What does a black belt mean to me? It means the world to me. It all started when I was almost 4 years old and my mom took me to a free demonstration class. It wasn’t Amerikick but I liked it so much I asked my mother to sign me up right away.

I spent the next year and a half at the Little Gym. I loved it so much I worked my way up to an Orange Belt. I thought I was on my way, but my Sensei Tim decided to move away and it was too far for me to go. Then we looked around town and found Amerikick Marlton, NJ.

My new Sensei was Chris Molaris. He was very nice but told me I would have to start over as a white belt. I was very disappointed and I even thought about quitting. My mother told me that I was not a quitter and she said if I didn’t like it after a month I could stop going.

I was nervous because I didn’t know anyone, but after 2 classes I loved it very much but I never thought I was going to become a black belt or to have come this far. The experience has been amazing and I don’t want it to stop it.

karateKarate is a place to overcome your fear with bullies. That happened to me. Some kids would push me around, but now since I’ve been taking karate the kids won’t mess with me anymore.

Karate is the place where I can get all of my problems out or if I had a bad day it really helps me forget all of it. A black belt means the world to me because I know to come this far is amazing.

What I am planning to achieve on my journey to the next degree. I am planning to get to senior black belt and teach the classes for the little kids and be a role model to all of the little girls. I want to enter higher divisions in tournaments and travel to different states, maybe even countries.

A reason why I come to karate every day is because of my sensei Anthony Difilippo. He is my favorite sensei of all time. He has made karate so much fun and has taught me everything I need to know about karate and the techniques. He has gotten me so far and I couldn’t thank him enough. I want to make him proud by achieving my black belt. I also want to become a master at my Bo staff and perfect my creative kata. I have won a lot of times in the creative kata division but I want to take it up a notch and fix minor errors.

I really hope that when I pass my black belt test I can share it with my class and everyone will admire and respect me and some people might even look up to me for what I have accomplished.

This will make me want to even work harder to achieve more goals. Karate has changed my life and I hope to go higher in karate and pass my black belt testing.

I never gave up, and I never surrendered.

Very truly yours,

Adriana Shannon

Age 10

Black Belt KarateI thought receiving my junior black belt was the best thing ever, and then I received my letter to test for senior black belt. It made me think again about what a black belt means to me.

It means I have taken another step towards black belt excellence. I have been working my entire life basically to get my black belts.

I started karate at Amerikick when I was three years old because there was nothing in my town for me to do at that age. I thought it would be a short process and I would quit within a few months. Here I am nine years later testing for my senior black belt.

My black belt has helped me in so many aspects of my life, like baseball, school and everything else in some way.

I started baseball when I was nine years old and couldn’t throw the ball from second base to third base. So I applied myself, practiced and built up my strength. Now I play on the same size field as the MLB players and I am an excellent third baseman.

I never stopped trying and working hard and that’s what black belts do. They never stop learning and working towards new goals. A few months after I received my junior black belt, I approached Sensei Nick and asked him if I could help out in classes. Right now I keep lines straight, sometimes hold bags and learn from watching how the other sensei’s work with the kids. Eventually I’d like to lead the kids in katas and techniques and teach my own class.

My interest in helping out all started with when my little sister, who is a red right now, asked me for help with her katas and techniques. I felt so good being able to help her, I realized that’s what a black belt does; uses their knowledge to help others.

Another direction I am going in my black belt training is performing at belt graduations. I have always looked up to one of our sensei’s who uses the bo staff. He would perform and I would stare in awe of him.

Now that I perform as I look into the crowd and see the little kids looking at ME in awe like I used to look at Sensei Duncan. It is such a good feeling when kids want to be just like you, and you can tell by the way they look at you.

As a black belt you become more of a role model to the younger belt levels. It’s an honor knowing I’m one of those role models. In all my training one of the main things I have learned is that if you put your mind to it something it can be done no matter how challenging.

You can always achieve your goals through hard work and perseverance. I would like to thank all of my sensei’s for all of their help and support they have given throughout my martial arts career this far. Thank you from Aaron Swift.