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My Black Belt Journey

By Ruby Connerton

In November of 2019, I was four and I was not sure that I liked the idea of starting

karate but I decided to give it a try. As a white belt it was hard for me to learn the techniques

because I started right before Covid, so I was on Zoom most of the time. When we started

having class outside at Cashman Park it was much easier for me learn. Once we started having

class back at the Dojo, I started getting to know my Senseis better. They made me feel more

welcome. When I moved up to juniors, I started with my blue belt. There were more boys than

girls in my classes and I felt intimidated by them. When I felt that way, I told myself I was as

good as them or even better. Watching my woman instructors made me feel more confident

and they encouraged me to work harder.

When my dad started karate in 2021, I was excited. We were able to help each other

learn and I noticed it made him smile more. Now he is going up for his black belt with me and I

think that is very great. In the beginning of black belt boot camp, most things were hard for me

but once I got used to it some things started getting easier. Planks, pushups, sparring, and the

run started to be less difficult and that made me feel that I conquered some things that were

hard for me. My dad pushing me to do my best also helped.

When I started karate, I did not really know who I was inside. Karate helped me discover

who I was and now I am much stronger both physically and mentally. I think karate has really

helped me become a better person and I think karate is very fun and exciting because you

never know what your partner will do next. I like Forms more than combinations, knives, and

kempo punch techniques. I think Forms are more complicated but they look very cool and

graceful. In addition, they can help me defend myself if I ever needed to. When I do karate, it

helps me balance my mind. If I am stressed out before class, I hold it in and wait for class so I

can kiai loudly and that helps me a lot. The reason why I kiai loudly when I punch and kick is

because it makes my kicks and strikes more meaningful and powerful.

On May 11 th , I will be getting my black belt. Once I do, I will be able to join the other

black belts of my age in my classes. I will be the youngest junior black belt and I know there will

be so much more for me to learn. I want to make my instructors and other black belts proud,

but most importantly I want to be proud of myself! I hope more people start karate because it

is great and has helped me so much in so many ways. See you at the Dojo!

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