A martial artist was kneeling before the master sensei in a ceremony to recieve a hard earned black belt.
after years of relentless training, the student has reached the pinnacle of achievement in the discipline.
"before granting the belt, you must pass one more test," says the sensei.
I am ready responded the student, expecting perhaps one final round of sparring
"you must answer the essential question: what is the true meaning of the black belt?"
"the end of my journey" says the student. "a well deserved reward for my hardwork"
the sensei waits for more. clearly, he is not satisfied. finally the sensei speaks," you are not yet ready for the black belt. return in one year."
a year later the student kneels again in front of the sensei.
what is the true meaning of the black belt?" asks the sensei.
"a symbol of distinction and the highest achievement in our art," says the student.
The sensei says nothing for many minutes, waiting, clearly, he is not satisfied. finally, he speaks," you are still not ready for the black belt. return in one year."
a year later, the student kneels once again in front of the sensei. and again the sensei asks," what is the true meaning of the black belt?"
" the black belt represents the beginning- the start of the never ending journey of discipline, work and the pursuit of an ever higher standard," says the student.
"yes. you are now ready to recieve the black belt and begin your work."
Some people say, the sensei dint give the black belt in the earlier years because still the artist hadn'paid the dues of the fees.