A little over a year ago I opened my own Kung Fu Academy, Nine Tigers Kung Fu. Last week I held a test for ten of my students. Below is my post-test speech to those ten students who worked exceptionally hard and earned their new ranks!
"To begin congratulations on completing today’s test. My philosophy on testing here at Nine Tigers Kung Fu is that if you know all of the material then you are welcome to come and test. You will never be charged a fee for the test because I don’t want anyone to ever feel as though they are buying a belt or having their parents buy a belt for them. What that means is there is a possibility that you may not pass the test. But that is 100% in your hands."
"When a student comes in to test, they will accomplish three things. They will work hard, they will sweat, and they will feel pride in there work. The test is not to see who in the class is the best student or has the most natural ability. The test is to see who is going to try their best and work hard even when they are tired and have a little bit of pressure put on them. If a student works hard in class, practices at home and has a positive attitude, then they will do well in their testing."
"When I opened Nine Tigers Kung Fu a little over a year ago, I wanted to make it a point to emphasize what I believe to be the core values of being a martial artist. Respect, focus, discipline, strength, honor, balance, integrity, loyalty and perseverance. These are the virtues we all stand upon both inside and outside of the studio. Today’s test was tough. I hope it was one of the most challenging thing you have had to do so far in your life both physically and mentally."
"You’ll notice the first three core values of respect, focus and discipline have nothing to do with your physical body. Kung-Fu is equal parts mental as it is physical. And today’s test did not pit you against each other, it put you against yourself to see how much you have improved since starting out here as a white belt. I’m proud of all of you for mentally accomplishing today’s work out. You had already succeeded just by showing up prepared."
"So congratulations. Continue to show the same drive, passion, and work ethic in everything that you do. I plan to be here for a long time, continuing to help you improve, not just to be the best martial artist you can be, but to help build you up as the future leaders of your generation!"