The Ultimate Black Belt Test (UBBT 2012) is a 1-year (plus) living exam accepting 40 adult black belts, of all styles, into the most challenging and comprehensive black belt testing project in the world. The UBBT 2012 ends with a house-bulding project and final exams in April of 2013 in Greensboro, Alabama.

Martial Arts Business. The Business of Making a Difference

My idea / vision for the association I started almost a decade ago now, www.the100.us, was that I would help guide school owners thru the evolving maze of work and opportunities of school management, which is not a “thing” or a “system,” but a practice fueled by each teacher’s intelligence, resourcefulness, and driving motivations —-and, in turn, I would cultivate the group, overall, to become “The West Coast Demo Team” of martial arts teachers transcending the common and dominant paradigm of school ownership as it was in the ‘industry” when I began the project.

My goal was to lead / engage 100 + martial arts teachers who came to stand for everything the martial arts industry wasn’t genuinely cultivating; community engagement; anger management and actual peace education; environmental self-defense issues; health education, such as substantive work in diabetes education; suicide prevention; sustainable living; voluntary simplicity; gender equality; truth in media; hyper-masculinity and female objectification and its consequences; and, well, any and all subjects that allowed us to learn, to be more genuinely relevant in the world, and to, in general, “make a difference,” instead of simply “making a profit.”

So in The 100. I became the teacher of a new kind of school, on-line, which sought to reshape and/or at least contribute to the dialogue in the martial arts community about how we might go about the work to make true the promises of martial arts training and its affect on character and community. 

Like any martial arts school, of all the people I have, so far, engaged, only a small handful have really become students of the work, actual participants who contribute to it and make the work more authentic and “real.” I proceed undiscouraged, most of the time, knowing the ideas are sound and the purpose worthwhile —and that it is my execution of the work that needs adjustment for more industry-wide acceptance and engagement. So, in posts like this one, which is my practice of getting up every morning and readdressing what my work is, I polish.

The UBBT 2012 Ends in Alabama

The UBBT 12, a test for people ready for —and seeking —rank advancement under the UBBT banner, will end in Greensboro, Alabama in April of 2013, where we will conduct a final exam and graduation, then work as a team to renovate and construct homes for local residents in need.  See the last Alabama Project’s website, here: www.HeroHousing.org/ubbt