Black Belts

I am 15 years old. I have been participating and learning karate for almost seven years now. Karate is a very useful sport to learn. Not only is it useful, but also very fun, exciting and also at times, a little frustrating.

Over the past six and a half years, I have learnt many things, which include: break-falls, many different hand techniques, sparring, various open-hand forms, a variety of weapons and different self-defense on the mats. Not only do you learn all those great things, but you also gain a lot of confidence, self- respect, determination, perseverance, control, and on top of all that, you get to make friends, as well as learn words from the Korean language! For every open-hand form, weapon, technique and break-falls, there is a Korean name for it.

What karate has done for me in the past six and a half years is build my self-confidence up so much that I have been able to qualify three times for National's in Ottawa and to qualify twice for Worlds which took place in Dublin, Ireland, the first time I qualified. The second time was in Orlando, Florida. I did not participate in either World's because I felt as though I was not ready to go there. When I grow up and live in my own house, I will never be afraid to defend myself, because of this amazing sport. Although, karate isn't just a sport for some people, it is their passion. It has also kept me physically active. When I was younger, I used to participate in two classes of 45 minutes. For two nights of every week I would get an hour and a half of karate. Those 4 classes a week helped me advance faster and I learned so much more.

When you participate in a sport, you want to be able to have fun and by having fun, your coach, or trainer or Master in this case, need to love what he or she is doing. My instructors are Cecil and Linda Pierce. They have been karate instructors for a very long time now and not only do they have classes in Blind River, but in Elliot Lake as well. Without their immense amount of patience, determination and focus, I wouldn't have been able to reach my goal of getting my Black Belt. They have pushed me very far but they have never forced me to do something I have never wanted to do. I have two things that I am a huge fan of; sparring and open-hand forms are my absolute favorite things to do. The reason why I love to spar is because you really get to learn how to defend yourself. Of course all of the hand techniques will work if someone were to grab your shoulder, but if someone were to pick a fight with you, you would know how to get the job done. Finally, the reason why I love open-hand forms is because you really get to show your strength, concentration and your ability to do something no one ever thought you could. For example; kick over your head, combine two different forms into one. Strength and concentration is the reason why I adore doing open- hand forms.

I couldn't have reached my goal without you guys, thank you so much for the opportunity that I will never forget.

Sincerely, Katie