It really doesn't matter if you're 7 or 97 - getting handed a black belt (usually in karate or taekwondo and almost exclusively in the US) after two to three years of training is plain old rubbish.
We see way too many otherwise great and inspiring stories of senior citizens (as well as youngsters) who get the coveted black belt after such a short period of time - and it sadly ends up being a shame and a real insult to the arts - as well as the people involved.
It is in itself such a fantastic thing that these folks take up the arts and stay with it. Isn't it then a real disservice to hand out a black belt simply because you're considered young or old?
At least I know I would tell anyone to stuff it if the came to me with a grade like this prematurely. Let me earn the belt on my own merits, I don't want to buy it!
It is a real pleasure then, to report about a senior citizen from the UK (Northern Ireland), Mr Robert McCracken. This gentleman is 75 years old and he took up karate at the age of 66.
The chief instructor and technical adviser of the association, told belfasttelegraph.co.uk: "I knew he would do it. When I'm teaching he's just one of the crowd. The fact that he's 75 doesn't come into it."
That's more like it and a huge round of applause to Mr McCracken!