Patience and Endurance Through Hardship
Do you have Patience?
Patience is more than a virtue. It is a skill that gets better with practice. And endurance is more mental that you might believe.
This most recent Saturday we held a training clinic for all Brown Belts and Black Belts. This clinic was not exclusively for my own students but also for students of my students in the branch schools where they instruct. We did some physical training, discussed a lot of philosophy of training, and held a Belt Exam. At that exam several students were in attendance who had previously been unsuccessful in their previous attempts to achieve black belt and this was their opportunity for a “do-over” or re-test. On Saturday some were successful and some were not. Those few who didn’t make it will have another chance in the near future.
A key part of the exam on Saturday was the “high-brown” test that we hold every 6 months. If you are unfamiliar with that I will explain. Current brown belt students who are almost ready for black belt get one final step up in rank and are expected to commensurately increase their training intensity over the next few months. The high brown test is physically grueling to get through but a necessary evil for anyone interested in attaining the coveted Black Belt. For these last few months the “high brown belts” will be asked to train more often and with more of their heart. Also, they will be required to write a thesis paper on some particular topic that I assign. For this class of high brown belts their topic is the title of today’s blog. “Patience and Endurance Through Hardship”
One major take-away from Saturday that these high-brown candidates could look to is the fact that some of my students taking their “re-test” were again unsuccessful. This, after years of preparation. And, while there were some tears, there was a unanimous feeling of re-dedication and self-examination. What a fantastically uncommon trait in the midst of today’s societal move away from persevering through hard times. Another very interesting fact is that almost all of my higher level black belt instructors have had a “failure” sometime along the way. And, when that failure has happened, they have answered with a renewed intensity and strengthened resolve. That is probably whey they have attained the skill and rank that they enjoy.
One of my students typifies the qualities of Patience and Endurance maybe more than any other. And she has shown these qualities through all kinds of hardships for a very long time. At 71, Sharon Thornton (in the photo above) is a 3rd Degree Blackbelt, operates and instructs the largest branch school in my organization (Lyndell Institute), and has now been training with me for almost 27 years. In the last 4 days she has been to class under my instruction 3 times. How does she do it? That’s what I want my new high brown belt students to tell me.