Black Belt Attitude: Still and Neutral

“To realise the Self is to be still.” Ramana Maharshi

Each week we discuss a Black Belt Attitude topic with the kids in our Warrior Talk, this week the topic will be on being Still and Neutral.

Remember, you don’t need a black belt to have a black belt attitude, we can all learn and apply a black belt way of thinking. It’s great to be reminded of these simple yet profound ways of relating, but don’t keep it to yourself! Pass it on, we see incredible changes in people who are touched by small acts of unconditional kindness and service.


At some point in the class most of you would have heard me say still and neutral, ready to respond. This is the baseline of everything we do, tapping into the stillness that resides deep down inside each of us. Unfortunately we don’t always reach down to get in touch with this stillness in our daily lives, and instead of responding to a situation with calmness and clarity, we react with ego, anger, and aggression.

To get in touch with this stillness, for kids this can be as simple as counting to 10 and focusing on their breathing when they feel flustered or upset. Taking just 2 or 3 really deep breaths before any conflict can quickly connect us to stillness. If that doesn’t work straight away, that’s ok. Don’t force it, just come back to the breath.

It can be more difficult for us as adults, as we’re usually that much further away from our stillness than when we were kids. The next time someone walks right in front of you, pushes ahead of you in the queue, bumps into you – take a moment to see the truth in the situation. Resist the urge to comment or push back. The moment itself is completely neutral, no aggression, no anger. It just is. Pause, breathe, and then consciously respond with calm clarity rather than reacting based on your interpretation of what you think is happening.


Our first Grading of the year will take place on Sunday March 22 at the Subiaco PCYC. You can register yourself or your child for Grading online here or by filling out the Grading Register in class.

Bright Stars (5-8 yrs): 9.00-9.30 a.m
Super Stars (9-14 yrs): 9.40-10.10 a.m
Adults: 11.00 a.m start
The cost is 40.00 payable on the day.

Parents, you can now download a copy of the Grading Sheet and notes we use to grade your child, available here. This is directly from our Trainer’s Manual and is a great tool you can use to discuss and help your kids understand what we look for when we grade them.


Your opponent will formulate an opinion about you in a micro second. How you look, how you talk, walk, and generally hold yourself. Your ability and excellence as a martial artist will be tested by how well you remain neutral under pressure and your ability to respond clearly to what is needed. Every situation that presents itself is totally neutral. All emotions including fear, panic, anger etc arise out of your interpretation of what is happening at that time. Unless you are still, neutral, and in control, your response may not be in accordance with what is clearly happening.

Your ability as a martial artist is how well you then apply this to daily life. There is no use being a great martial artist in the dojo if you get impatient standing in a line or get angry at the first person that cuts you off in traffic.