Great, You’ve Got A Certificate!
A great achievement
It is true for the most of us that we would like to be recognised for our hard work, and what better than with some respected Certification of that achievement, and should you ever wish to one day teach, then it is likely that people always want to see proof of your abilities, unfortunately this proof is often wanted only through paperwork.
It is such a nice feeling to gain a University degree (I imagine), or to gain a license, or become certified in a particular field of excellence, but apart from the legally required reasons (such as passports, driving license etc.) who is this actually for?
Ok so when you enter a school you would expect to see some form of qualification displayed on the wall, and in martial arts of course, but I believe the proof is more in the pudding, your ability to know what the hell you are talking about and to have the skills to back it up.
The reason for wanting to pass an exam, a grading or an assessment,
Should be because you are saying to your teacher:
“Sifu, I really feel that I have understood all that you have taught me so far and that I can use these skills effectively,
So much so that I would like you to test me on them”.
This achievement can then be displayed with pride and confidence, BUT, unless you are planning to roll it up tight and ram it down an attackers throat, it’s not really going to help you in a street fight is it?
And this is the important part, bridging the gap between what you are displaying and what you actually know.
So by all means grade and be tested, by all means be proud of your certification, but most of all make sure you actually know your sh*t first.
It is always amusing to me to think that if Grandmaster Ip Chun came to the UK and wished to open a class at one of our local leisure centers, he would not be allowed because he does not have a valid instructors certificate connected to the sports councils governing body.
So train first,
Then train more,
Get very good,
Ask to be tested,
Pass your tests and be proud to display,
WHAT YOU KNOW.
Anyone can buy a black sash, but it takes a lot more to earn one.