Is it right for a child to earn a black belt?

Date: 31st October 2018
Author: Master J Bonthuys

I achieved my Tae Kwon-Do black belt at the impressionable and early age of 10 years old. Some argue that this is too young to hold the responsibility of a high grade. I beg to differ...


I believe that achieving my black belt at such a young age taught me TO BE RESPONSIBLE and take ownership for the rank that I achieved. It taught me to be a role model, gave me bulletproof confidence and most importantly helped me achieve the MINDSET needed to succeed.

The syllabus I was graded on was no different to the adult syllabus and at no point was I given an ‘easier route’ because I was a child. I recognised this fact, even at 10 years old, which then inspired me to write an essay on my black belt experience. (I wish that I had kept this essay!)

I even had the confidence to attempt my first go at public speaking. I chose to read my essay at the front of my school assembly in my Tae Kwon-Do uniform!

I owe so much to martial arts and I truly believe that it’s something that every child should learn. It’s not just about punching and kicking. It’s so much more!

A black belt is just a bit of material. It’s the journey and experiences that you have earning it that gives it meaning! If a child is mature enough to recognise this and has the right attitude, attendance and ability then why shouldn’t they earn a black belt?

This is of course just my opinion formed from my own experiences. What are your thoughts on achieving a black belt as a child?


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