Kiado-Ryu Karate

May 10, 2021 - Feature of the Week

KIA Principle #18: There Can Be No Excellence Without Effort

From The Black Belt Book of Life: Secrets of a Martial Arts Master.

We live in an age with effort waning,
with riches expected sans work;
but in all reality and actuality
There Can Be No Excellence Without Effort.

Much effort, much prosperity.


Success is dependent on effort.


The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

Thomas Jefferson

It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.

Theodore Roosevelt

There’s just no way around it. Excellence and success take work. People may try to find short cuts, even sacrifice their ethics and morality to acquire it, but in the end the age old truth relating effort to success holds true: There can be no excellence without effort.

Unfortunately, the martial arts world has been the target of some individuals who have preyed on the instant-gratification yearnings of those who want a shortcut to being a Black Belt. Without any knowledge to the contrary, and caught up in their own desires, these souls get duped into believing the achievement of a Black Belt can be attained in a short amount of time with a certain amount of money.

Of course the martial arts industry claims no exclusivity of such behavior. Trying to find a short cut to excellence is prevalent in our society and has even reared its head in the most honorable of institutions which have registered cheating scandals: the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs.

Unfortunately, in the human race there will always be those who try to find a short cut to excellence, trading their dignity, nobility, character, reputation and future in the process. Some may succeed for a while, even a season, but in the end the truth will always be revealed. In the world of excellence, there are simply no short cuts. To be good at anything requires substantive dedication and work because, simply, there can be no excellence without effort.