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What My Blackbelt Means To Me by Trey Scarborough

I began karate when I was 4 years old. My mom told me that her and my dad started me in karate so that I could have an activity outside of the house. I had already tried soccer and I did not like it. When I first started karate, I thought it was easy. I liked doing the kicks and the obstacle course. As I got older, karate became more difficult but it was still very fun to do. I felt that it was harder to memorize the katas verses just doing the punches and kicks because now I had to do them in a certain order. I also had to focus on doing the moves well instead of just going through the motions. I still felt it was fun that we were able to do cool and fun activities such as dodgeball and weapons. When I reached my green belt level, I realized how much time I had been devoting to karate. I was proud of myself for my dedication. It was the longest that I had been involved in any activity. It was at that time that I realized that I wanted to continue on to achieve my black belt. I desired to extend my training to black belt level and beyond. I started asking my parents if I could go to karate class more than one day per week. My dad said that I needed to show him that I was motivated. In order to show him, I practiced more and I tried to focus on doing my moves properly. Soon after, he said it was okay for me to increase the number of classes that I do per week. When I was a 3rd cue brown belt, I struggled with my kata. This was because I had not been practicing. I started practicing again and I got better at it. I have also struggled with sparring since we began doing it in class. It was hard for me to learn how to put my weight behind my punches. It was also difficult learning how to get hit as some of the punches and kicks really hurt. I kept working on my sparring. I tried to get stronger so that I would be able to spar better. I saw some of the tournament trophies and I decided that I wanted to try and compete in a tournament. I worked hard and took4th place in the tournament. I was proud of my accomplishment but wish I would have done better. Over the years, I have dedicated a lot of time and effort into my karate. I feel that I have grown mentally and physically since I started at a young age. It has developed me as a person. It has shown me what hard work and dedication can achieve. Obtaining my black belt will prove to me and my family that all of my efforts have been worth it. I am grateful to my parents and the sensei’s for keeping me on this journey and teaching me so much.