What Color is Your Belt?

Karate gee with a white belt and various stripes

His currect karate gee and belt.
Notice how dirty it is.
BR needs a new yellow belt for multiple reaons.

Is there anything better than achieving a goal?


You can look back on the frustrations, times when you felt like quitting, and the moments you wondered if it was all worth it. They all melt away.

Instead, you revel in accomplishment. You can feel proud, appreciate your stick to itness, and you know that the next goal can happen too.


The greatest thing you get when you achieve a goal is confidence. I know I can, I know I can.


Tomorrow BR will be testing for his yellow belt. I’ve mentioned before how he felt when he got a stripe (https://larrydbernstein.com/earning-your-stripes/). This is bigger. A NEW BELT!

I am excited. I’ve been calling BR every morning while on my way to work to remind him to practice. I’ve watched and instructed based on what Sensei says during practices. BR is primed!


A friend of mine said, “Wait till he goes for that green belt or higher. He’ll feel like he can protect himself.”


My friend, while a great guy, has it all wrong. Karate and the new belt are not about enabling BR to go all Bruce Lee on the next person who dares mess with him.


Sure, it would be nice if he could be the family protector should danger arise. However, that’s not what I care about.


I do care that a kid who has o.t. issues is feeling more in control of his body.


I do care that a kid who has ADHD is finding a way to focus and discipline himself.


I do care that a kid who has anxiety is able to feel a sense of accomplishment.


It’s been a year and a half since BR began his twice weekly karate sessions. There have been times where he has practiced little, and I questioned what he got out of it. There have been days where I have stressed about getting him there and back. There have been sessions where BR appeared nonchalant, disinterested, and unable.


I suppose that is why many kids are able to earn a yellow belt much quicker.


So what. The great length of time that has passed does not make this potential accomplishment any less special.


Tomorrow afternoon I will be in the audience silently praying and offering instructions to BR as he goes through the testing for the yellow belt. Afterwards, I will hug him tightly (he may even let me do it in public) and tell him how proud of him I am – whether he is wearing yellow belt or not. He has already achieved a worthwhile goal.

16 thoughts on “What Color is Your Belt?

  1. Hope it goes well tomorrow, great chievement! I think karate is a great sport for kids, they can learn so much from it.

  2. I wish him all the luck in the world!! I like your reasons for wanting him to learn karate. I am sure that has been challenging for you as well (keeping him from quitting)

    • Thanks. It has but truthfully, it really has been more about him. I’ve offered him opportunities to quit and was glad when he declined.

  3. Love it! Mr. T is a purple belt – and I loved the years of lessons that he took and the discipline and control that came with it! The empowerment he felt – not that he could beat others up – but that he could control his body, his mind, his attitude. It was perfect for him when he was younger and struggling. Take lots of pictures! I still have T’s notebook and all of the pieces of wood that he broke for all of his belt tests. Oh – Lillian Vernon has an awesome karate belt rack… I got one for my brother, and then for my son years later. http://www.lillianvernon.com/product/martialartsbeltswoodendisplayrack.do?sortby=bestSellers&from=Search
    You can have it personalized and hang in his room. We ran across Lee’s the other day in going through his things… it was awesome.
    Good luck to BR!

    • He got it! When we called my wife, she also said to take pictures. I forwarded the belt rack ad to my wife. She is the shopper.
      I think its awsome Mr. T got so much out of karate. It sounds like he and BR got the same thing from karate.

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