Started training: June 2009 - Age 6
Tested for red belt: June 11, 2016 - Age 13
This being my last test inside a building gives me the chills. Just thinking about black belt mountain makes my stomach ache. It’s hard to believe that I have gone through so many belts. I look up at the belt rack and see how far I have come. All the forms, self defenses, sparring, board breaking, and kehan drills, has all lead up to this. Whenever someone says, “Oh, you do karate?” I say, “yeah,” but I think of karate more than just well, karate, I think of it more as a part of your life. Once you get so into it there's no turning back. It’s like a roller coaster ride after you've gotten in the cart, you can’t go back now. But I’m more than just “in the cart” now. I’m on the ride with the loop de loops and corkscrews, and it’s awesome. My journey to black belt started when I was 6 years old. At the time, I had no clue what I was getting into. I thought every other day I went to karate to learn new cool kicks and punches, or even to meet new people. Not to fight till the death against black belts. But now I know what I’m into. On my last private lesson as a Brown II with Sensei he told me “Getting to red belt is very rare in this dojo, and If you do pass, what type of red belt would you want to be?” I’ve really thought thoroughly about that, and to be honest, I still don’t know. I don’t know what type of red belt I want to be. But I do know that Red Belt is going to be the hardest belt to surpass without a doubt. I look up at the pictures of all the black belts and think, they had to go through this too, and they made it through. And that gives me motivation to keep going and to not stop pushing until I see that belt around my waist. And now I know that every time I bow on the mats I know that I didn’t just come here to learn, I came here to fight. I have to tell you, most of the people on this earth don’t know what it's like to fight a Sortor Bushido Kai Karate Black Belt. That’s what’s so cool about it. You’ve experienced something that 100% of the people you meet will probably never experience. Karate does not just affect you physically, but also mentally. Karate makes you think, while at the same time, you have to do punches and kicks. Karate is 100% mental, and 100% physical. There’s no 50-50 mark in between. It’s all or nothing. You either give it everything you have, or don’t do it. I remember at my Brown I test Wendie told me, “If you’re already halfway through the sweep, don’t stop!” But that’s not only with sweeps, that’s with everything. If you go halfway through something then stop what's the point in getting halfway anyways! I am truly honored to be taught by Sensei Brian. And to be able to go to such an incredible Dojo. And special thanks to Luke and Ivan for helping me get to this milestone. OSS!