When you first started karate, what were your hopes of getting a Black Belt? What would it be like? How would that change your life?
When I started training in the Ripple Effect, I wanted to get a black belt as a way to encourage my sons to continue. I knew it would be difficult, and I had my doubts. But I was up for the challenge; I thought that if I could do it, it would be worth seeing the growth of my boys.
As for my own life, I thought that getting our black belts would be a good bonding activity for my family. As a white belt, I really had no idea how much the Ripple Effect would affect my own life and inspire my passion for martial arts.
What are the real challenges of getting a black belt and what have you learned from these challenges?
As I work on my black belt, one of the main challenges I encounter is being patient with myself as I go through the learning process. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to learn things quickly, which is often not the best way to learn something well.
How would you describe your approach to teaching and leading karate? What did you learn from your instructors?
I would describe my approach to teaching and leadership as relational. Humans are complex creatures. Spending this time building a relationship helps us understand how best to help someone learn and grow. It also builds the team spirit that is essential for our journey to the black belt and beyond.
I think one of the strongest lessons I’ve learned from my instructors is that I don’t need to know how to do something to know that I can do it in the future. I can set goals that are beyond my current physical abilities and set micro-targets to get there.
What would you say to the new White Belt student you want to see making a Black Belt?
First, I would tell the student that I believe in them. Then I would encourage the student to document his journey, including his personal WHY for initially wanting to become a black belt.
We will all come across bumps that may discourage us, but when we can look back and remember how excited you were at the beginning, and when you see how much progress you have made on the road to the black belt to this point, it can get you overcome. collide and move on towards the target.
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