How an 11-year-old girl found her mojo and earned a Junior Black Belt

At only eleven-years-old, Rheya successfully earned her junior black belt last month from Power of One Karate in Long Beach. It was a long and challenging road. Here is her story.

Yes, I finally made it! That is what went through my mind when we received the email inviting me for the junior black belt test. I was so excited that my instructors thought I was ready for this test!  This also meant a lot of hard work needed to be done in order to be prepared for the test.

Achieving my junior black belt means very much to me because ever since I started karate,

Rheya practiced all the time (here at age 8 in Hawaii

I had set a goal to earn my junior black belt. I really admired the Karate instructors.   They were full of energy and made martial arts fun to learn. At that time it seemed like an easy goal to set. However, it was very difficult at times and I thought I never would make it. Yes, there were times when I wanted to give up because the curriculum was getting harder (I really remember the time I was learning Long Form 4, I kept practicing and practicing until I learned it. It took me awhile but I got it). I had set a goal and I wanted to persevere and not give up. I did not want to disappoint my instructors, my parents, or myself by quitting. I am glad that I did not give up and finally made it junior black belt. Yes, it took great amount of work, practice and perseverance, but I accomplished my goal. I felt proud of myself!

Rheya’s junior black belt ceremony

Earning my junior black belt means I accomplished and followed through with my goal that I had set six years ago. Over the years, I have learned to believe in myself, and to work hard. I have gained multiple important, valuable skills and knowledge from the instructors at Power of One.   I don’t think I would have been able learn these skills without karate. The Instructors all believed in me, so that gave me self- confidence to believe in myself that I can do this!

My future goal is to continue with my martial arts training and work toward my adult black belt test in the near future.   I know this will take hard work, perseverance and dedication, but my training so far has taught me not to give up so I won’t! I look forward to working with my karate teammates and instructors to continue learning and growing in my martial arts!

You can be a black belt, too!

If you are interested in learning karate, I would suggest going to a dojo near you and trying classes for a few months. You can try out the curriculum and see how you like it. Along with self-defense, you will learn life skills.

If you are interested in sparring (practice fighting), some gear you will need to take to your classes would be you sparring gear. Sparring is a great workout and you learn how to block your opponent’s punches or kicks. The gear consists of one pair of hand and feet pads, head gear, and a mouth guard.(chest guard is optional). In addition, you will need to wear a gi, which your karate studio usually provides.

Competitions are important because it is a time where you can show off what you have learned from your instructors and fellow students. Also, you can gain and learn so much from other competitors and use that knowledge in your own training. Even if you do not win, you will walk away a winner knowing you learned something new and can get better the next time.

One of my karate favorite movies is Karate Kid. Karate is not really like the movie, but it’s great to see the flying side kicks and stunts, and maybe it will inspire you!

Good luck, and leave a comment if you have other book, gear, or website recommendations for girls who are interested in karate!





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