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Black Belt Essay by Noah Fillgrove

Becoming a black belt has involved many different learning experiences along the way, and being one has led to even more learning. Once I became a black belt, I started to learn why we did the stuff we do, I learned how to teach better, and especially how to control my power. Learning is one of the most important things to remember how to do as a black belt, because even when you’re good at something, there is always something more to learn, and get better at. Learning when you’re younger is just repeating what you are told. I have learned how to get the kids to understand what they are learning. Learning how to teach the material, is the best way to ensure that you yourself know what it is that you are learning. When I would do things as a jr. black belt, I would just be doing the kata, or the technique. But as I have learned when doing katas such as Short 3 and Mass Attacks, I would do the techniques that the kata is made up out of, which made learning the kata much easier.

I was always much bigger than other kids in my classes, and I always could hit hard, so as I got even bigger, I needed to learn how to hold back my power. As before, myself being a jr. black belt, I really thought that I was controlling my power, but after my second black belt I realized that I did not know my own power very well, and what I needed to do. Especially in sparring, I have since become much better at controlling myself. My skill has increased  since my last black belt test and belt, which is how I have learned to have much more control.

Since my Jr. Black Belt, I was a teacher as soon as I got it, but after I moved to the adult class, I have learned the correct ways to teach kids there. I knew before what was good teaching technique, but now I have learned what works for me, which is being demonstrative and showing the kata or technique to the kids that I am teaching. Even though COVID messed-up my plans and my ability to teach,  ever since I have been able to go back, I have not been able to teach, but even though I have not been able to, I have learned a lot about how I teach.

Getting my black belt has been a journey and I have learned along the way. I have learned about myself, and others. I have learned how to learn, because before I would just repeat what I was taught; since getting my black belts, I have learned how to understand what I have learned. Another very important thing that I have learned was how to control  my power whenever I was  sparring and when working with other people, and especially when I was sparring. I have also learned how to become a better teacher, and what I like to do when teaching. Becoming a black belt has taught me much and has been a great journey.

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