Monday, April 21, 2014

WhiteBelt Ninja

Karate has increasingly influenced TheHackerCIO's approach to work. Now freshly returned from training with the Grandmaster in Japan, where I achieved Ichi Kyu (1st Degree Brown Belt, one rank below Black Belt), and where my daughter also made Shodan (Black Belt), there is a tradition enforced at our Dojo which speaks volumes.

A new Black Belt must spend the first month wearing a White Belt.

That's right. You line up in belt-order back at the very beginning. The place where you entered. It isn't so much about "humbling," you, or keeping you from getting "puffed up."

As the GrandMaster says, "Black Belt means now you learn *real* Karate."

And, in essence, it's time to rebuild all your skills from the basics on up  -- reworking and retooling them in accordance with how you *should have* learned them in the first place, had you known then what you know now.

I'm experiencing a little of this just as an Ichi Kyu. And so, I took advantage of the fact that my training journal -- now 4 years old -- was notably lacking in pages; not to mention the fact of my newly achieved level, to establish a new training journal and Commonplace Book.

I haven't blogged about Commonplace Books -- they are really just an advanced journaling technique (that, interestingly, derives from ancient traditional learning methods dating back to the Greco-Romans and that were commonly employed up through the Age of Enlightenment) They make an excellent organizational device that improves techno-journals and they very easily coexist with regular journals. I'll blog about how to use them one day.

But not only am I using this refreshed mindset to improve my Karate and discipline.

I'm applying what I have learned from Karate to the rest of my life. The discipline must spill over, if it's to have any lasting impact on a life.

So, today, I went out and got a latest book for the Comp TIA A+ Certification. I know, it almost seems ridiculous -- what am I going to go to work fixing computers? But really, every ten years or so, you ought to go back and systematically revise what's been going on in the hardware world.  From there, I'll go back to retool on Java 8, or possibly Linux.

It's great being a White Belt.

Starting From the Beginning,


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