Started training: July 2006, age 10
Tested for red belt: December 14, 2010 at age 15
“If I am reading this to you, it hopefully means that I am almost done with the hours of sweat and tears. I hope that I have tested as hard and sharp as I could possible go. Right now though, I want to recall what I did to get here.
I started karate four and a half years ago when Jason Kasari invited meto go and watch one of his white belt classes. I decided that it looked fun, so my parents signed me up. I did not take the discipline very seriously, but I took pride in knowing things like tae kiyoku shodan. At the white to yellow belt test, I thought it was fun and I hardly broke a sweat. My brother and I took a private blue belt test. This kind of reinforced the false idea that rank tests are fairly easy events that are just long, difficult classes. I advanced through the belts, each time thinking that black belt was so far away, until about the time of my first degree brown belt rank test. This test was different than the others; different in the way that I had to push to my limit. This, of course, made me all the more glad when it was finished,but that test made me look at karate with more respect; as an art, and a discipline. My view of rank tests were also changed; rank tests were now something to be feared. The second degree brown belt test was also quite demanding, but I, and those who tested with me, pushed through. Now black belt looked pretty close, and it also made me realize how far I had already gone. At this point, only about ten people were still doing karate from the time that my brother and I started.
If you told me five years ago that I would be testing for a red belt, I would not have believed you, but here I am, in the last part of my last test inside the dojo building.
I am very glad that I joined this dojo. I have found many good friends, and have enjoyed the classes. I have enjoyed the challenge that karate presents. It makes me keeps pushing my own physical limits. I have found that karate is unique in the way that you can always improve, and the step to getting better is not impossible.
Before I end, I want to thank my family for supporting me every step of the way. I want to thank my friends and everybody here for coming to help, encourage, and support me here today. Oss. Oss. I also want to thank Sensei Brian for setting a great example for his students, and being such a great teacher in every respect, and Kristina, who runs the dojo.
Thank you, Oss.”