When I started taking classes in 2005,
my goal was very modest. I just wanted to see if
it was as much fun as it looks. The idea that I could actually
become a Black Belt myself was inconceivable, considering my age and
Well, I found out that it is indeed as much fun as it looks. It's
also difficult and challenging, not only physically, but mentally
and spiritually as well. I've faced many obstacles, including sore
muscles and joints that kept me awake at night, memory lapses that
made me despair of learning anything, and occasional opposition from
my family. But with Sa Bom Nim's encouragement I persevered, and now
I am eligible to test for Il Gup, so the goal of achieving Black
Belt rank is definitely within reach.
The benefits I have gained from Tang Soo Do have exceeded my
expectations in many ways. I have much more stamina, so I don't get
out of breath so quickly. I have less pain in my knees because my
legs are stronger. My posture is better. Medically, my blood sugar
is more stable and my blood pressure and cholesterol levels are much
improved. I can even jog slowly now, whereas a few years ago I could
barely walk without pain.
I want to become a Black Belt for several reasons:
I consider Black Belt rank a very important milestone in my personal
growth, similar to a college diploma. But I don't consider it an end
point. Just as I continued my education after graduation and
received an MS degree, so I expect to continue training for advanced
rank as long as my body allows me to.
I want to be able to take a larger role in assisting on the mat. I
think I can be of particular help to new adult students because they
could relate to me well. I also think that some of the littlest kids
might find it reassuring to have a grandma-figure around.
As a Black Belt, I can be a more effective role model for others who
might feel that they are too old or out of shape to try Tang Soo Do,
or any other form of physical activity. I already write a blog about
my experiences (www.karategrammy.blogspot.com);
maybe I could speak to senior citizen groups or something like that.
I want to continue to share my experience in karate with my
grandson. Just has he has served as a role model for me in my
training, I want to continue to be a role model for him. I know he
is very proud of me, and I feel certain that he is more likely to
continue his training beyond Cho Dan if I do too.
Although I have worked behind the scenes for a long time, I want to
be eligible to officially represent my school and the association
when asked to do so.
I know my family is proud of me, even though they are sometimes
frustrated when I choose training over spending time with them. I
hope that when I become a Black Belt they will be proud of the
sacrifices they have made to allow me to come so far.