Started training: December 2008 - Age 10
Tested for red belt: June 8, 2013 - Age 15
There are no words that can accurately describe my time at the dojo. Amazing, incredible, and humbling don’t even come close. The years that I’ve spent here have taught me so many things about myself, about the people around me, and about Bushido, the way of the warrior.
The first time I stepped foot in the dojo I was ready to learn and listen. In my private lesson with Sensei Brian I tried my absolute best to do everything he told me as perfectly as possible. I still try to perfect everything to this day. After my private lesson, I was so excited to go to class the next day that I was doing reverse punches until I finally fell asleep.
After I earned my first star for the back of my card, I was convinced that this is where I was meant to be. This is where I could come to let everything else go. I’ve made many friends here at the dojo, and I’m proud to know all of them. We’ve had a ton of fun, and shed a lot of sweat, tears and even some blood together. I love being around them. I’ll never forget the time that I was talking to one of them too much in class and Sensei had me do 200 push-ups after class. Serves me right for being so loud, and you can bet that I never let that happen again since.
Once I got to purple one, I was getting really in to it. I was at purple one for four months and then I tested for purple two. That’s where I started learning and testing with these guys, and let me tell you, I couldn’t ask for better training partners.
Grant and Evan. You have always been energetic and fun, and you always know how to get a conversation going. Whether it’s video games, new styles you found on youtube, or our style itself, you always have something new to talk about, and you are amazing training partners. Thank you.
Barb and Gabi. You guys have been very good friends to me ever since I met you all those years ago. You are awesome training partners and seem to know every single detail or flaw in anyone’s kata and know how to address it with pinpoint accuracy. Thank you for inviting me along in your activities, and answering all those questions I have asked.
Wendy. Thank you for all the amazing classes. Thank you for encouraging me, helping me, and answering all my questions. You have always been one to dish out an awesome workout. Whether its yoga or fighting that you’re teaching, I have always loved taking your classes. Thank you so much Wendy.
Seth. Always one to make a joke. You are the weirdest person with pain, and by that I mean that if someone pinches your arm it somehow hurts you, but then you can get slammed in the face with someone’s knee and not say anything about it. Thanks for beating me at sparring and grappling all those times. You’re always fun to be around. Thank you.
Galen. You are absolutely the goofiest kid I’ve ever met, but the best training partner I could ask for. You’ve made me laugh so many times I think it’s just instinct by now. Your humor while we are training makes me laugh every day, and grappling with you is so absolutely hard because you always make me laugh and then submit me as soon as I let up. You’ve taught me how to stay more focused while training, because I know if I’m not focused, you’ll just put me in a triangle without a problem. You are an awesome training partner, and my best friend. Thanks Galen.
Igmal. Thanks for training with me in class all those times and being rough and toughening me up a bit.
Sensei. It took me so long to find the words to say to you. You have always taught me to find the little details and fix them. You have always encouraged me to be the very best martial artist and person that I can be, and no matter how many questions I ask, you never get tired of answering them. I have the utmost respect for you and as I stand here nearing the end of my last test in the dojo, I know that I will grow to respect you even more if that’s even possible.
Of course, mom and dad. The ones who found the dojo in the first place. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for driving me to the dojo without hesitation for all these years. I love you so much and you are absolutely the best parents in the world. Thank you.
Whew. Lots of people to thank. I have so much encouragement given to me by so many people that it’s almost overwhelming. It’s sad knowing that this will be my last test here. But I look forward to going up on that mountain in the future.