I have learned many things since receiving my black belt. Over the past two years of training as a black belt I have grown as a person and martial artist. I learned the importance of self-defense, confidence, and how to teach martial arts.

I started karate when I was in fourth grade. I wanted to get a black belt because I thought it was cool, but it’s much more than that. Over the years I have learned and mastered techniques and basics. I learned what to do and how to react if someone tried to attack me. This is very important because I can use these skills for the rest of my life. You never know what’s going to happen, so it is always better to be prepared for anything. I’ve never had to use my karate to defend myself, and that’s a good thing. I don’t want to get into a situation where I have to use it, but if I do I know I have the tools, skills, and knowledge to do so.

I have gained a lot of confidence since receiving my black belt. This is very important to me. Confidence is a great virtue to have in life. Even after earning my Jr. black belt I wasn’t very confident in myself. Not just my black belt helped build my confidence; martial arts in general has been the biggest factor in building it. As a black belt in class I am used as an example for many things such as, how to do certain moves and a role model for other students. Performing in front of an audience has always been very hard for me. But after doing moves for the class a many times I began to feel more comfortable doing it. Another way that my black belt has help build my confidence is though helping teach classes.

I have also learned how to teach, more specifically, moves and katas. After I received my black belt, Sensei Mike Recinto offered me a job assisting with classes. I now am I part of Amerikick Medford’s staff. I started out helping in the Little Dragons/Little Tigers classes; I instruct in all class levels now. Sensei Mike showed me how to help the students with their moves and katas. The skill of teaching isn’t just useful in karate but also in life. Teaching goes back to confidence. I feel that after I started to help instruct classes is when my confidence started building, the student is becoming the teacher. Being in front of many students for a couple hours multiple times a week made me improved my performance in front of audiences.

Receiving my black belt has helped me grow and taught me many valuable skills and virtues I can use for the rest of my life. Self-defense is a great tool to have in in life because not everyone has good intentions and could try to hurt you physically, now I am prepared.  Confidence is a virtue that everyone should have or work on improving. Teaching is also a great life skill to have. These are just a few things I’ve learned since receiving my black belt.