From beginning of June to end of November, 2016, I coached my second class of students at OMAC, preparing them for their 1st-poom / dan.
On graduation day, I gave each one of them the following letter:
Congratulations on your remarkable achievement! Remember and cherish this day for the rest of your life.
The black color of your new belt does not make you a Black Belt. Your attitude does.
You have persevered through your training, came to class when your other friends where perhaps out playing, kept quiet through instructions and learned so much. This is one of the attitudes that makes you a Black Belt and I applaud you for persisting and never quitting.
At OMAC you have made new friends. You are now a proud member of the OMAC Black Belt Community. Remember that colour belt students will now be looking up to you, therefore you must always show them the way by being an example of stellar behavior and work ethic throughout your training.
You have made your family very proud and you too should be very proud of your achievement. Go celebrate! But always be humble. Bragging is not allowed. A Black Belt 1st dan is a white belt that never quit. You have now acquired all the basic skills required for the study of more advanced techniques.
As I have repeatedly reminded the class, a Black Belt is an attitude to govern your life all the time, not only when you are at OMAC. This adds an extra level of responsibility for you as you grow. Help others when you can. Be kind with people, even when you disagree with them. Join the volunteer movement and give back. Treat your parents, elders and teachers with the utmost respect. Try to adjust in any situation and as you grow older learn how to conquer fear. The rewards will always be there for you – if you look closely into your heart.
Thank you for being so attentive during my class on Tuesdays. Your improvement has been astonishing. I hope I will have you back in my future test-preparation classes and coach you again for your next dan.
I am very proud of you!
Coach Al Poullis, 3rd dan