What the Purple Belt Pledge Means to Me
Chris Clinesmith

Purple Belt Pledge: "I hold the art of Kenpo sacred and freely take upon myself the obligation and responsibility that I shall never misuse my skill to hurt or make afraid. I shall fight only if forced to defend myself and shall be slow to anger, loath to take offense, quick to forgive, and to forget personal affront."

As a student in the art of Kenpo, I am learning a very comprehensive and dangerous skill for the purpose of self-defense and developing self-confidence. With this knowledge in the art comes a grave responsibility to use my newly acquired skills in a responsible and respectable manner. By reflecting on my Purple Belt Pledge, I am stating that I will never abuse my martial arts skills to intimidate people or seek revenge against someone who has offended me.

Basically this pledge follows along the lines of my Orange Belt Pledge. The idea of growing "obligations and responsibilities" not to abuse the art of Kenpo and to use it to serve good purposes is introduced in the Orange Belt Pledge. In the Purple Belt Pledge, the concept of obligations and responsibilities becomes more defined. Not only are Kenpoists obliged to use their skill for the service of good purposes, they must also take care not to use their skills for the purpose of bringing personal harm on anyone. In addition, the Kenpoist should be not only slow to anger, but also quick to forgive personal offense. In taking upon this attitude, the Kenpoist will not retain a feeling of resentment for past offenses, nor abuse his or her skills by perpetuating useless grudges.

In short, it is my responsibility as a Kenpoist to use my knowledge in the martial arts only for good purposes. I have several goals in Kenpo: first, to learn self-defense and develop self-confidence; second, I seek to improve my physical well being through hard work and self discipline; third, my goal in Kenpo is to train myself to be mentally and emotionally balanced and maintain a disciplined frame of mind. These are the purposes for which I am training in the art of Kenpo. In order to maintain my discipline and mental and emotional balance, I promise only to use my knowledge for the purpose of good, not for the purpose of physical destruction or wrongdoing.