For most of the earlier stages of my childhood, I wanted to be a ninja or learn how to be invisible in the darkness. When I first heard there was a karate dojo in town I thought, “This is my chance!” but after my first day as a white belt, I was exhausted. Every time I went to training I had the same results. After I few more times I started to think Kyokushin was too hard for me and I thought about quitting, but my dad said, “You started something and you are going to finish it.” I knew I wanted to go far with my karate studies, but was uncertain about wanting to do the work that was necessary.
So I trained day after day, and after about 1 year and a half I earned my yellow belt. I worked my butt off until I was finally strong enough physically, but had to keep working to build the mental and physical awareness to actually enjoy training. When I became a green belt I learned I was one of youngest in our dojo’s history. Then I started having to teach almost every kid my age in the dojo the basics of Kyokushin. At first I felt annoyed because I felt I couldn’t get anything done. I became harder to practice my kata and teach new students at the same time. But I was also excited for my upcoming brown belt test. In my discussions with the blackbelts I heard that the brown belt test was a strenuous and mentally demanding obstacle to overcome on my way to earning a Kyokushin blackbelt. When testing day came, I thought “Here we go!” I pushed and pushed until it felt like my skin was inside out. To my surprise, I passed!
Year after year I practiced and applied my knowledge to become a better athlete and person. I worked to constantly improve. Through the next few blackbelt testing opportunities I thought I wasn’t big enough or strong enough or know my kata well enough. Times change, and I am ready. I will do whatever it takes to achieve a Kyokushin blackbelt and begin a new phase of my training. Osu!