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With respect, if you have a black belt yet can't put up a fight I'd seriously question the competence of your teacher, both in the quality of the training and the standards by which belts are awarded.

The main teacher definitely knew how to fight (Mike Winkeljohn, look him up), but I'm definitely with you on questioning the type of training and the standards by which belts are rewarded. The problem is that a lot of karate places are not really in the business of teaching kids how to fight.

It's a lot like Boy Scouts. The parents want to see progress, and so the belts are handed out to any kid who checks off all the requirements, which mostly consist of memorization and a minimal standard of physical fitness. It's a business, and doing that works better for the real customers: the parents. It certainly works for the OP even though his kids are obviously not learning how to fight ("His Karate dojo is wonderful, and he loves doing it. It's actually a very gentle dojo..."). A lot of kids love to do it anyway. I was just disappointed that my main purpose for studying karate was mismatched. I'll also grant that there is a small element of "getting out of it what you put into it" as well.

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