If she was my student, right there I would have given her a black belt and figured out the rest later…
Certainly there are physical skills represented in a black belt- a mature understanding of the fundamental movements of your art, and with the martial arts being physical there is now way around this.
One needs the physical skills.
But, being human beings, there are all skills that are learnable by anybody if they put in the time and dedication backed by a good teacher or coach that can help them along the way.
But the mental and spiritual skills are harder to learn, cultivate, and certainly apply in the moment.
They really can’t be “taught”, at least not academically or with the learning model that many of us are used to- western academics, public education, university learning.
The best a teacher in the martial arts can do, is transmit the feeling, create the moment in movement so a person can feel such a transmission, and capturing that feeling, use it in the day-to-day movement.
She pulled off the expressway to stop in at a gas station mini-mart to get something to drink.
Walking into the store, it was full of customers on line and waiting to buy gas.
Grabbed a drink and got on line.
In walks a new customer, but something is off about them.
A feeling, quick, that can’t quite be placed, but urgent.
A feeling that this person was up to no good.
Right there, she got off the line, put the drink down, and left the store.
Feeling, intention, being moved by the intention by others, and what they signal is an important part of the the martial arts- an important part of the black belt.
Being in-tune with the unseen and always trusting your feelings, acting on them, and not debating them in that moment with your rational mind.