What rank are you?

A beginners mind.

Over the years for one reason or another I have been asked, "what rank are you? Now sometimes the person doing the asking needs to know for a practical reason. For example, if I am participating in their tournament. They may simply want to make sure that I am registered in the right division. On the other hand I might be asked that same question by a student who is simply curious, since I do not wear any insignia on my belt that might indicate my rank. 

Now one of the falsehood that has surrounded karate is that if you wear a black belt you must be an expert. Over the years I have met and trained with a few genuine experts in my time. Without exception they were truly unique individuals, and well deserving of being called an expert. From our time together I came to notice that they all had one thing in common. It was what I call a beginners mind, simply put they were never closed minded. They never gave you the impression that they knew it all.

I suspect that this is a fundamental trait shared by most true experts, regardless of their chosen profession, the it seems learning never ends.

 Remember: "An open mind always learns more than a closed one."