I walked into the martial arts when I was around nine years old and I just wanted to do cool Kicks and be like Bruce Lee. As a parent, my mother knew it was good for me. My mother knew i needed a strong male bond as well as a positive outlet. At the time, my family was in and out of homeless shelters and I needed some guidance in life as there were many negative avenues and influences that surround my adolescence.
My Sensei became like a second father to me and always encouraged me to try my best! “Hard work, all the time! Everyday!” Was one of our karate chants. This level of positivity and encouragement made me confident enough to stand up to the bullies who constantly tormented me as well as get involved in competitions; something I never would have done before. Being able to exercise and work out benefited me so much in life. The ability to exercise and work out benefited me so much in life. It helped me with my anxiety, boosted my self esteem and gave me a positive environment as opposed the mostly rough environment of my public housing complex. Karate also gave me a purpose and many skills to carry with me through life. learned self control, discipline, and how to be accountable.
I believed that if i could survive 100 push-ups and 100 kicks everyday as well as the other grueling physical aspect of training, I was okay facing my school bullies. Karate itself made me physically aware that my body is a multifaceted tool and It has to be strong, it has to be fit, it has to be protected both internally and externally. I have heard so many times throughout my life “you’re too small,” “why don’t you pick a real career?” “You’re never going to be a champion.” Four world championships later, I’m still challenging myself to push beyond my limits.
Today, my role as a master instructor is to motivate students to pursue whatever their dreams happen to be in life. My biggest go-to is “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work!” In other words, no matter what your life situation is; there will always be someone more gifted or privileged than you in one way or another. However, the hardest worker will always make it on top in the long run. Your hard work can never be taken away but talents do fade or decrease if not nurtured. You don’t have to be a Sensei or a world champion fighter however; be a black belt in whatever it is you do in life whether it be a doctor, a lawyer a teacher etc. Because “a black belt is a white belt (beginner) who never quit.”