmkgblackbelt

UConn MBA - GO Lady Huskies! UGA Mom, quasi geek, techno-catalyst, NPDP, PrdMktg, reads Campbell & Covey, black belt from Hoshido. Loves sunrises; believes sunsets are promises.
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