Started training: January 2008 - Age 7
Tested for red belt: March 2, 2013 - Age 12
When I was a white belt I remember learning my first kata. When I started everyone was telling me what to do and how to do it, but now, over 5 years later I’m the one helping lower belts. I’ve always loved being a student sensei ever since I started helping with little warriors. Unfortunately for me though I haven’t been able to do it lately because of school. After helping a lower belt I feel like I have somehow helped them in their climb up this brutal mountain. Then when I got my blue gi, I knew I had been helping them.
Each belt that we go through is a different mountain we must climb to get to the big one. When I learned I was testing for red belt I didn’t know what to say but “ok”. And now that this day has come and gone so quickly I still don’t know what to say now either. So when I asked my dad for some help he said “just write it from your heart”. Before, I was trying to make this essay perfect but when I heard those words I realized that I doesn’t matter if I came out here and had a perfect essay, or something that I was just trying to finish before today. All that matters is that I came out here, with the best essay I’ve probably ever written, and do my best. And that’s the same with all things in life whether it’s taking a rank test here or playing a game there, all that matters is that I have tried my best.
Wendie. She has been like a second mother to me. Even though she isn’t here with us today, she is with me and this other tester in the heart and spirit. Most people said “you’re so lucky” but I really wasn’t a lucky person. See, when Wendie is at a test she holds nothing back, and makes the test extra hard, but she also makes it fun and challenging. So when people tell me that I’m lucky, I tell them that “no, I’m really not.”
Now this climb has been hard and will get harder but no matter what my parents support me. Whether it’s driving me to the dojo or driving me to the E.R when we think I broke a rib, they are always there for me. I also want to send out a special thank you to my dad for not letting me quit, at blue belt when I just didn’t want to go to the dojo, so thank you a lot dad you won’t have to do it again.
When I come to the dojo, I step into a second home with a second family. This family is made up of many people but my closest brother is Josh. We have tested together since white belt and have become close friends. Along with many other people he has a very good heart. So when I say that I hope we can keep this friendship forever I really mean it.
I also want to thank all of the sensei’s that have helped me to this point, from white belt to now. I especially want to thank Sensei Brian for being the best martial arts teacher anyone could ask for.
Becoming a black belt has been a dream since I was just a little kid. And now being so close it is just reassuring in a way that is just indescribable. Because my journey doesn’t end here, that means there is still a long treacherous road that I must follow. This journey has and will be one that I treasure all my life.