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What a Black Belt Means to Me by Alek Stein

Journey to the Black Belt

2I started taking karate lessons when I was 5 years old. I went to Amerikick Karate through my school at Trinity Learning Center (TLC). Often, after Kindergarten, I’d go to the gym at TLC and take karate with Sensei Kim and my school friends. At first, I really wanted to learn karate because I thought it would be cool to be able to fight, but now I know I need to work hard so I get stronger. Karate has always meant a lot to me but I didn’t always like it because it was difficult; my Sensei worked me really hard. Since I was little, I always wanted to be a black belt, so I continue to work to achieve my dream of becoming a black belt.

Path to the Black Belt Demo Team

When I graduated from kindergarten, I started taking lessons at the Amerikick Studio. When I turned seven, I joined the Color Belt Demo Team and started competing in tournaments. Until joining Demo and competing, I never really took karate too seriously. I still get nervous about tournaments, but now I’ve learned to use my nervousness to make me work harder than I regularly would work. After two years on the color belt demo team, I made the Black Belt Demo Team. Joining this team gave me a lot of responsibility; as new kids come on the team, I can help them with their katas and tricks.  CotteMAZ_9807-Edit-removebg-preview AMERIKICK LESSONS IN LIFE SINCE 1967 Black Belt

Striving for Black Belt Excellence

Every single day I try to improve just a little bit, whether with my stances or chambers.
I have never been the best at chambers or stances so I work on these basics a lot. I also try to work on my roundoff, because I always arch my back or I keep my hands really far apart. When I do this it hurts my momentum, and it is a lot harder for me to flip.

When I become a black belt, I want to continue karate, to start teaching and to continue upgrading my black belt. When I am older, I hope to be able to sparr my Dad because he started taking karate with me last year. My favorite part of karate is working on extreme flips and tricks so that I can show friends and add to my extreme katas. While training for my test, I hope to remember all of my katas and self-defense. I also want to get better at sparring so I improve at tournaments. With Internationals coming up, my goal is to get first place and perform on the main stage as a red belt.

Black Belt Aspirations

Learning karate has taught me a lot because it gave me discipline and obedience. When I was younger, I learned not just to go to class to get it over with, but to use every class to improve. Karate has taught me how to do backflips, gainers, corks, b-twists, fulls and more. One of my favorite moves is a sideswipe. I love just swinging and spinning myself in the air. The sideswipe is not as hard to land as a cork or other moves. Karate has helped me tremendously and now I can’t wait to earn my black belt, then work my way up to my senior black belt.