Black Belt Essay by Jake Ogle
Through Next Step Martial Arts, I have made so many new friends. I don’t think this black belt test will be my last test. I have had tons of challenges in my life, but I think this might be one of the biggest challenges.
I was seven when I first started Taekwondo. The year and month I started was August, 2012. I joined Next Step because my sister wanted to do it. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, but when I took a couple of classes, I started to really like it. I also joined Next Step because it would mentally help me and make me more active. Taekwondo has given me more confidence and focus in my life. After I joined, I found out that most of my friends were doing it.
The biggest challenge so far was my red senior test. For some reason, I thought that test was very hard. I knew the whole form, but the form itself was very difficult for me. I think the black belt test will be the hardest test of all the tests I have ever taken. In the black belt test, I think the forms will be the hardest part. Even when there were worries about whether I would be ready to take the test in December, I knew I would be ready, because I was willing to do whatever it took to take the test with my sister, Lexi. I wanted to complete the Black Belt test with Lexi because we have taken every test together.
Out of all of my accomplishments, I’m most proud of the stamina and endurance that I have gained from Next Step Martial Arts. It helped me run better, jump better, boost my confidence, and be a better soccer player. At first when I started Next Step, I was not in any sports. But after I joined, I got a lot more active.
My favorite part of training was self-defense. I love it when I get to learn about the attacker’s disadvantages. I have never actually had to use any self-defense skills in my life but I feel ready if I had to. Sometimes we would do them in Black Belt Alliance class and sometimes we would do them in regular classes like Extreme Skills.
I would like to thank Master Jay, Mr. Cameron, Mr. Matthew, Jackson Seymour, Tyler Mumpower, and Ian Nagy for influencing me to become a Black Belt. I see how flexible Master Jay is and how confident he is in himself. When I first started Next Step Martial Arts, I thought the Black Belt test was very far away and hard to reach, but now it’s here and feels like it passed in the blink of an eye. I was at Mr. William’s, Ian’s, Jackson’s, and Tyler’s Black Belt tests. Seeing the other Black Belt tests helped convince me to keep going and persevere.
I think Taekwondo will help me in the future by reminding me that I can defeat any challenge that comes my way. It has already helped me by teaching me Perseverance.
I will always view my black belt as a sign of knowledge and wisdom. It will remind me of Respect, Perseverance, and Justice.