When I started karate five and a half years ago, I didn’t fully understand what a black belt represented. I always thought it was just a different colored belt to show what level of karate a person knew. But when I was a green belt, it hit me and I realized what it meant to me. Earning a black belt requires a lot of hard work, responsibility, strength, discipline, self-control, and perseverance and is not an easy task. That is where perseverance comes in. Perseverance means to never give up, even when things get difficult. That is what I strive to do. Whenever I am tired and want to give up or stop, I tell myself to keep going. Learning what these words mean and putting them into my mind helps me to be a better person in both karate and in my everyday life.

Outside of karate, I live a different life. But that does not mean I act differently. I have to be prepared for any situation and be aware of my surroundings. If anything bad should happen, I will be ready for it. I practice karate to be strong and able to protect myself. I want to be a black belt so I can learn more techniques to prepare myself to know how to react to more dangerous weapons like knives or guns. Whenever I go out, I want to look like I am tough so bullies would not be attracted to me and beat me up. The senseis taught me to look tough, especially when I do all my katas and self defense. I want to look tough, but not too tough that I scare everybody away.

At home, karate helps me to be a better big sister, daughter, and grand daughter. It has taught me how to have responsibility for my actions and belongings, and discipline to be helpful around home to do my chores and other responsibilities without being asked. I have also learned to be more respectful of my parents and elders and kind to my brother.

In school, I treat others with kindness. I would never want to hurt anybody. When I talk to my friends, I talk kindly, and also have pride in what I say. The senseis taught me to always have pride in what I say and how I act. I want to be a good example for my friends and other students. I want to be looked up to when I earn my black belt and available to help when anybody may need it.

Karate has taught me to be a better person than I was before. I have learned many things since I have started. Working towards my black belt has taught me self-control, responsibility, perseverance, discipline, effort, and strength. It has shown me that I am capable of achieving whatever I put my mind to. I will continue to work hard to achieve my goals. When I get my black belt, I will finally know what it feels like to have a black belt, a true black belt, around my waist, and the pride that comes with it. I’m excited to earn my black belt and look forward to continuing to expand my knowledge of karate.