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Black Belt Essay by Ryan White

As a junior belt, senseis teach many lessons that apply not only to karate, but also to life. However, at that age, not many of those lessons click in the students’ brains. Later in life, these students mature, and they truly understand the lessons that their senseis have taught them. This is the case for me, and when I began to understand the life lessons taught by my sensei, I applied them to my life, and it helped me get inducted into a hall of fame.

A few years ago, I decided to try out for my school show. When the results of the tryouts were posted, I was heartbroken to find that I had not made the cut. As the next school year approached, I had no intention of trying out for the school show again, because I was expecting the same results as the previous year. However, after a bit of soul-searching and persuasion from family and friends, I told myself that I would try out for my school show again despite the previous year’s result, and that I would work hard so that I could potentially make the cut. The results came in, and I was overjoyed when I discovered that I had made it in. The next year came around, and since I had a year’s worth of show experience, I was able to perform in a one-act play with my classmates.
At the Pennsylvania State Thespian Conference. I ended up receiving one of the biggest parts in the play. I was determined to fulfill my role to the best of my ability, so I practiced my lines whenever I could. The performance was spectacular in the eyes of the sold-out audience, which were very surprised to see a middle school perform so well. After the performance, there was a meeting among all of the show and play directors from all over the state where they would select one performer and one stage crew member from each thespian troupe to be inducted into the Pennsylvania Thespian Conference Performance Hall of Fame or Stage Crew Hall of Fame. At the induction ceremony, I expected the lead role from the one-act play to be inducted. But I was in shock when I heard my name called. I had been selected to be in the Performance Hall of Fame. If I had not have been taught to work hard, aim high, and finish what I had started, I would have never been able to experience the extreme amount of happiness that came over me when
I heard my name called during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Pennsylvania State Thespian Conference.

The phrase “work hard, aim high, and finish what I start” is now a motto that I live
my life by because of how it impacted me. Karate helped me get into a hall of fame by giving me perseverance through the phrase “work hard, aim high, and finish what I start.” Since becoming a black belt, the lessons that were taught to me at karate have fully resonated with me, and they have helped me greatly both inside and outside of karate.