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I will stay in the fight until the final round!

By Janeth McLaughlin

     I am so honored & grateful to be part of our Dojo’s first in-house, post Covid-19, Black Belt test!

Every black belt test thus far has been an amazing experience with plenty of great moments and memories.  The circumstances of the last 3 years have been and still are a difficult and humbling experience.  During this time, I had to surrender control and depend on God and lean on people; I had to relinquish my pride and self reliance attitude and take the helpful hand of my church and Dojo communities to get through it all.  I believe the last three years have been a journey of obedience to God and humility.  It has been a journey of living in an attitude of gratefulness and a reminder that everything happens for a reason.

    From the very beginning of my martial arts journey, I knew that earning a black belt was going to be a difficult undertaking.  As I progressed through the ranks, I began to face more and more challenges. I struggled with injuries and setbacks; at times, making the goal seem impossible to achieve. It is then I remember, in my own strength, I am weak.  It is only when I draw on the strength of Christ that the impossible is achieved!  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

    Through all of the difficulties that I faced, I learned never to retreat, and the true meaning of perseverance. I learned that success is not always about natural talent or innate ability, but about a willingness to put in the hard work and dedication that is required to achieve great things. I learned to embrace the struggle, to embrace the challenges that I faced, and to use them as fuel to propel me towards my goals.


    Achieving a 4th degree black belt is a monumental accomplishment that requires unwavering dedication and an indomitable spirit.  My journey towards earning this level of mastery was a long and difficult one, filled with countless obstacles and setbacks. However, through sheer determination, a refusal to give up, and with the help and encouragement of my dedicated instructors and fellow warriors, I was able to overcome these challenges and achieve my goals.


    I will continue to train with dedication and improve my skills.  I will strive to remain humble and recognize there is always room for growth and learning.  I will continue to approach martial arts defense with a mindset of respect, discipline and responsibility.  I believe it is important to be aware of situations where physical strength and martial arts are not enough to overcome obstacles.  It is important to cultivate a mindset of resilience, adaptability, and problem solving in addition to martial arts training.

    On May 13th I will earn my 4th degree black belt.  I am honored to share this special moment with three amazing warrior women, Tashi Caroline, Tashi Lynn and Sensei Kat. I will look back on my journey with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I know that I have achieved something truly remarkable, and I am grateful for all of the lessons that I have learned along the way. But perhaps more importantly, I know that the skills and values that I have developed through martial arts will continue to serve me throughout my life. I will carry with me the lessons of hard work, perseverance, and determination, and I will use them to achieve even greater things in the future.

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