Black Belt magazine recently released its December 2010 issue announcing the inductees into its prestigious Hall of Fame. I was selected as the Black Belt Hall of Fame Weapons Instructor of the Year. I am truly honored by this award and would like to express my sincere thanks to Black Belt magazine and all the readers who voted.
I read my first issue of Black Belt back in 1975, shortly after I began formally studying the martial arts. Through the years, it has continued to impress me as one of the few martial arts magazines that have maintained a high level of integrity and a consistent commitment to providing quality content. It is also the only martial arts magazine currently available that I feel is worth reading on a regular basis, so their recognition means a lot to me.
The martial arts world is full of awards, ranks, titles, and other honorific labels. In many cases, these titles are well deserved and appropriately honor worthy practitioners and instructors. Unfortunately, in other cases they are misused by self-aggrandizing martial artists more interested in cultivating an image than perfecting their skills or their ability to teach effectively. Sadly, the latter phenomenon has made becoming a “grandmaster” slightly less challenging than earning a GED, so MBC purposely doesn’t use them.
Because of the hyperbole that permeates the martial arts world, there are very few “honors” that get me excited. I take more pride in the fact that Kelly McCann lists Martial Blade Concepts on the links page of his combatives web site than I ever could by touting myself as a “master,” “grandmaster,” sifu, guro, or any other term you might think of. Kelly is, in my opinion, the best instructor in the business, bar none. As such, his recognition means something. Similarly, the Black Belt Hall of Fame means something because it represents satisfied readers who have read my articles, seen my approach, and found them relevant to their personal defense needs.
The greatest honor is knowing that you made a difference and that your efforts helped someone keep himself and his family safer. With that in mind, I am very proud to be a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame.