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All of these years I have been training and working up to my black belt. The ingredients of a black belt are blood, sweat and tears. I went from white belt up to red belt working and preparing for my black belt. Getting your first black belt is a once in a lifetime chance and when you get your black belt you think back and remember all of the hard work you put into it. The feeling of getting your black belt is not like getting the other belts. It feels like all of my hard work is paying off.
Earning my black belt means that I am becoming a role model. When I get my black belt the younger kids or older kids will look at me when I demonstrate a move, technique or kata. If other kids don’t understand a move I will demonstrate it for them until they get it. When other kids see my black belt they will know who to look up to. I will be their role model. I will be their leader.

A black belt also means respect. A black belt is a sign of respect. It shows other people not to disrespect the black belt. A black belt should also respect a lower belt and age does not matter. We should also respect the belt such as don’t throw it on the ground and don’t lose it. Take care of your belt. We should respect everyone even outside of karate as well. Like at school, at home, and even at the park. Becoming a black belt is a constant reminder of treating everyone equally and with respect.

Being a black belt is also being a teacher. Being a teacher is very hard work and a black belt can do it. Sensei means teacher and that’s what I am. My teacher at school is very understanding and if someone does not know something she will be the first one there to teach it and I can do the same. I will do anything so a lower belt can understand what the move is. You have to be responsible to be a teacher and I can do that. When lower belts see your black belt they will know who can teach them any move. I will be anyone’s teacher while white belt or black belt, I can help anyone.

Doing Karate and especially being a black belt makes me brave. I am very brave when I spar. I learn a lot from sparring like when you get hit you should fight back. Be strong and tough. If someone hits you get up and keep going. The secret to sparring is to have confidence in yourself. It’s the same thing with katas, you will never do them right if you don’t believe in yourself. At school I do talent shows and I am not afraid to perform in front of the whole school. It is like a tournament. You have to perform in front of the judges. Everybody sees you the same way but karate makes me brave in a whole new way.

All of the meanings of a black belt are important to me. If you do not follow your heart you will never truly understand the meaning of a black belt. By having respect, bravery and leadership skills I am proud to call myself a black belt and a Sensei. I am honored to be a black belt. I look forward to being a Sensei for the rest of my life.