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Alison Cheung


Shodan-ho 2015

I was born in Nanaimo in 1998, and am currently a French Immersion student at Nanaimo District Secondary School.

I began karate, along with my older brother Alex, when I was just four years old. My parents hoped that karate would teach us self-defense, but more importantly, become a positive outlet for my brother's high energy.

The dojo closest to my home was Shima Karate, so I was signed up and began learning the sport. My brother and I have been members of Shima since the old dojo. My recollections of the old dojo are mostly hazy, however, I do vividly remember a few things: being surrounded by giant feet, being very confused by kata and terrified of everyone except Sempai Brenda, because she is a people whisperer (seriously, Sempai Brenda is the best).

I work part-time as a page at the Vancouver Island Regional Library. I love playing piano, and am in Grade 10 with the University of Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. I also enjoy learning through reading both fiction and non-fiction. Among my favourite writers are E.B. White, Jean-Hanff Korelitz, and Roald Dahl.

I have tried an array of sports, but karate continues to be the longest standing record. I played tennis for about three years. I enjoy skiing, but stopped a few years ago. In Grade 8, I joined the school's swim team, which went terribly. On my first practise, I felt like dying on the second lap; however, I refused to quit (a skill I attribute to Shima's in?uence). I remembered that quitting on the basis of being outside of my comfort zone was unacceptable. In the summer of 2013, when I was fifteen, I received the Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross in swimming. Some of my hobbies include reading, watching TV, exercising, and hanging out with good company.

More than half my lifetime of experience in karate has taught me so much more than throwing punches and kicks. It has taught me skills more valuable than any classroom could ever teach. I have learned about the importance of setting goals, self-discipline, and the resilience one needs to resist quitting when it hurts.

These are skills that I apply to other elements of my life every day. These are skills I will never forget.

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