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Black Belt Essay by Debra Makino

Well, that answer comes to me when I look in the mirror, as I am reminded on why I started karate in the first place.  I started karate to help me improve on my self-confidence because of how I used to be used as a doormat to other people’s advantage. Though I only came there to boost my self-confidence to stand up to people that do so, I have learned many other things along the way. Some of these things naturally developed as I continued my classes at the karate school such as self-discovery. Other things, such as teamwork, are developed from interacting with other kids through different learning exercises such as self-defense drills or preforming together on a demo team.

In the beginning, when I started karate, I was a pretty shy person. I didn’t talk with many other kids, and being bullied was a big problem. I started karate many years ago, and at first I was nervous.  As I kept going to classes, I enjoyed going there more and more. My self-esteem was slowly but surely rising because I felt like I could do karate, and nothing there could stop me.  Around when I was an orange belt, I started making friends at karate and working with them to do different activities.  This helped out with my teamwork, which also helped me out in school as well because then I could work with others on projects. As time went on and I became a green belt, I began setting a lot of goals that helped me practice more along with staying on task.

As I began to become a brown belt, I learned more about myself than I ever had before because of how open I was to many things. I tried new things in and out of karate, which helped me form the person I am today. I also learned about having a healthier life style that helped me become more fit and do more at karate. At last as a red belt, as I am now, I learned about time management. I learned about time management because now that I’m in 8th grade, I have more homework. This made me have to balance school and karate.
Overall, the meaning of being a black belt is different for many people, because everyone thinks differently. To me, being a black belt is being a white belt that never gives up. They also learn things along the way that can help them in their daily lives, and can be passed down to younger belts throughout time, just like me. A black belt is also a person who is a role model for other students. Black belts help other students achieve their goals, and help them towards becoming a black belt themselves. When I started karate as a white belt, I was an awkward girl who didn’t have any self-confidence. Over time, I gained skills that I can use everywhere.