Anonymous NK Student
At 10 years old, the choice between guitar lessons or karate classes would be the most important
decision I could make. I wanted to learn how to play the guitar but something inside of me told
me that I needed to learn how to defend myself. So I made my choice, National Karate.
I still remember my first intro session at National Karate. I was so nervous and excited; the head instructor had an impossible last name to pronounce, and we both had watches on. In such a
short time, karate became my obsession. I asked to do the leadership program so I could be there
as much as I could. I remember walking over from middle school and sitting outside the door
waiting for them to open. I didn’t want to go home. I felt safe and welcomed at National Karate.
I was assaulted as a youth by my stepfather for several years. It wasn’t until I was about 13 years old opening up to my best friend and classmate that I realized what was happening at home was not okay. I needed to gain the courage to stand up for myself and stop it all.
Training always gave me a sense of empowerment. As I got older, that empowerment transformed into courage and determination. I finally spoke up about what was happening to me at home. I had the strength to leave my home at the age of 14 and never look back. I fought for myself and surrounded myself with people who cared and wanted me to succeed in not just karate but life. And those people were my instructors at National Karate.
I am now in my mid-twenties and an advanced degree black belt that is still training and pushing
myself to be better every day. Karate is not only fun and a great work out, it’s also a life-long learning experience no matter your age or rank. National Karate hasn’t just taught me how to defend myself but has taught me perseverance – to never give up on myself. Life is not easy for any of us. You must have perseverance and above all confidence in yourself. In karate, you have opponents that you fight. But sometimes you need to fight for yourself and that can be the
greatest battle there is.
To my instructors, I will always remember that especially rough time in my life when I was really tempted to give in. I lost sight of everything I was working towards and had this idea the world was out to get me. When I came to you, I was at my weakest point, and you believed in
me. I hope you know that you have made an incredible impact on my life. Without you both, I
don’t think I would have grown to be the person I am or to have achieved all the accomplishments that I have. You started out as just another teacher and now you are family. You saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. For that, I can never thank you enough.