top of page

My Karate Journey 
By Avery Nippes

Think about your favorite activity. What does it mean to you? My favorite activity, karate, means a lot to me. For me, karate is a form of physical exercise, a way to stay fit and healthy. It's also a means of self-defense, giving you confidence and skills to protect yourself if necessary, (but hopefully will never be necessary). Karate's not just about fighting, though. It's good for your brain too! You learn discipline, and you learn to keep trying even when it feels impossible. Plus, karate teaches you to be tough, like a ninja, so you can handle anything, even outside of the dojo. Karate basically gives you superpowers!

Recently, I started to help teach the Friday dragons class. That’s always been my goal, and it's very fun. Teaching karate to 6-year-olds is like trying to wrangle a bunch of tiny tornadoes! They're all over the place, full of energy. But it's super fun and rewarding. One time, after the dragons class, I went out to eat with my family. In the middle of the meal, a parent came up to me and told me I did a great job teaching his child. That made all the work worth it. There really is nothing better than when you get to see a kid's little face light up when they nail a move. Sure, there are moments of chaos, but overall, it's a blast! You just gotta have patience and remember to keep things simple and fun!

Even with all the amazing events that have happened in my karate journey, there have been obstacles. When I got my junior black belt, I felt amazing. I was fit, and felt like a god. But the day after the promotion I got covid. Since that day, my health has never been quite the same. I have gotten sick many more times. And on top of that I've gotten hurt very badly, including when I injured my neck and when I chronically sprained my ankle. Karate has gotten me through all of the challenges that I have faced. I have moved through it with the dojo.

                After a few months of laying around with a terribly hurt neck, I thought that I should be getting back to the way things were. I started going back to karate and took many different private classes. Throughout all of them I learned that I wasn't made of glass, and little by little things started to get better. The dojo family helped me every step of the way towards healing myself, and being the best that I can be. They never rushed me but they did encourage me to get back into classes with other kids and eventually I was able to. Sure, people still didn't grab my neck or sweep me to the ground but I was able to socialize again. I knew that if I could do karate I could do almost anything, so I started getting into sports like baseball, and started running around at recess. Life got back to normal.

                Recently I decided that I was ready to earn my teen black belt. I've gone through 8 weeks now of boot camp and every single Saturday has been so difficult but so rewarding. I’m so lucky for the chance to wake up and run with the other wonderful black belt candidates. I may have not alway been the quickest one to pick up my forms or have the highest kick, but I do believe I have worked hard, and I deserve this next belt in my karate journey.

AVERY copy.jpg
bottom of page