Jasmine is a provisional black belt candidate for 1st degree. Here’s her black belt essay, which tells the story of how she got interested in martial arts and how much she’s grown since then.
Jasmine was 12 at the time she wrote this, but she makes some observations that are really quite mature (I’m sure this is not surprising to anyone who knows her and her family). I highlighted a few quotes that I really liked.
“Black Belt: What It Is and What It Takes” by Jasmine
Before I started Tae Kwon Do, I watched the movie “Kung Fu Panda” in a theater. I thought all the tricks and maneuvers the “Furious Five” and “Po” did in the movie were awesome, and I decided I wanted to do Kung Fu. At that point in my life, I was eight, so I also thought that ninja-like abilities were the thing to have.
After the initial inspiration, my parents found a 2-week deal at Trinity Martial Arts in Arlington. At the end of those “nuf”* two weeks, my siblings and I made the decision to stick with it, and later my dad joined too (mom stuck with her yoga). Chris Aprecio, the instructor, made it look like being a black belt meant you could do cool things.
It’s been a long time since then, but now I know that being a black belt doesn’t just mean to have a black belt and be athletic (and that becoming a black belt doesn’t make you a superhero).