Martial arts is not only a form of self defense. True, it comes in handy when being attacked by another human being. Yet martial arts is an art, which teaches one how to live their life to the fullest. Stephen K. Hays Quest Center, my dojo, has taught me to be a better-rounded individual. Before class, my training partners and I meditate. We ponder the problems of the world. We think about our flaws and how we can mend them. Martial arts teaches you to be aware of your surroundings. It gives you a relationship with nature. Every day I go to the Quest Center, I meet new people. Each person has their own look and their own personality. Training with these people lets me get to know them. People I thought I would never tolerate end up being friends with me. The Quest Center has an extremely positive atmosphere. One of my instructor’s favorite sayings is “ALIVE AWAKE ALERT!” Every time a person gets a new belt, everyone claps, whether they know the person well or not. When people are presented new belts, they are usually given them at graduation. Graduation is our ceremony where deserving people are awarded new belts for taking steps to become more powerful individuals. At graduation, instructors put on fantastic demos, giving the audience a taste of what it’s like to train in the Quest Center. Students present what they have learned. It’s an awesome feeling when a student is presented a black belt. It shows their dedication to themselves and the Quest Center. I aspire to be a black belt someday; hopefully I will be awarded it at the end of my senior year of high school. I cannot wait to tie that black cloth around my waist. Getting to black belt is a journey, and every belt awarded to the individual along the way tells a story. The five elements also play a role in martial arts. There are certain techniques used for Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The techniques are all different and correspond to the element they represent. Being in touch with ones self while doing every day things also represents Spirit. Stephen K. Hays Quest Center has helped me become a better human being. This I believe.
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