Levi Ronkainen - Shodan-ho 2019
I started karate when I was 4 years old, at first I cried and didn't like it but decided to stay in it cause I made a few good friends. After a few classes I started to have fun playing the samurai games and learn a few basic karate moves. I got to my blue strip on my white belt and got told I'm old enough for my yellow belt, that's where my karate adventure really started.
Some of the big things I have learned in karate are 1: Self defence, 2: teamwork/cooperation, 3: Discipline, and 4: Respect towards the older and higher belts. Also I will be talking about how it changed my everyday life. I will be talking deeper into all of these things during my essay.
Self defence is probably the biggest thing karate is meant for. After all karate can be considered a weapon but can only be used if needed not wanted. I haven't ever gotten in a real fight so I haven't needed to use self defence yet but, I probably will need it someday so it will be important to have my karate for that day. Also learning self defence helped me become in better shape. I got in better shape from practicing techniques and working out both in class and at home. That has also made karate fun and challenging too. Being in better shape has also helped me be better in other sports.Karate adds a great challenge to the table as well. This makes you work hard but earn great achievements like a new belt. That was the thing that kept me pushing all the way to where I am now.
Karate has also taught me a lot about team work and cooperation. Both of these things can be life changing because lots of jobs require team work and working with customers and other employees. So that's huge for me. Karate has also helped me with other sports that have teams, soccer, basketball, and other sports too. Karate is a big part of my sporting career so far and will be forever I hope. Cooperation has also helped me when I was a little kid, I would play games like tag with my friends and instead of fighting or quitting or cheating in those games I got taught in karate how to cooperate so I didn't do that stuff. Team work and cooperation are both huge things for me.
Discipline might also be the most important thing karate can teach you along with self defence. The reason disciple is so important to me is because it teaches you to respect others, listen properly, put in hard work, do things even if you don't wanna do them, even if you don't have to as well. It's important to have this because it will make you a harder worker your job and even in school too. Discipline will also, like I said before teach you to respect your peers, elders, higher belts, and more. So, discipline is really important. Along with discipline comes respect. Respect is important because if you respect others, others will respect you (usually). Having others respect you can lead to making new friends, job raises, and maybe getting free things. Karate has taught me to respect others and most of the time they respect me back.
Respecting elders and higher belts is a very important thing in karate because if you don't you get in big trouble. But, you would get in trouble pretty much anywhere for disrespecting anyone you usually get in trouble. But, I wouldn't know that because I got taught in karate to respect your peers. If you don't respect your higher belts and elders then you won't progress to a new belt, and if you progress to a new belt you won't be learning new things then you might as well not be at karate. Anyway respecting other people is a necessity in life and I have learned it earlier than most people do because of karate.
Karate has shaped me to who I am today. For example, I have learned self defence, discipline, respect, team work, cooperation, better shape, and much more. I am able to use all of these in real life except of course self defence, unless I need it. I use all these things to help me have a better life in general. Without all these tools it's hard to be successful, most people get all these tools but not as early as I did, and the rest of my karate peers.
As a reflection on my karate career, I wouldn't of been able to be where I'm at without Sensei Kurt, Sensei Scott and all the other Senpias that helped me. Also my parents especially my dad for driving me there and paying for camps, tournaments, and gradings. I would also like to thank myself for never giving up.