At the age of 2 years old, my dad bought me blue boxing gloves. I had been practicing boxing around the house at any given time.  I wanted to do more things similar to boxing. That is when I found karate.  I ended up joining a karate school called Dynamic Martial Arts.  At first, I didn’t know what my goal was or what to do. I just knew that I enjoyed being in karate classes.  There, the sensei taught the class and the sempais assisted. They taught me the basic exercises and forms. I had a lot of fun on the first day of karate. The only problem was that I still did not set a goal for myself.
Months and years passed as I advanced in my skills. Once I graduated to my yellow belt, I wondered how many belts were left until I received my black belt. When I saw how far away I was from becoming a black belt, I was inspired to reach my goal of one day becoming a black belt. Over the years I went up the ranks and received my blue belt. Now that I finally set my goal, I worked twice as hard for me to achieve it. My mom sadly received news that the karate school was closing which meant I would likely have to start over.
Eventually, my mom found another karate school I could attend called Amerikick where I restarted as a white belt.  At Amerikick, because of the detailed training I started to understand what a black belt means to me. I was taught by the sensei’s that a white belt is a black belt that never gives up. I learned that self-confidence, focus and determination were three very important things needed to become a black belt. Self-confidence shows that you will not show any fear towards anything. It shows that you can be brave when it is necessary. Focus shows complete concentration on one object or person. It prevents you from getting distracted. Finally, determination shows the will to keep on going and achieve your goal. With these three things you can really show that you are a black belt. In karate, I learned one last thing that I took personally. The color of your belt does not determine who you are, your actions do. A black belt means dedication to the craft of karate. A black is someone who is always hard working. In addition to that, a black belt is someone who surpasses all achievements to become a leader.
In conclusion, I believe a black belt will encourage me to continue on my journey in the martial arts and to never give up.  I had some obstacles that may have kept me from reaching my goal but I continued on this journey in martial arts and love every moment spent at the dojo.  I want to be strong and caring. I want to be a leader that shows respect to myself and others. To me a black belt will hold responsibility for their actions. A black belt will make sure to follow through with whatever they’re doing.  Many may think that obtaining a black belt is the end however, I like to think of it as the beginning of a new chapter that will give me more opportunities to specialize in karate, perfect my skills and learn other styles.  Being a black belt makes me feel that I will become a better leader to those trying to achieve the same goal as myself. A leader will make the correct choices and will stay focused. That is the black belt I want to be and that is what black belt means to me.