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by Brennan Stone
(Las Vegas, Nevada)
Allen Sarac's Professional Karate Center, My Black Belt Family
I started when I was very young. Age 7 and in the second grade to be exact. At this point in time right now I have earned my first degree black belt, I am 16 currently.
Karate has become a way of life for me. It has guided me in more than just the physical aspect. It has taught me patience, restraint, and discipline.
Any tips for future black belts are simple and you've probably already heard from the instructors. Practice, Practice, Practice. I know just how tedious it can get but it makes all the difference. I also recommend that you practice your weapons as much as you can and as frequently as possible. Get your weapon control down. Weapons are what got me on my black belt test.
In sparring, I know it is daunting seeing those big scary black belts come at you, but I remind you, they are playing down to your level, and sure they may push you to the limits of your energy, confidence, and even consciousness, they are not going to hurt you. It may seem like it, but they won't. Of course they are going to throw you around and you're most likely going to lose, but remember, keep a cool head and remember what you've been training for, remember the moves that you've been taught over the years and remember that no matter how tough they are on you they are just making sure that you can defend yourself out in the streets in the case you are attacked.
One last major tip I have for you is endurance. Now endurance is a big problem for me because I just so happen to have asthma. That's not fun on a test of endurance, which the black belt test tends to be.
The only way around this obstacle was to run and run and run. Every morning, my dad and I would get up and run 2.5 miles and time ourselves, always striving for a better time. Its not easy, everyone knows that. Even the green and purple belts know its not. But I remind you that it is most definitely worth it.
Testing for Black Belt has changed my life, given me a new confidence, made me physically strong, and mentally as well. That has given me many life long characteristics that will distinguish who I am and separate me from that kid would was bouncing off the walls and screaming in second grade. It really has changed my life, and I hope it changes yours. I challenge you to walk this path because, even though it may be brutal and hard, it is most definitely worth it.
Ask anyone at the dojo and they will tell you, Martial Arts have impacted their lives and gave them more than what they originally wanted out of it.
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