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Black Belt Essay by Matthew Leone

To me earning a Black Belt means lots of achievements such as strength, honor and bravery.  Strength is shown in the physical test.  Honor is shown by being accepted to take the test and Bravery is shown by actually taking and passing the test.  Some achievements that I feel about earning a Black Belt are feeling accomplished and confident.  One example of me feeling accomplished is when I finished the first stage of the test, the physical test.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to complete the physical part of the test without having to take breaks to rest or taking breaks to get water.  When I started the physical test, I thought it would be extremely hard and take few hours to complete.  Surprisingly, the test only took about one hour and thirty minutes to complete.  I was able to go home and enjoy the rest of the weekend feeling a great accomplishment of having completed the physical part of my Black Belt journey.
Since I started taking karate, I have gained more confidence in myself.  I never thought I would actually make it to my Black Belt test.  I thought I would end up quitting at red belt, but once I saw what I could achieve by working harder towards a black belt, I had more confidence to go on with my training and the black belt test.
Overall, to me a Black Belt is a way for me to show the world that I was strong enough to get to this goal.  My training up to this point was not always easy.  There were days when I did not feel like going to class because I was tired or felt like staying home to play video games, but I realized that once I pushed myself to go to class, I actually felt better.  My fellow teammates and Sensei’s are always there to help keep me going.  They are there for me when I don’t feel so strong by myself.  With all of this motivation to keep me moving forward, how could I not succeed:  Working towards Black Belt has also taught me to encourage others around me who may be struggling with their training.  We are all there to support each other.
Training for Black Belt has taught me many life lessons such as I can accomplish anything I want to in life, but I have to work for it.  No one is going to hand things to me.  No one is handing me a Black Belt, I am working hard to earn it.  I have learned this and so much more from my wonderful Sensei’s and the awesome training they provide.
As you can see, earning a Black Belt means a lot to me.  I am excited for this opportunity and I look forward to many more years of training with my Amerikick family.  Thank you.