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Black belt boot camp has taught me a lot. It has taught me to not take myself so seriously all the time. It is even okay to laugh at myself occasionally. It has taught me that even when there is a challenge in front of me that I don’t think I can complete, I

have to keep trying. I can actually do more than I know if I try. Also, it has taught me that exercise like running feels really good after I am done, even though it feels really hard while I am doing it. At the end of the day it is all worth it.


One way that I have built confidence in myself through karate is to work on focusing more on myself and what I am doing, while trying not to think about what other people think. For example, when I practice my forms I push thoughts of what other

people might see or say out of my head so I can just focus on doing the movements the best that I can. Another way that I have built confidence in myself is by thinking back about the challenges I have overcome and all the things that I have done well

throughout my journey to earn my black belt. The last thing that has really helped me build and maintain confidence is the support of my family and my instructors at the Dojo.  These people telling me that they know I can do it reminds me that I can actually do it and not to give up on my goal.


I take the responsibility of being a black belt seriously. It is important to work hard and persevere through challenges to be successful in karate and in life. Responding in a respectful manner to any of my instructors, as well as my classmates, sets a good example for the younger students. This is also how I want to act in life to be a respectful person. This has been such a phenomenal journey full of challenges and obstacles I have overcome. Even though as a soon-to-be black belt I will now have a lot of responsibilities, it has also been a lot of fun and I’ve made friendships and memories that will last forever.

When I first walked into the Dojo to try karate I thought, “This will be fun!” Little did I know that the martial arts I was learning would soon change me greatly. This was not always an easy journey for me. The beginning was not TOO hard, but there were many times that I was worried I would not be able to reach my goal of achieving the next rank. I had to persevere through many obstacles and challenges, such as: remembering all the parts of 2 pinan, COVID, my fear of promotions, making mistakes and being very hard on myself. The key to my progress was practice. Practing forms and other skills over and over, not just at class, until I got them memorized. Practicing breathing to help manage my worries and calm myself down. Practicing being less hard on myself and talking to myself in a positive way. This one is still a work in progress.  One time at promotions, I think it was for my purple belt, I made a mistake. In front of everyone. I froze and couldn’t remember what was next. I thought, “What do I do? Everyone is looking at me. What should I do?” At every promotion since then, I remember this. I still have to work hard to breathe and tell myself, “It’s going to be okay. You can DO this!”

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