“You Must Give Respect To Get Respect”

What I Have Learned Since Becoming a Black Belt
By Ian Sharp

I have learned a lot since becoming a black belt. One major thing I have learned is that confidence can grow. Since becoming a black belt I have been teaching more, which requires being confident and strong. Another big thing is focus; if you do not focus your students will not focus. Power, is a big part of being a sensei; all your moves must powerful because young white belts need to learn the right way to do the forms from the beginning.

Confidence can help you in many ways. One way is helping protect yourself against bullies. If I know anything about bullies they like to feast on your lack of confidence. Karate has helped me with kids being mean to me in school. Confidence is the most important thing you could ever have.

My focus has grown so much since I got my black belt. I hope with every black belt I get my focus will grow even more. It took a long time for me to learn to focus. I have seen improvement in myself since I first stepped into a uniform to now as a black belt. I hope all the senseis have seen improvement in me. I don’t just hope the senseis see improvement, but I hope the students and parents do as well, so that they will trust me more.

I have learned from Grand Master Dennis Tosten that the moves in our techniques have to be powerful or else the bad guy, or a bully could really hurt you. “With great power comes responsibility,” I have heard that a lot and I’m sure you have too. Karate has given me a great power to defend myself, but with that great power they also the thought me how to control that power. It doesn’t even matter if the bad guy comes up to you and tries to hurt you. Power isn’t always a good thing, but it comes in handy once in a while.

When I first became a black belt I wanted respect. Then I realized that you have to earn respect, but first, you have to give it. The students that I teach don’t respect me as much as I had hoped, yet. I hope that when I’m older and more mature, the parents and kids will respect me as much as they respect Master Kevin Schluter. Respect is one of the keys to life.

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