No one could have been more surprised than Marcus McDonough, friday night last when, in the middle of the workout class, instructor John Ottenberg announced that he was awarding to Marcus the black belt. As John and Sifu Ted Mancuso both expressed, Marcus’s ability to change, reach for new skills, and practice hard with understanding makes him, in instructor Ottenberg’s eyes, black belt material.
Sifu Ted added, to some people the black belt is not a significant award. But each belt’s test of quality lies in its place of origin. John Ottenberg, who himself studied directly under the founder of the Lima Lama system, does not give out belts casually. And Marcus’s own hard work and thoughtful practice is guarantee of his rank.