When I was five years old, I started karate and I was extremely nervous.  As I moved up in belt levels, I gained more confidence and lifelong friends.  To me having a black belt means being dedicated, hardworking and having discipline.  Karate has taught me how to have self-control and how to handle bullies.

The knowledge and lessons I have learned from my Sensei’s and classmates I can apply to my everyday life and at school.  To be a black belt and wearing it shows all the time and effort my teachers and I put into learning all my techniques and katas.  Now that I am a red belt and testing for my black belt, if I  must face something hard, I will not give up.  During my time at karate even though some techniques, katas and sparring were difficult at first, I learned to persevere and push through.  Black belts respect others on and off the mat and help others when needed.  Achieving this belt level will be my biggest accomplishment and I get to build upon what I have learned from white to red and learn new techniques and katas.  Being at Amerikick has made me a better person and has showed me what it is really like to be committed to something.

Respect is an important part of being a black belt.  Wearing a black belt means you always respect others and others always respect you as well.  A true black belt works as a team which I have used in school and on the demo teams that I have joined.  I started out on the little dragons demo team back when I was a little dragon orange belt and worked my way up to the black belt demo team which I am currently on where I learn and improve with every practice.  For me, getting a black belt means setting goals and reaching them every single time.  I have been at Amerikick for a little over four years and quitting for me was never an option.  Pushing through meant I can always take on a challenge and not quit.

Becoming a black belt is not just a belt you wear around your waist; it is something that is always in the back of your mind every day.  Everyone can do just enough to get by, but this belt level means to be a black belt in everything you do.  It also means to put my heart into the things I do every day and be the best I can be.  The goal of becoming a black belt has transformed me into someone with many strengths and goals that I could never say I would have had before May 2017.  Being a role model to everyone is, I feel, the most important part of being a black belt whether you are wearing the belt or not.

I never realized joining karate would give me a sense of belonging and a feeling of family.  Before karate I joined a soccer team and I joined a swim school, but neither gave me the lessons I have learned at Amerikick.  The knowledge I have now will be with me for the rest of my life and I am forever grateful to my Sensi’s.