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What a black belt means To me by Kaitlyn Wiggins

Being a black belt is a huge accomplishment. It takes years of practice, hard work, dedication, and discipline to make it to this point. I would describe a black belt as strong, confident, dedicated, disciplined, supportive, and considerate. For about a year I sat in a red metal chair watching my brother in his classes. I got bored of sitting there so I decided to start doing karate. When I first started, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not, but as I attended more classes I started to enjoy it. Sometimes I didn’t always want to go but I knew I wanted to reach my goal of becoming a black belt, it wasn’t easy but I made it there.

Being a black belt requires strength, both mentally and physically. When I am sparring, being strong mentally comes in handy; I have to use my brain to figure out how to block my opponents attacks and find a way to hit them back without being blocked. I have to figure out how to land my attack and be quick about it. That might mean faking to an area and attacking a different area, attacking an area that is open, or attacking as soon as they finish their attack, so they don’t have time to reset and won’t be able to react quick enough to block. Physically being strong comes in handy also, that way I have enough power and strength to hit my opponent hard enough so they pause for a minute and I can get away. All of the exercises we do during classes have helped me build up muscle and now I have more power in my kicks and punches.

When I think of a black belt I’d think of them as being considerate, confident in themselves, and supportive of other students. A black belt helps out people in need, such as someone who isn’t doing a move right or someone that can’t stand up for themselves. I always try to help people out by giving them advice or helping them out if they’ve made a mistake. Tournaments have helped me build confidence in myself, and support other students. During a tournament you have to learn to believe that you will do well even though you’re nervous. Also during tournaments you should be supportive of each other. I am always supportive of my friends even though I’m competing against them, I am also supportive of the students from my karate school and cheer them on when they are competing.

Being a black belt also requires dedication and discipline. It takes years to earn your black belt, therefore you have to be dedicated. I attend classes 2-3 nights a week, sometimes even 4; I have always made time in my schedule to get my classes in during the week even if I had something before it, such as a soccer game or basketball practice. Discipline is a hard thing to have because you have to make sure you follow the rules and instructions no matter what; if you don’t listen to what you were told you have to do push-ups. I always listen to what I am told to do even if I think otherwise.

Becoming a black belt is hard work, but if you put your mind to it you can accomplish it. To me being a black belt means I have achieved my goal to become one since I started karate. I am very proud of myself for accomplishing this, I have come a long way since I started, and I have learned a lot. Karate has taught me to have confidence in myself, it has given me leadership skills, and most importantly it has taught me to defend myself. I have been doing karate for a long time and I’m not going to stop now.