The sword has always been a symbol of a Master's ability to cut threw his own, and others self created illusions.
Better it is to be the Master of oneself, than be the Master of one thousand people.
Ten levels of Black Belt
On this page we will be discussing the mental rather than the physical requirements and techniques of the Ten Levels of Black Belt.
About 800 years ago Master Kok Yim Ci Yuen wrote a story which till this day rings with truth, and is considered to be the mental requirements of a Master.
1st Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Shodan )
A confused boy, in his search for a cow ( which represents to him enlightenment ), heads into the forest. He of course, does not find the cow there and is consumed with worry. He is lost and needs guidance.
At this stage the individual has some technique but cannot advance on his own without guidance.
2nd Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Nidan )
The boy searches diligently and finds a footprint! He is thrilled! He feels as if he has found a textbook that he can study and gain knowledge from.
In this stage the individual tries to attain knowledge from everywhere, but not always from the best places.
3rd Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Sandan )
The boy finds the cow, but can only see half of the cow at a time.
This is the point where the individual begins to understand nature, but can only comprehend a small portion of it.
4th Degree Balck Belt Mental Level: ( Yodan )
The boy catches the cow, and can see all of the cow. But he still has trouble, because he cannot control the cow. The cow refuses to obey him.
Like smoke, understanding seems to slip through the individuals fingers, and he remains confused at times.
5th Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Godan )
Here the boy learns how to control the cow. He takes care of it and nourishes it.
At this level the truth is comprehended, yet there is much to learn.
6th Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Rokudan )
Here the boy controls the cow completely, can ride on the cow, and the cow will obey his commands. As he rides he plays the flute, and is no longer clinging to the cow.
One day feels like a lifetime, and a lifetime feels like one day. Worry leaves the individual, and is replaced by a natural life free of thinking.
7th Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Shichidan )
Something new occurs. The boy is alone, and doesn't seek the cow. The cow is no longer his quest or his source of enlightenment. He realizes that enlightenment, and understanding are to be found within himself.
Enlightenment is found within himself. Body and mind melt into one. True happiness comes to him naturally.
8th Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Hachidan )
The cow, every one, and everything is completely forgotten. All is one, and equal. To him all in life and nature are in harmony, and balance.
In this level the individual's mind is never disturbed by situations, or circumstances.
9th Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Kudan )
Till now we have noticed the boy working hard, training, learning, and preparing for practice of what is to come. In this stage a new level is entered. The time for training has passed. The boy is pure, like a newborn, with no concerns, thoughts, worries, or distractions. He lives in a spiritual stage in which life feels perfect.
At this stage unenlightenment, and enlightenment blend into a circle. He no longer considers the need for enlightenment.
10th Degree Black Belt Mental Level: ( Judan )
This is the final stage where the boy uses his enlightenment for the good of others. Living much as a saint he moves through a world that is purely spiritual, and he exits only to help others. In this image, the boy having attained enlightenment, is represented as the old sage, who is helping yet another boy begin his own journey.
This is the true meaning of mastering oneself!
Click for: Steps to Black Belt Physical Techniques