What being a black belt means to me.
By: Caitlyn Feeney
I started karate when I was five years old. Becoming a black belt seemed so far away and I remember always saying I would quit karate before I became a black belt. Six years later, here I am getting ready to test for my black belt. What does being a black belt mean to me? For me, being a black belt means I must be a good influence, encourage others who need it, always give it my best, and most importantly never giving up.
Being a good influence is something I have learned from watching the black belts that teach me. For example, the Sensei’s are always making sure we are having fun but we are still expected to be respectful to them and to each other. The Sensei’s model respect daily by being kind to the students and to each other and always pushing us to do new things. Because of the Sensei’s influence most of the students’ attitudes on the mat are like the Sensei’s attitude – respectful.
I remember when I first started karate I was nervous and scared. All the sensei’s were encouraging me to get on the mat and try the class. It gave me the confidence to actually get out on the mat and try the class. Now because they were encouraging to me, I want to be encouraging to others too. Some of the ways I can be encouraging is to clap or cheer others on when they are performing, pay attention when it is another person’s turn on the mat, and congratulating them after something they’ve tried especially if they need more practice.
Through six years of doing karate I have learned that the more I practice the better I’ll get. Preparing for the black belt test has made me practice more than I ever have before. But the more I practice, the better I feel about myself, and the better I feel about myself the more I want to practice. I want to practice more and be better because I want to do the very best that I can on the black belt test. I don’t want to look back and say I could have done something better or stronger. I want to look back and know I did my very best work because I prepared the best that I could.
When I first started karate I never thought I would want to earn my black belt. If it wasn’t for my parents and the sensei’s pushing me, I might have quit. When I look back now, I think I should have been more confident. I have never been pushed to do anything I couldn’t do. I was only ever pushed to do things that I didn’t know I could do. As a black belt I hope to be able to show beginner and intermediate belts what they can accomplish if they never give up and keep working. Once I am a black belt I will keep working hard toward my next black belt.
In conclusion, I am very proud to be given this opportunity to test for my black belt. I am proud of myself and all my hard work over the years. I am proud I never gave up and quit. Once a black belt, I will do my best to always remember to be a good influence, encourage others, do my best, and never give up. I will continue to practice hard and wear my black belt with confidence and pride.