In the Kiado-Ryu system, rank doesn’t make the man or woman, the man or woman make the rank.
Who we are is not a matter of what we wear around our waist but what we stand for.
For example, being a so-called “Black Belt” means nothing unless the individual who wears such a rank exudes those noble virtues associated with it, including but not limited to, self-control, discipline, courage, strength, commitment, humility, kindness, grace, patience, determination, dedication, persistence, respect and honor—a virtue seemingly unknown and forgotten in today’s society.
In climbing the ladder to becoming a Black Belt at the Karate Institute of America, all students should seek to demonstrate an ever-ascending degree of virtue, just as they demonstrate increasing levels of martial arts skill, technique and artistry. To forsake developing one’s character is to go to the well and return with only a spoonful of water—a sad and tragic loss.