Hi Sensei,

Overall I felt much more confident and stronger for this test than my first.  Once again I am benefiting from the wealth of knowledge from you, my fellow students, and the skool app.

My number one take away, beyond the blessings of a strong group of friends that I get to test with, was your talk on the significance (or lack there of) on belts. The belt does not make a martial arts practitioner. Even your off the cuff comments of the little importance placed on what Dan you are. The importance is how one feels on the inside and how they carry themselves. The first thing that caught my eye and sparked my journey at the school was seeing, as I was with my son as he did little dragons with Jared, the other kids taking your class walking in. Middle schoolers and younger, all walking in with a confidence unmatched by others of their age I have seen elsewhere. They all looked like they carried a secret that freed them from judgment of others or concerns. I understood upon hearing the TKC salute and the mention of hiding one ‘s art like a “secret treasure.”  Belts can measure progress, but the only power they bear are what we put upon them. In my excitement of preparing for this latest test I watched your video giving the black belt orientation. Your story of the number one failure of black belts and them falling from the school was when they accepted a black belt without having truly earned it, both if their eyes and thus yours. That hit me hard. The fact that going through the motions anyone can earn a belt that is black, but that doesn’t necessarily make one a black belt.

As I move forward on my journey at TKC I am so excited to build my own “secret treasure” and grow, not just as a martial artist, but as a person (even at 40!). I acknowledge I have made progress while also excepting I have truly so much more to learn. I am excited!

Thank you Sensei Fariborz

Rian Kountzhouse