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What a black belt means to me By Cole Stiles

I think I started doing karate when I was 5, so getting a black belt is a long-term goal that I will have accomplished by working hard and being focused which is not always easy for me. I have a ton of energy and like to do things like sports and karate helps me to focus on them too. Time spent dedicated to doing karate and not playing with my friends, riding my bike, or playing with Legos but I have learned to fall, kick, punch, get out of bad situations, and deal with bullies. The skills that I have practiced in karate have helped me at gym, recess, and other sports that I do, like jumping, dodging, and pushups. It has helped me be strong and be more confident.

Achieving my first black belt and then continuing practicing karate means that I will be better prepared to help my friends and others if they are in a bad situation like I experienced. One time, at our community playground, I walked over to the bench where my phone was to check the time, and a woman and her son walked up to me asking my name. I said why, then she grabbed my neck, brought me down to the ground, and started strangling me. She told her son to “punch him and kick him” and he did. Then after a few moments, she finally let me go. Thankfully, I only got a little bit hurt. If that happens again to me or a friend, I will hopefully be better able to defend myself or them. This incident has made me more determined to continue practicing karate and made me more dedicated and focused to learn self-defense techniques. My favorite techniques are wrap-around, windmill guard, dragon tail, and tiger takedown. I have also learned to like sparring because it feels like practicing a real-life fight if I ever get into one again. I hope not too.

Karate is something my whole family enjoys doing and some of my friends now too. I will be the first in my family to earn my jr. black belt. I like to practice karate techniques with my mom and my sister.  Even during covid, we had fun doing karate together.

What the principles of Black Belt mean to me. Modesty means being not too proud or confident.  I am being modest when I think I know a technique, but get corrected on it. Courtesy means the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others. I show courtesy to the kid from the incident because he is on the same bus and bus stop as me and I try to be friends with him.  Integrity means the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Self control the ability to control oneself, especially in difficult situations. I show self control during sparring by trying not to hurt my partner.  Perseverance means persistence in doing something despite difficulty, I showed perseverance writing this essay, because I don’t like writing.  Indomitable spirit means to never stop trying and to never give up. I show indomitable spirit during sparring when Robert knocks me down and I get back up with a smile on my face.  I also show indomitable spirit by going back to the community playground even though I was scared at first.

That’s what getting a black belt means to me.