I first set foot in the doors at KI in February of 2003, I entered the dojo as an overweight, somewhat shy and not a very confident child. I was certainly confident in social skills on the outside but I was not confident in talent or ability levels. I had tried team sports and they weren't for me. In my initial trial application, my mother made sure to comment that I was "not very flexible or fast". I had no clue that day that I was walking down a path that would not only change my life but become my life.
The first few years of training had highs and lows, I wasn't an overly motivated student. I didn't practice outside of class and as a result, some of the people I had begun training with quickly began to pass me in belt levels because they were putting in more time and effort. I was discouraged. Once again, I would fail at this as well. It turns out I did...multiple times. I failed stripe tests, belt tests and everything in between. I wasn't a good student in school and hadn't yet learned the value of work ethic. It was through the training I've received in Martial Arts that I was able to learn how to put my nose to the grindstone and really work at the goals I have.
The first day I bowed into the dojo a black belt seemed so far off that it wasn't in the realm of possibility. I could barely touch my toes, how could I ever be a black belt? Through the relationships with teachers and classmates, I learned that there was a support system who believed in me more then I could believe in myself to accomplish earning ranks. They all pushed me to be my best and when I faltered they picked me back up and encouraged me. In fact, many of the close friends I have now I met in the Martial Arts. Through the community at KI, I learned that I have a place to fit in, be me and excel towards my goals.
When I began teaching something in me sparked. I had the desire to be better then I had been, to fight harder then I had fought and to learn more then I knew. Teaching sparked a passion in me that only grows, it only gets stronger and it pushes me every day to fight for my students and the KI Family. You see, I truly have come to think of the dojo as a home, it's a home where we fight our fears, push ourselves to the best versions of ourselves and to branch out of our comfort zone. In the same way that the dojo is a home, the people inside the dojo are family, they all cheer for one another, bonded by mutual respect and admiration. The dojo is home to any and all who train and their families and my goal is to ensure that the dojo and this community will always be there to support generations of families for many years to come.
My KI and Martial Arts success story shows in the life I live every day. I started not confident, shy, and lazy person, now all these years later I'm confident, outgoing and have a strong desire to work hard to provide for the students and families here at KI. I learned that there is no expiration date in the pursuit of excellence and that it's a constant pursuit. Am I perfect? No, and I never will be. The successes thus far have been great...Now to see what success lies on the horizon and what awaits on this martial arts and life journey. Stay tuned...KI and my best days lie ahead, and the future is bright.