The following paper was submitted by karate student Ty Davis as part of his Brown Belt test requirements on October 6, 2012.
I have been doing karate for five years, and in those past five years I feel like I’ve grown in this sport and have become stronger every day. I started when I was 8, and now I am 13. It has been long, and a lot of hard work, but I still enjoy it. It helps me vent some of my anger, and sometimes it helps me burn off some of my energy. It has been increasingly harder to attend due to scheduled conflicts caused by basketball but it is important to me. I have made good friends throughout the years, and they have helped me through some of my difficulties.
About two years ago, December, I was adopted as a Davis. Prior I had lived with them for 3 years. My new mom and dad are the ones who got me started in karate; before I had done tae kwon do. When I came to the first day of Cuong Nhu back at the old dojo I went in and I’m like… wow this is way different then when I was at tae kwon do. It was harder but it was a better fit for me and more fun than tae kwon do. The kids’ class was fun, but as I got older I started having less fun… not because I didn’t like the other students, but I was getting a bit older. So when one day I was asked if I wanted to go into the adult\teen class and I said “yes.” I had just tested for my green belt. I was happy also because most of my friends had moved up too, so it was exciting for me. I started progressing, and now I’m ready to test for my brown belt.
When I started in the kid’s class it was good for me to hang around with all the other kids. So it was a big turnaround for me being the tallest one to being smaller than most everybody else and people that were stronger than me. But that was just the beginning as I grew in stature I got stronger so it’s made it easier for me but, it’s sometimes hard for me still. It is definitely something I have had to work for.
Karate has helped me in a couple of things outside of the dojo. I t has helped me in baseball and basketball. In baseball, karate helped me to get my power in my legs for running and swinging. In basketball it helps me right now because some of the stances in karate are implied in basketball. Sometimes I feel like not going to karate because I feel so tired and exhausted from basketball, but I do it anyway because I know it helps me and sometimes it gets things off my mind. Karate has helped basketball especially because of all the running and pushups we do. So when I’m running back and forth on the court I have a lot more energy than most of the other kids (part of this reason is from my mom and dad bugging me to drink water) so I know that when I go out there I can play at the highest performance that I can do.
Also karate has helped me in school, because I’m one of the healthiest people there. Like one day I broke a school record by running down full court in the basketball gym 100 times. When it comes to the endurance I’m one of the best at it. It has also helped me to focus for longer periods of time, to work hard even when I don’t feel like it.
I want to test for brown belt because, it’s a big accomplishment that I’ve wanted to do since I joined the adult teen class. Becoming a brown belt is something I’m willing to commit to. Coming to this point and, testing for brown belt is hard and, it’s not just saying, “Oh, I have my brown belt.” It’s more than that; there’s more responsibility than any other test. There’s a reason why it’s harder than any other test I have ever taken. From here on out its even more serious and its going to be a challenge, but that challenge is going to be a good one for me.
My goal is to go for black belt. And this is an important step to becoming one. Getting my mind set on my brown belt is hard, it’s a lot between school and basketball. But karate is worth it to me I know when I first walk in its helping me every time. Knowing that it’s helping me it’s one more step closer to getting my black belt.
A part of karate that’s important is “respect”. It’s important to give each other respect in other types of martial arts. Same thing in school: there are people who I really dislike, or they tic me off. But I don’t really say anything to them if they’re bugging me. I’ve learned to show respect to my teachers at school, because I show respect to my teachers at the dojo. I’ve learned to respect people in basketball and sometimes I go back and play them and it’s cool because we’re still competing but at the same time we know each other and we talk to each other. If it’s half time or after the game we’ll say “good game, so far, man” and when the shot goes up we’re back to being aggressive with each other. I really respect the people on the court because I know they’re not only playing against me but they’re helping me learn something. The same in karate, like when were sparring or grappling or doing a kata, someone may say “good kata” or tell me something I need to work on.