Black Belt Principles

USKL Black Belt Principles:

Compiled by Sensei Ty Aponte



Self-Discipline is controlling one's behavior and actions!


Courage is having the spirit to confront challenges!

The willingness to try, fail and learn on the journey toward creating something new is just as critical as the passion to succeed. There is no substitute for being willing to lead—especially when the territory being covered is new and the outcome is uncertain.


Self-Confidence is believing that you can!



Integrity is maintaining a strong, steady course of
beliefs and values


Responsibility is taking ownership of your actions.


Perseverance is a persistent determination in reaching goals.
A Black Belt is a white belt that never gave up!


Respect is being nice to others. A true Black Belt will give respect in order to receive respect.


Modesty is a quiet confidence within!


Honesty is being truthful and fair!

Inner Strength:

Inner Strength means making good decisions and resisting unhealthy peer pressure.      


Community Service: It is important that as martial artists, we give back to our communities. It is vitally important that as we grow strong ourselves, we in turn help others. Service is helping others without expecting anything in return.


Honor means to have strong character!                  


Every crisis creates opportunity; every struggle offers the chance to rediscover. Everything we do is born from the ability to see potential where others can’t.


Meaningful change is not easy. It requires the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and face often daunting challenges. We have the persistence to do what it takes to achieve the results we seek. 


Martial Arts Principles


Being proud of my accomplishments but NOT BOASTFUL.

To do well but NOT ACT SUPERIOR to others.

Having RESPECT for other people's feelings, being helpful.

Not laughing at others' mistakes, BEING POLITE.

Being a person others can COUNT ON, and a person that others can TURST and RELY ON.

On quitting: KEEP ON GOING, even when you feel like giving in.


To have the COURAGE TO WALK AWAY from someone doing anything that is unhealthy for me.

Stay DETERMINTED. Don’t allow myself to be discouraged or defeated easily.

"CAN DO!  Yes I can! I KNOW I can!" attitude.

Having the spirit, courage, and willingness to MEET NEW CHALLENGES HEAD ON.


Black Belt Principles:

Your life, your responsibility.

Preparation is the key to success.

The road to success is paved with failure.

There can be no excellence without effort.

Balance is primary.

Concentration is the first key.

Character must precede prowess.

Grownups--own up.

Strength is the ability to endure.

Arrogance is the highest form of weakness;
Humility is the highest form of strength.

Doing it right is the right thing to do.

True power flows not shows.

Everything returns to center.

A Black Belt without humility is like a well without water.

Concentration coalesces. (Grows together, fuses)

Not to, but through.

The way out is in.

Maximize the minimum.

Rank does not make the man. The man makes the rank.

We compete to test our skill, not expand our ego.

The gift of competition is experience.

No integrity, no substance.

Control is the mark of a master.

Character is more important than victory.

It is nothing to begin, it is everything to finish.

Need before greed.

Integrity before wealth.

Principle before pleasure.

To become everything you first must become nothing.

Progress is based on performance, not time in grade or money paid.

Karate is like boiling water, if you remove the flame it will become cold.

Karate-do is practiced not only inside the Dojo, but outside as well.

You must know and understand your own weaknesses and strengths before you can evaluate someone else’s.  Neglecting details will cause failure. 

Our goal is to strive for excellence and perfection in all areas of our life, not just in karate.