Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Why I want to be a black Belt: by AJ Weibye


      When I was 3 years old, I found my sisters karate gear. I would wear it all the time and do punches and kicks with sound effects pretending I was a karate master. When I was 6 years old, my dad finally let me sign up for karate lessons. At the beginning, I thought it was pretty easy, but after a few weeks I started to realize that it was going to be harder than I had originally thought. I wasn’t very flexible and really struggled with “crunchy punchies”, push-ups and jumping jacks. After I was a green belt, I started taking a nunchuck class and when I tested I got my first patch. I really loved weapons classes and was able to get a chevron patch for nunchucks, a patch for eskrima sticks and one for the bow staff. Eskrima sticks were the hardest as I would get very tired and my hands would really hurt after practice. I was best at bow staff and I even competed in a regional tournament with it. As I ranked up, I wanted to do some tournaments. I did two regional tournaments where I received 5 metals (2 for forms, 2 for sparring and 1 for bow staff) and 1 national tournament where I got a silver medal in forms.
      At first, I never wanted to get my black belt. I just wanted to have a purple belt like my sister. But the longer I was in it, the better I became at the things I originally thought were really hard. I wanted to do well in tournaments and learn to become better with my weapons. It has taken me 3 years to get to this point and I will be testing soon for my black belt. Over the years, I have learned and practiced tons of kicks, punches, blocks, and other moves that I never knew before. More important than that, I learned to be respectful, courteous, and to always do the right thing even when it isn’t the easy thing. (Mr. Strickland and Mr. Caine call this integrity). I also learned discipline and how to persevere when trying to learn certain forms and skills became difficult. There were many times that I just wanted to quit. Sometime I only went to class because my parents made me, but even on those days I always had fun and am so glad I kept with it. Working hard, I was able to finally learn the difficult forms and skills I thought were impossible. TaeKwonDo has taught me how to make my body strong and flexible and the importance of exercise and focus. It has also taught me to stand up for myself, my friends, and my family, but that I only use TaeKwonDo as a defense. Being a black belt means I have achieved something big and that I know whatever I take on in my life, I can have confidence that with enough focus and hard work, I will be able to finish it. It has been difficult and very challenging to stay with it at times, but I am glad I did and earning my black belt will be a great way to see that hard work pay off.