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By Dolan Harte, Amerikick Martial Arts

What being a black belt means to me by Dolan Harte. Being a black belt means many things. It means dedication, hard work, friendship and accomplishment.

It is showing dedication to classes every week, which is hard when you play sports and have tests at school. I remember when I had a baseball tournament and had to quadruple up on my classes so I would be able to go to my tournament and still not be behind in my karate classes. It means coming to class when you are so tired from a long day at school. It means making sure you schedule your week around having time to fit in class and sparring each week.

Being a black belt means that not everything you can get easily you need hard work. Learning all the techniques and katas, writing this essay and making my own kata is all apart of testing. It takes time and effort. I test myself every week using my flash cards. I also came in to meet with Sensei Mike to help me with some of the katas that I was forgetting also i had to make my own kata that was very challenging to make my own 1 minute long kata with my choice of open hand or weapons I chose bow-staff because it is my favorite. This all shows hard work.

I have been a student at Amerikick for seven years with my friend Sam during karate. It is something we have always done together, even when we have had other interest in sports and at school. He is still my best friend and I am happy we get to do this together. It is one of my favorite parts of karate, we ride in the car each week to class and sometimes spar each other in classes at Amerikick. I like sparing, sparing is my favorite thing to do in karate. We have also met new friends each week in classes, some who have made it to black belt and some who have not yet. Some who have dropped out.

I learned that not everything you just get you’ll have to work for it, getting a black belt is like getting a college degree it is a big accomplishment you will never forget and no one can take it away from you once you have it. Karate is a fun way to learn how to protect yourself but have fun doing it. I hope I never need to use my skills to protect myself but if I do, it’s good to know I can defend myself if I have to. Karate is a great way to learn self-defense and Amerikick is a great place to learn that. Karate shows dedication and hard work. In the future people will say, “he has his black belt he must be very dedicated” and showing that I can step up to a challenge and not quit and back down.