Good article titled “From Beginner to Black Belt” by Alwyn Cosgrove found here.  Not only are there applications to the martial arts or fitness, but to your professional and
personal life as well (if they don’t happen to be one in the same).  
One of the early motivational series I listened to (can’t remember if it was Dennis Waitley or Brian Tracy) discussed spending 3% of your income every year on your own personal development. 
At some point this would lead to such acceleration in your learning/earning potential, that you wouldn’t be able to spend that entire 3% on training & development.  I’ve tried to practice elements of this for the past 30 years in both the martial arts and professional arena.  
I remember back in the mid 80’s, my roommate and I each kicked in $25 to buy a tape on this new thing we heard about called Gracie Jiu Jitsu.  Because it was new, it was interesting, and we wanted to know more.  (That probably was equal to 3% of my income at that point!)  But each year I would try to order a tape (now DVD), buy a book, or attend a seminar in a style different than what I normally studied.   I did this to expand my knowledge base, get exposed to new things, and learn how to learn outside my comfort zone.  And it worked and continues to work.

Cosgrove is right.  Black Belt is just the beginning - as long as you keep learning.

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