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What A Black Belt Means by Kasey Schwalje

I have been taking karate for five years. Throughout those five years, I have learned a lot. I haven’t only learned how to defend and protect myself if needed, but I have grown so much more as a person. Five years ago, I was a small, ten year old who was coming home everyday crying because of the way people were treating me. I didn’t want to go to school, gymnastics, or anywhere because I thought everything they said was true.

My sister started karate a few years before me, so I had to watch her take classes. I watched her go through little dragons classes all the way up to advanced classes. When school was out, one day I decided to test out a class. I thought it would be good for me after everything that did happen and would’ve happened that year.

After my first week of classes, I realized I liked it so much more than I expected to. I loved the positive environment, the way I was being taught, and the people who were there. Eventually those people would be some of my favorite people for so many reasons. These people not only taught me basic kicks and punches, but how to be okay with myself and not to worry about what other people think.

As soon as I got my purple belt, Sensi Dennis kept pushing me to compete in my first tournament. He wanted me to get more comfortable in that type of setting, so eventually he could put me on both the color belt and black belt team. He saw that I was motivated and showed a lot of potential. That meant a lot to me, so I went out and competed. Since it was my first tournament and I wanted to do my best, I went out and I competed Amerikick 3 even though I

was a purple belt. I got first place in forms and weapons. That first competition showed me that I am able to be the best when I am confident.

Throughout my five years of training, I have taught myself to be confident, have personal control, and to try as hard as I could to focus. As a black belt, I think that you need to have all of these qualities. These qualities will help you train a lot harder and become the best you can be. A black belt needs to be the best they can be because that is what a role model does. In being a black belt and having those qualities will make you have the right mentality for not only karate, but the real world. You need to have these qualities in school, work, and when it comes to being social in society.

A black belt needs to be many things. One major thing that a black belt must obtain is being a role model. A black belt is a role model to all the little dragons, beginners, and even the advanced kids. Everyone will look up to a black belt because of the way they act.