Martial Arts is more than exercise, it is a sport full of discipline and values. Training in martial arts has helped shape much of my character. I have been training for a total of four years. I first started training when I was 14 years old. Soon after, I found that I became highly respected among my fellow students and other adults. I was often asked to lead stretches and help out with the karate after school program. Immediately after martial arts became a part of my life I started developing a sense of responsibility and confidence. Prior to beginning my training in martial arts, I would not make conversation with people older than me unless they approached me first. In school, I kept to myself during class and recess; I would participate but rarely talk.
I began training 2-3 times a week. I was taught how to punch, kick, fall, roll, and most importantly defend myself. I learned to “Kia” loud with authority and slowly began to break out of my timid shell. One night while in class, we were working on a hip toss. My friend, Jay, who is 6’3” 250lbs came up behind me and grabbed me around my waist. I quickly grabbed his hands and held them tight to my stomach as I dropped my weight. Then I elbowed him in his ribs and grabbed tight on his shirt at his right shoulder. My knees were bent; all I had to do now was lift my body and torque my gripped hands from his shoulder to the floor. I did it! He flew over my shoulder and “bam!” smacked the mat in front of me. I followed up with a punch to the face and then I helped him up. Taking down a man twice my size gave me a sense of authority and confidence in myself.
As the years past, my ability to do martial arts increased. After two years I was then privileged to become an assistant to my instructor. I have become a leader to the students and have gained a tremendous amount of respect from them. My students look up to me and I strive to improve on the skills that I teach them everyday. I am currently a purple belt and will be testing for my next rank (red belt) this year. I am a better person because of martial arts; I am confident in myself, very respectable, and can now defend myself when needed. I believe in martial arts because it has made me who I am.
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