Started training in September 2008, age 9. Tested for black belt July 2015, age 16.
Black Belt Speech:
Black Belt, since I was 9 years old this has been something that I’ve looked at but never thought I’d make it to this point, that somewhere along the way I’d lose interest and quit, like I’ve done with so many other hobbies. Over the past few months I’ve realized how different karate is from all other hobbies. It is’t even a hobby but a way of life. I’ve found strengths and weaknesses I never thought I had. Karate has shown me to face my fears and conquer my strengths and weaknesses together. These past few months I’ve had to fight to find who I really am, whether it was on top of a cliff performing a kata or in knee deep water holding a horse stance. Though blood, sweat and tears, as well as many days, months and years, I’ve had to challenge myself to stand and keep fighting. I hope and pray that I will hold on to these lessons for the rest of my life. When there are more mountains to climb and deeper valleys to overcome, I will come back to this time and remember what I have accomplished. This has not been a journey that can be explained by words or seen and be comprehended, but must be walked to understand. Every journey must start with a single step. Today I have taken my final step on
my journey to obtaining my black belt, and the very first step on many journeys to come.
I want to thank all of you who have come today and those who are unable to make it. You all have supported us in so many ways on our journey, whether you have helped us in classes, are teachers, parents, siblings or if you just came to watch, you all have impacted our journey in
so many ways, and for that I am truly honored. To my Grandparents, thank you so much for supporting me on my way to black belt. It means so much that you have taken your time to come here (and for most of my other tests) to cheer me on. Mom and Dad, well clearly, I would never be where I am without you, but over and beyond that you have taken countless hours and helped me on my journey, driving me to class from Redmond when I was unable to, paying for classes, paying for gas and supporting me, I am honored to be called your son.
Grant, Even, Cameron and Dylan, you guys were the first ones to take us out training and did an incredibly awesome job of beating us up on the mountain. You were always eager to help us in classes and to beat us up. Allie and Andrea, even though you weren't able to take us out training many times or be at some of the out-trips, I knew you were always supporting us! Jordan, Devin, Wendie, Kristina, Ben and Seth, you where the first group to take this journey and pave the path for everyone else. Thank you for all the support you have given us on our journey.
Hunter, you were always the one to take to lead in most of our training and out-trips. I have loved the time we had in karate, training parkour and kicking a bottle around late night in the dojo, as well hanging out with you just for the fun of it. You are an amazing friend and brother.
Galen, there are really no words that describe you other than crazy. You always brought life and craziness to training and every other time we’ve hung out together. Thank you for all that! Gabi, you’ve changed so much during this journey, you’ve always been a warrior and a fighter, and
have strengthened your skills so much! Thank you for allowing me to be one of your training partners. I’m honored to have been a part of this group and couldn’t have done it without you guys! You’re my Brothers and Sister for life! Thank you!
Sensei, you've watched me grow up and fight though these past few years. I know at times I haven't been the easiest student, but you never gave up on me. Even when I thought I couldn't go another step you knew I could not only walk but run. You've given me something I can't explain, a gift greater then most in this world, and for that I am honored to have the privilege to
be your student. Thank you for everything you done and will continue to do!
Sensei Stuart, even though I have never meet you, you have impacted my life in many different ways, you and Sensei Brian have taught me not to survive but thrive in life. From what I know, you were a great man and I hope your legacy and the lessons you taught will live on though my life.
Thank you. Oss
Sunday, July 12, 2015