One begins or takes up a Martial as a White Belt. With
training one progresses through a succession of belts
graded into certain colours.
If you were to lay all of these belts out in a row and
view them in black and white (like on an old colour
telly with failing colour) the belts would be seen to
go through all of the correct shades of gray - in eight
graduations - from white to black.
WHITE YELLOW ORANGE RED GREEN BLUE BROWN BLACK
Yin and Yang can be seen as a Rainbow, with colours
that meet at an infinity far beyond our possible perception.
Infer Red - Ultra Violet
What we 'see' is little more than a narrow band in the
Therefore, this narrow band represents infinity as
we can comprehend it well enough.
No point in trying to comprehend a thing that is, by
definition, indefinable and incomprehensible.
belts awarded in martial art might also represent stages
of 'character growth' of all diligent Budoka.
This above all other is the purpose of martial art training:
Oft in Tai Chi a net result of this is grace (see picture),
serenity and humor (ditto).
That is not the point, they are by-product, that's all.
100% Extra Free !!! Wu Wei.
One begins martial art training as a White Belt. In
the relative scale of Yin Yang (the absolute scale is
incomprehensible) this can be equated with White, Hot,
Bright, Upwards and Outward.
This might be the character of a person when he or she
takes up martial art:
Tempestuous, Impulsive, very Apparent and Loud maybe?
Through the shades of gray the diligent Budoka 'cool'
in character and moderate (have control) of their behavior.
A Black Belt should be modest and inconspicuous. Not
too loud, not too quiet. Just there, doing what is expected.
The Blackest White Belt.
It takes a long to to 'get' a Black Belt.
Just the other day a student (Steve [another story]
the Suit) required a quick answer to a question:
"What does a Black belt do that is different from
other Grades" ?
I replied: "He is ready to take Responsibility".
A Black Belt to me means that a person is ready to commence
serious study and practice
- including teaching or instructing.
A Black Belt Budoka in some of the arts may have the
ability to take away human life.
He or She should seek to acquire the ability to give
life in equal measure.
The Budoka that takes responsibility accepts that honor
with good character and fortitude.
A Black Belt Budoka is ready to begin Giving (or Giving
The journey to Black Belt is simply a trip to the Start
There is no Finish Line beyond that one that we can
perceive. That one is called "Death".
It takes a long time to get a Black Belt.
Q. How long is it kept? A. Forever.
A diligent Black Belt Budoka wear their Black Belt as
often as they take responsibility.
The sooner they get it, the longer they wear it.
A Black Belt Budoka should, with fortitude and character,
take responsibility for every one of their actions and
"behave in private as if in public; and behave
in public as if in private.
Being A Black Belt Budoka is A Responsibility.
This attitude - in Classic Budo - is not excessive.
It is a simple 'everyday' and 'family' code. It is a
The Warrior Way is less comprising with a personal moral
of even greater severity.
That is A Way, but even at it's soars Tai Chi is not
a Warrior Way. And it is not the time or place.
There is a time for growth and a time for decay.
Given time, even this 'precious' Black Belt begins to
decay or fade.
The longer it is possessed the more it fades until eventually,
it becomes white again.
And then ... further decay into nonexistence ... as
we perceive it.
... like a candle "going out".
There is a Time and a Place for Everything.
There are No Secrets.
is a line in "Southpark" (American
TV cult cartoon series) :
"There is a time and a place for everything
... and that's College! "
What does Mister Hand mean?
There is a time for growth, and there is a time for
There is a place for growth, and there is a place
There is no Beginning or End, apart from the incomprehensible
We should attempt to comprehend what we can, where
My Tai Chi teacher Ray, teaches also self defense
for kids and adults.
As far as I understand he does not teach Tai Chi to
those under 18 years of age.
If Tai Chi teacher does his/her job well, the
Yin aspects of the character of the Budoka will increase
Yin is Downwards and Inwards, Quiet and Subdued. College
is neither the time or place for this!
But yet again, even all of this is only what we
can perceive from here and now. It is actually the
case that what these kids find out when they grow
up is that the "self defense" that they
learnt all those years ago actually really was Tai
Chi! The only difference was that they were painting
with a different palette; they were doing it fast
and now they are doing it slower. The Volume has been
turned down! Like the waning of the Winter Moon ...
It is still there. You may not see it, but it's still
Postscript to Yin Yang Journal One and Two:
I have no authority and do not engage myself in the
awarding of belts of any description or colour.
I personally decline to instruct in (the physical -
I am happy to 'talk about it' with anyone) Tai Chi to
those under 16; and Tai Chi is all that I 'instruct'
in. I have tried and I have failed. Anyway, it is pointless.
However, being the nature that I am I must say that
I derive most pleasure myself from instructing and practicing
Tai Chi with those about 18 - 28. Just right for me!
Perhaps this reflects my palette;
where I am in the comprehensible scale.
Confucius did not begin his study of the I Ching
till after his eightieth year had passed, believing
that until then his acclimate wisdom would be insufficient.
The statement "in private as if public"
is also attribute to him.
John Lennon's last record released before his death
was called "Starting Over".
This entry journal 2: 01.01.01.
Related (inspirational) material within:
An Affectionate Word "Finger"