I get this question a lot. Many people are fooled by rank, thinking that it makes you good. Let me tell you something. NO, it doesn't! A black belt in any martial art doesn't mean you can fight or levitate. Why? Because most martial arts schools sell belts. When Karate was first taught, there was no belt system. People just trained. The belt system is like going to school. You go to high school and then to college. As we all know, you can have a degree and not know squat. Belts give people a sense of accomplishment and that's cool. At Shidokan Atlanta, only four of my students have tested for black belt in the 10 years that I've been teaching the art in Atlanta. They along with a few others have never asked when or what belt they were going to get. The come in and train for the sake of training. They understand that a black belt just means you have a foundation and that you understand the basics. I know that my black students can fight (as they've done so in full contact Karate, Kickboxing, MMA, Grappling, etc.). They don't rest on past accomplishments and seek to continually learn. Getting a black belt is cool, but don't be fooled by the mysticism of it. You have to train, keep an open mind and give back to your art of study. TRAIN!!
Richard Trammell with a kick to the head of Thomas Korcyl (Shidokan Team USA 2000).