The Journey to Black Belt

Journey to Black Belt is like Driving the Road to Hana

Journey to Black Belt is like Driving the Road to Hana (source:

Training in Taekwondo is akin to taking the road to Hana (a small town on the Maui island of Hawaii).  Here’s why.

Relatively speaking, driving from the airport in Maui to Hana is a long drive.  The road is long, winding, has ups and downs, and has many great sights. Reaching black belt also takes time.  As you train, you will encounter a few twists, ups and downs, and some great experiences–pretty much like the road to Hana.  It will take time, but you will eventually get there–that is if you persist and commit.

The twists, ups and downs in  your pursuit to reach black belt are the occasional failures to get a curriculum tip for your belt.  This can get frustrating when you have tried once, twice, or even three times.  But if you apply the tenets of Taekwondo as our instructors have explained and taught, you will find that you can get over this hurdle.  When you finally get that tip, you will experience great joy in your accomplishment.  These feelings of great joy in achieving something is analogous to seeing the beautiful sights that you pass on the way to Hana.

Over the course of time, you will go through several promotion tests, and you will mostly pass them; but sometimes you may not.  In this case you must muster your inner strength to get over this, and after a month, retest in the area  you failed to pass.  It will take some practice and focus, but if you persist, you will get over this challenge.  When you do, you will again feel that great satisfaction of accomplishment!  Like the many great sights on the road to Hana, you will experience many accomplishments on your journey to black belt.

In your journey to black belt, you aren’t alone.  Your parents, grand parents, relatives, friends, and peers are there too–encouraging and sometimes pushing you to attend class when you don’t feel like training.  Anyone who trains (such as in sports) sometimes lose motivation.  Training in Taekwondo is no different.  Whomever is encouraging or helping motivate you, is like the tour bus or taxi driver who is helping drive  you to your destination.  It is through their presence and help that you are able to concentrate and appreciate the joys of your accomplishments!

Getting to black belt requires patience.  If you rush it, you either don’t make it or you completely miss the collective beauty of the experience.  It would be like renting a car at the airport and driving yourself to Hana; you may get lost and not get there, or you may get there, finding that Hana is just a small tourist town and completely missing the great views on the way up because you had to concentrate on the road.

The road to Hana is a long one.  If you ever visit Hana, make sure to get a taxi or ride a tour bus so that you can enjoy and appreciate the experience and views of the trip.  It is very much like your journey to black belt.  So enjoy it!  Appreciate it!  It is the journey itself that gives your black belt its unique and special meaning.

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