Second Degree Black Belts:
("Kyo Sa" denotes "certified
Kyo Sa Doug Van Eeuwen
Kyo Sa Joe Kucharski
Zarek von Oetinger
, 9 years old,
(2nd Degree Black Belt)By: Esha Joshi
It wasn't until I ran into Master Pitcher and the demo team at the Livonia Spree one year that I knew I needed to go back. We searched for the old school, but there was a notice on the door saying they had moved to a new location. It was not until I passed by the new location on the way back from an apple orchard that I made my dad take me to check out the new school, which was the best thing they have ever done for me.
Restarting classes I mostly felt out of place and obsolete.
I couldn't remember any of the terms or parts of the forms.
But after a while it came back. And eventually, I felt at
the help and support of all of the black belts and
especially Master Pitcher, for welcoming me back and never
giving up on me, even when I did. And my parents being a big
support, always understanding and trying to help and push
me. I knew nothing could ever make me want to leave.
I am not ashamed of my history in Tang Soo Do because, to be completely honest, if I did not quit, I wouldn't have realized what I was missing and I would probably end up stopping classes altogether when I became a black belt. My experiences gave me the passion and drive that I have today.
It took me a long time to find
World Class Institute of Martial
I started searching for a place I felt comfortable, a
teacher I could learn from, and a beginning to my pursuit of
the martial arts.
After about 6 months and several disappointments
along the way, I emailed Master Watson with a ton of
invited me to stop by the dojang to participate in a class.
At the time, I
was coming out of a very difficult part of my life.
I was recovering from depression and had changed
careers a year before.
I was struggling to find meaning for certain aspects
of my life, and thus turned to martial arts.
Karate gave me strength in mind, body and soul.
Strength to test myself.
Strength to persevere.
Strength to climb out of my depression and grow into
a positive soul.
Determination, discipline, courage, confidence - several
ways I describe what I've gained from my journey.
The week leading up to my black belt test was an emotional
roller coaster. An
injured knee was causing me to doubt my ability to complete
the long, grueling test, let alone if I would be able to
simply walk without pain. Thursday
came around and I tried my knee at Red 3-4 class.
It held up all right
and, with encouragement from Kyo Sa Schulz and Grandmaster
Pitcher, I made the decision that my knee wouldn't hold me
back from this accomplishment.
I stressed out over several other aspects of the test aside
from my knee. Creative Il Soo Siks and 2-on-1 sparring being
two components. Looking
back, I'm glad I was concerned, however I didn't need to be.
I was ready to do
this. After 7
hours, I wasn't "dead" or "wiped out," I was standing tall
and feeling proud.
journey. That day;
that week; the past four years.
It was all so worth
the price. Tang Soo!
Stay positive and love your life - 311
, Adult, 2016
The goal of reaching black belt has been no small task and one that the
, Adult, 2016
My son and I started with WCIMA about 6 years ago, when our
lives had been turned upside down by a divorce. Mentally I
was hurt, angry, and feeling like a failure as a father,
individual and a spouse. Physically I was down to the weight
I was at in the eighth grade. Simply put I was a wreck!
Joining the WCIMA has been the best decision I have made for
myself and my son as we now have a sense of hard work and
accomplishment together, as well as a large family here at
the WCIMA. Being a positive impression on the lives of
others like being a ninja camp cabin leader, all night party
chaperone, or helping others in class has been the most
fulfilling aspect of being part of this family that anyone
could ask for.
In closing, we are all different people with different
attributes, abilities, backgrounds, problems, restrictions,
sizes and shapes. But the meaning of receiving and being a
black belt remains the same.
It means that they, I, we, have grown personally as well as
a martial artist!
Thank you all!