When you first started karate, what was a hope you had about earning your Black Belt? What did you imagine that would be like? How would it change your life?
When I first started karate, I was really unsure of myself. In some ways, I didn’t know if I really wanted to do it, but I discovered something that gave me the confidence and drive to push me forward. I imagined it would be difficult but worthwhile and that just pushed me more. As I pushed forward, I chose to become a junior instructor because of my love for karate and being able to lead by example to help others.
What are some actual challenges of earning a Black Belt and what have you learned from those challenges?
The biggest challenge is your own self and fighting the little voice in your head saying “It’s too hard” and “You can’t do it”. I’ve learned that my body is capable of doing more than I think it can and I challenge myself to keep pushing through even when it’s tough.
How would you describe your approach to karate instruction and leadership? What have you learned from your instructors?
When I go up to the front of the class, my goal is to have each student be able to go home with something they learned in class. Even with having to correct someone, I want them to feel good about their performance and not focus on the negative. Even when I’m not the person who is teaching the class, I want to be able to show my best performance in front of the students. That way I can push them to be their very best.
I’ve learned that patience and understanding while helping students is crucial to their success. Another thing I’ve learned is to not let my fears rule me, and to realize how strong I am when teaching/leading by example.
What would you say to a new white belt student who you want to see earn their Black Belt?
Your journey may be difficult at times, but you have a whole group of family around you to help you and continue pushing you to be your best. Always believe in yourself, and you will go far.