Started training March 2011, age 6
Tested for red belt June 24, 2017, age 12
Amazing. Never in my Karate career did I think that I would make it all the way to this belt that I have on me right now.
It feels like yesterday that I was nearly failing my yellow belt test for doing knife hands the wrongs way. This seven years has changed me both physically and mentally as a person. I have learned what is right and what’s wrong, when I should do something and when I shouldn’t, and of course, when I should fight back and when I shouldn’t. As a red belt I am most looking forward to teaching private lessons, because I love teaching everything from all the belts.
I would use this dojo as my getaway sometimes as well. If I had a bad day at school or at a camp I would always use this dojo a place to relax, learn, work hard, and make new friends. Speaking of friends Luke, Ivan, and Garrett make this dojo really fun and enjoyable and it has been an honor to learn with them.
Learning Karate has also taught me things like courage, wisdom, and respect. It has taught me to be smart with my choices throughout the rest of my life. It has taught me to be brave during times to be scared like this test for example. And has taught me to respect all my peers, friends, Sensei's and family.
If it weren't for karate I never would have found the passion I have for teaching. Getting my blue gi was a giant accomplishment for me. Some of the things that I like about teaching are watching everyone learn and having that feeling of accomplishment of teaching someone a kata and having them doing it in front of people. Also teaching kids is fun and sometimes annoying and I love it all the same.
When I was a lower belt I thought that karate was just a class, an after school activity. Shows how wrong I was. When I was testing for my purple two and didn't make it, that challenge made my dedication go skyrocketing from where it stood.
Once I achieved brown belt the idea of black belt was starting to feel real. I began pushing myself much harder and that's when my challenges became physical. One of my first setbacks was when I broke my foot and had to have a walking boot for eight weeks. And when I got out of the walking boot and the ace bandage and got back into karate I kept trying harder and harder. But then I sprained my ankle which put me back a not so bad 1 week. And after that I got my brown two I didn't break or sprain anything… yet. And I was nearing being told I was ready for red belt when I broke my nose which set me back 6 more weeks and deprived me of fun activities. Even though those injuries were major setbacks they boosted my hard work meter.
Tournaments were a huge contributor as well. Even though they were tough and sometimes took six hours to start, they helped me work harder to get the trophy or medal and also gain some wisdom of what went wrong last year and how I can change it and make it better. Tournaments made me learn to face my fears and spar kids twice the size of me and that probably wanted to do some major butt kicking. And my mom or Sensei giving me tips and telling me to just keep punching even though you wanted to cry because some refrigerator knocked your gut off kilter with a punch. Those kinds of incidents could change you forever, so thanks mom keeping me in line even when I wanted to quit and even though you keep making fun of me for supposedly man sweating.
A ton people in particular that I would like to thank are… Luke, Ivan, and Garrett. Luke. Thank you for being my training buddy and preparing me for this test. I couldn't have made it without you. Ivan. I haven't really taken any classes with you since you got your red belt but before that you helped me very step of the way and I thank you so much for that. Garrett. Like all of you thank you for helping me through to this test and giving me great tips and advise for having courage through the test thanks Garrett.
I would also like to thank everyone that is here watching today, thank you for supporting me and getting me through to this belt. I will make sure that I help you all the way here like you did for me.
I would also like to thank my mom and dad. Mom, thank you so much for being there for me when I wanted to quit and having me go to karate when I didn't want to. Thank you for taking me to all of these classes year after year and paying all the money for me to have a good time here. Dad, thank you also for taking me to all of those classes and helping me practice a bunch before this test. I couldn't have done any of this without you guys being here for me. I love you both.
I also thank my Grandma for driving me to about 60% of the Karate classes I took over the years and also making me a cake for every different belt I have accomplished. I love you Grandma.
Thank you Patty, Crystal, Cade, and Gabrielle for accepting this challenge with me and helping me all the way through this journey.
I also want to thank Cameron Burns, for doing six private lessons with me while my nose was broken and keeping my knowledge straight. I also could not have done this without you so thank you Cameron.
And I thank all the other Sensei's for teaching a lot of classes for each of us testers and keeping us prepared for the test.
And of course Sensei Brian and Kristina. You guys are amazing. Thank you Sensei for teaching me The Way of the Warrior and countless other things throughout all these years and putting in hours after hours of your days to teach hundreds of kids how to do Karate. And Kristina. Thank you for making this dojo possible and being the planner of all the amazing things I have accomplished throughout all this time. Thank you so, so, so, much.
This dojo is my second home pretty much, and you guys are family. Even though we are not related by blood whatsoever we are related by the love of karate. Thank you all of you for helping me every step of the way on this amazing journey.
It will hurt.
It will take time.
It will require dedication.
It will require willpower.
You will need to push your body to its max.
There will be temptation.
But I promise you, when you reach you goal, it is all worth it.
I wish all of you luck on this journey.