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Imagine Yourself being A Martial Arts Master like Bruce Lee!

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VIDEO: Bruce Lee fights in vicious Martial Arts movie!

If one is to go by the rank of the individual well most systems recognize a 5th degree black belt as being a Master of the system and the time to get to that level will vary according to the person, the requirement of the system and/or the Sensei in charge.

It is also important to understand that in more authentic systems rank does not equal master level at all and they use titles for this that are earned separately from the belt degrees. Renshi is a master level instructor title.

How long does it take a person to know all there is to know about astrophysics, or mathematics, or baking?

With any sufficiently complex question, the depth of knowledge that you can plumb is endless. Especially as you become knowledgeable enough to perform new research on your own.

Even if you consider Stephen Hawking to be a master of relativity, you still intuitively know that compared to all that can be known, he is an elementary student.

What does it mean to be a true Martial Arts Master?


We often have visions of a small Japanese master who lives high on a misty mountain. Only he has the real secrets of self defense. He is a magical man, impervious to pain, and unbeatable in combat. Though frail he has the strength of 10 men. The words he tells you answer all of life’s questions. But that is the movies my friends! I have met many true martial arts masters, and am considered to be one by some. I can tell you – the movie version is fiction! There are no Martial Arts Masters! But there ARE Master Instructors.

It is unfortunate that most of our knowledge of the martial arts comes from martial arts movies. Works of fiction, that show us the story we want to be reality, but simply isn’t. The truth about martial arts masters is that they are not magical men, who are impervious to pain and unbeatable in combat. They tend to be older gentlemen, who have aching joints, old injuries, scars, and will avoid combat or any type of violence if they have the choice. But that doesn’t really make for a good story. We don’t want martial arts masters to be just like us – or our grandfathers. We want them to have overcome aging, found the magic diet, able to stomp a 300 lb man with a lightning fast ridge hand to the groin. They never had to work, because with their monk like demeanor, and amazing combat skills, they gleaned riches from their days as wealthy samurai and then retired to a life in a bamboo cabin in the hills, eating what they grow, and living on the gifts of those students who make the trek to learn his secrets.

That is truly a shame – because we miss the actual importance to the martial arts of someone who has dedicated most of their lives to a combat art.

What we fail to embrace in our lack of understanding of martial arts mastery – is exactly what has been mastered – and how.

You see, everybody is always obsessed with becoming a black belt, and they rarely understand that to become a black belt is merely the first step, and actually a rather small step comparing to becoming a master in the fighting arts.

When somebody achieves black belt ranking they have the basics down, and they are qualified to teach themselves, and that is where the dividing line is.

Up to black belt somebody has been teaching them, showing them the ropes, applying the discipline and making sure they toe the line. After black belt… there isn’t anybody to do that, there aren’t any programs to show somebody how to be a Martial Arts master.

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