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Jacob's Journey to Black Belt

The journey to black belt is probably the most well known dream that society has today for their “Bucket list” in life. Out of all the students that step on an off the mat, one out of ten will be able to strive to such an iconic level, and reach black belt. Not only do people quit when they are white belts, but most of the time our society comes up with many excuses as to why they can't stay. For example, most people say they do not have commitment, their schedule doesn't work, it's just too hard, they'll never be able to do that, or there just to old. Comparing myself to society and those so called “People” that don't have the understanding of achieving such a milestone. Sticking it out from the time I stepped on the mat to help hold a board three years ago to now. I have not only increased in physical attributes, but learned so many amazing outlooks on everyday life by following the tenants at best. Overall my journey to black belt provides a different story to add to a wall of greatness that allows you to see all the different outcomes of every black belt that have strives towards a goal.

               For nearly my entire middle school career I played baseball to later win two division championships with my team. However, I never really got to play they game, if anything I played two innings at most. So as I was throwing hormonal fits my Mom was constantly saying to me “What about martial arts? You did it whenever you were little and you loved it. I just had to take you out of the program  because of the location and price.” So I sat on the idea my mother gave me about starting back up with martial arts. I remember that day specifically. I was in my room going through the the pros and cons of doing martials arts. As I made a T-chart type structure  I was constantly writing the advantages of taking martial arts. Then I looked over at the cons side of the structure and saw a blank white line. So then I sat on it for a while thinking of a bad attribute , and the only bad thing I could come up with was getting kicked in the head. The next day I gave my Mom the go ahead, and said I would like to do martial arts. So we went to go dojang shopping and came across academies that could help me fill my main reason to be a martial artist. It was to improve self confidence and keep my head held high. Then one day my Mom, Breanna, and I came to Tiger Rock and just by looking at the place I knew it was where I wanted to be.

               Not only does martial arts have an affect on my skill it also helped me a tremendous amount in high school. With giving myself the confidence to go on stage to sing, or go all the way to honor art classes. I have no clue where I would be if have not been taking martial arts through the years. Being a black belt to me is not only a major goal and achievement of mine, but it's a reminder of the steps I've been through for the three years of my life. Each belt has a specific story to tell, from white to red belt currently, it made me grow more than I could have ever imagined. When people think of martial arts they think self defense and hurting people when necessary, but it's mainly learning the morals behind all of the training. Such as the tenants that we are taught to follow. With this it not only helped me with my self confidence, but over my martial arts career I have learned many more things like structure, humility, courage, and mental strength to make me the person I am today. With that being said if I hadn’t picked these values up along the way for my journey to black belt, I can only imagine what else it is in store for me as I continue to follow my path.

              Through my journey good stories have come up with me as I get to black belt. For instance my first tournament, it was the world championship in New Orleans. I was an anxious green belt at the time, and fresh meat to all of the other eyes that were in my ring. I ended up getting a bronze in forms and a gold in sparring which is a story within itself. Getting two medals at my first tournament was a huge milestone for me. As soon as I got my medal that's when I thought to myself  “I can do this!” Another major milestone in my journey was when I got double promoted from green level 1 to green level 3. Because at that time the summer camp was in progress which meant their was more mat time and testing was at the end of the camp. When the belt ceremony came around I got double promoted which was such an honor in my eyes, it meant the world to me. Next, was when I was a blue belt for world's in Birmingham, I was keeping count of my tournament record. I was undefeated at the time and was holding my head too high. When I got in the ring against a male named Zeus. That's when I learned from the statement “Those who are not humble will be humbled.” After losing to Zeus, I had realized I'm not the best. There is always going to be someone at least one step above you. Then testing for red belt came along the line as a big part of my journey, noticing big mistakes that I have been making such as watching power, working on feet in the form, foot shape for contact skills, making sure to stick my kicks,  and more. With executing these mistakes it almost accosted me with a no change for testing which made me step up my game.

             Lastly, I come to realize on the fact that everybody's journey to black belt is different and progressing in my own way has made me the person I have become today. Not only would being a black belt be a huge accomplishment for me, but it will also provide me with another milestone in my life.


About Tiger-Rock Martial Arts International
Tiger-Rock Martial Arts s a National franchising company providing health, skills and fitness training through its franchisees’ Martial Arts programs for members of all ages. Our programs enrich their personal and professional lives in many ways. Tiger-Rock programs are a blend of modern sport science, the latest research, and hundreds of years of martial arts tradition to provide you with the most effective experience available.