Started training August 2005, age 6. Tested for Jr. Black Belt March 2012, age 13.
Jr. Black Belt Essay:
Red belt has been an amazing journey for me. During Red, I have changed dramatically both in knowledge and skill. I have always loved learning new things in karate and, it is a lot of fun! But, Red belt was different. There were the usual new forms, but also tackling mirror image on every kata except the Wushu forms. Learning another martial art style from Sensei Bill Holman was extremely interesting and fun. The knowledge he shared with me has helped me with everything I do in karate. It was awesome learning it and training with Barb and Gabi, they helped me tremendously and are great friends. I couldn't be here without all the people that supported and cheered me on. Red belt was exiting!
Learning the new curriculum in Red belt was more fun than any other belt level. Even though I love learning new things in martial arts, Red belt seemed different. It was only one belt level away from black belt. The forms are extremely difficult, because of their length and how powerful they are! The kanku's are my favorite traditional forms, because of all of the other kata's that are tied into it, Kanku dai resembles 5 different kata's throughout the form! . The three sectional staff form was definitely the toughest kata I have ever learned, no question about it! My arms used to ache because of how long you swing around the heavy weapon. Not to mention the pain from whacking my head and legs! The kama form is unquestionably my favorite weapon form ever! Whats not to love? Blades flying around your legs and neck, and they are so awesome looking! Learning all the forms in mirror image has been a very tough task! Especially the new red belt forms! Learning and perfecting the new elements in Red belt was an exciting and crazy task! I love karate and plan to make it part of my life always.
In Red belt came the task of studying another style of martial arts. Learning another martial arts was a amazing experience that I really enjoyed. In the beginning it was surprisingly hard to find a dojo that would be willing and kind enough to help us out. Youtube was a possible idea but that was not exactly what I wanted. Then I decided to work with Barb and Gabi. We visitedand tried to work something out with a few dojos. We were not expecting how unfriendly they were to us, our school and the Jr black belt I was on course to test for. It amazed me how unfriendly these schools were to other martial art schools. It was frustrating and disappointing. It clearly showed me how fortunate I am to be training here with Sensei Brian. But then we found Bend Karate Club! Bend Karate club was friendly and willing to help us with the task. Sensei Bill Holman, graciously taught us Gankak, Gogishiho sho, and Jiin, all of these are black belt Shotokan forms. I loved working with Bill, Barb and Gabi on this assignment. The skills I learned from Sensei Bill even helped me improve my other forms in karate. Learning these three katas, was not just interesting, but super helpful. It was also a lot of fun working on it with friends.
When I am in karate I enjoy many things. I love to learn, work on, and perfect katas. I love participating in trix team and being able to improve my flexibility, flips and even things like katas and kicks. I also extremely enjoy just hanging out with friends and helping each other both on and off the mats. Assisting and helping out other students in class and out of class is one of my favorite parts. Every time I come to the dojo I am exited to take class, workout, spend time with friends, and help others at karate.
Wow, it will be strange to be one of the very first black belts in our school. I started training when I was six years old and two days ago, I turned thirteen. Half of my life has been spent training here and the only black belt during that entire time has been Sensei Brian! I hope to wear this belt with courage, honor, duty, compassion, justice, honesty, and courtesy every time I walk into the dojo. I hope to teach and train others and be a good role model for other students. A lot of responsibility comes with this belt and Sensei Brian would not entrust me with it if he did not fully believe in me to handle it. For that, I am grateful and humbled.
Thank you to everybody that supported, sacrificed, worked and cheered for me all these years! I would like to thank Sensei Brain and Kristina, for making me stronger and working me to the limit, but also being supportive and helping me through tough times through out all the years. Thank you mom and dad for everything! Mom, you have driven me to class three times a week for six years. You pushed me and helped me train at home. Dad, you have supported me and let me have this amazing time in my life. Thank you Barb and Gabi for being great partners and friends! Dylan, for being my friend since the beginning and always attacking and helping me! Ben and Seth for working out with me and helping me. Devon and Jordan for giving me advice when I need it and being great friends. Thank you Grandpa and Grandma, I would never have made it without your support. I thank my sister, Caitlin, who has grown up at the dojo, coming since she was a baby and is now a blue belt herself. Thank you everyone for your great and awesome support and care!
Red belt has been a epic journey. I have enjoyed learning the new forms, working and perfecting every kata mirror image, and growing and stretching myself as a martial artist. Finding a welcoming, kind, and willing dojo was very difficult for the red belt task. But, once we did, it was a spectacular experience working with Sensei Bill. I loved working with Barb and Gabi on this assignment. I enjoy karate more than any thing, I love the self defense, working out, and being with friends. I am so thankful that I have been given this experience in my life. Thank you everyone for supporting me all these years and today. It means so much to me. Without all of you, and the power of Christ, I would not be here. I love karate and always will make it part of my life as a way to help others.
Thank you, Sensei Brain, for believing in me and training and working with me all these years.
Thank you, Mom and Dad for enrolling me in karate so long ago. And keeping me going all these years! I love you.
Saturday, March 3, 2012