On Monday morning, Master Ian turned up as normal for our boxing session.
‘How did you get on yesterday?’ I asked him.
‘Fantastic!’ he said, beaming.
‘Did you get it?’
He had his final assessment for his 7th Dan Black Belt.
‘I got it!’ he said, unable to hide his delight.
‘Congratulations, that’s fantastic!’
Thirty-six years after first getting a black belt, this was an extraordinary level of achievement, representing a lifetime dedicated to training and teaching.
‘What sort of age are the other 7th Dans typically?’ I asked.
‘Older. A lot older.’ he said.
‘Does that mean you are a faster learner?’
‘No .. I just started younger!’ he said ‘and I kept going.’
And isn’t that the way of success in just about any area? Work hard and keep going. You have to go through a process of growth and the sooner you start, the sooner...